Two Pets in Under a Week

Yes, it has been a while once again. During the summer there really isn’t much to talk about, because I really don’t do much other than write or play games on the web. But this week… well, this week is different.

I had an old post from several months ago about my rat having a tumor. Well because I couldn’t afford to have it removed, I just let it be since it didn’t seem to be hurting her or slowing her down too much. Recently, however, it has gotten to the point where she can barely walk. So I scheduled an appointment to have her put down at the local vet in three days.

This I could handle. I’d miss Shadow very much and so would her sister Lucy, but I could handle losing a pet. I’ve done it before. But no, I’m not just losing one pet.

Last night my hedgehog was acting strange. I had noticed she hadn’t been eating much the last few weeks and her water had barely been touched, but it was when she started sleeping in the corner of her cage instead of the igloo that I knew she was going to die.

I’ve had a hedgehog before, so I recognized the behavior immediately. I held her for a while, put a towel over one end of her cage to stop any drafts and brought out a space heater to make sure she didn’t get cold. Then I hunkered down for the night right next to the cage, on the opposite end from her. At this point she could hardly walk. She would stumble a few steps and would then have to stop to regain her strength to keep moving. This determined little creature who, to be honest, never really liked me, pushed herself from one end of the cage to the other to stay next to me. Maybe it was just because I was warm. I really don’t know.

I stayed up with her until 3 AM, when I finally passed out for about four hours. When I woke up again she was in the same position, but was not faring any better.

For any of you that have never seen a hedgehog (or any other animal that does a similar thing) die, I sincerely hope you never have to. I have seen it twice, and I will never forget. It’s horrible, so I won’t describe it. Suffice it to say it is awful to watch and even more heart-wrenching to hear. I felt so helpless, cradling her and gently scratching her cheek as she died.

So now my hedgehog has passed away, and I’m going to be putting one of my rats to sleep in three days. I feel sick.

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~ by Rckrgrl on July 16, 2010.

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