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deep sadness

Tar-ra's Kids
Born May 23,2000 - Died May 23,2000
Tar-ra Born January 09,2000 - Died May 23,2000

Mom (was to be): SPAZ Tar-ra
Beige Berkshire Standard Top-earred Doe
Click thumbnail for a larger image

Father: Unknown - one of her brothers

Sunday, April 30,2000:
Today the "babies" are 4 months old! To me that feels like a milestone of some kind?

Finally the three cages are washed and dried and ready to be put back together and I can put these rodents to bed. As I am dragging the cages back into the dining room I notice the boys are still mounting each other as they have been doing off and on all evening. It only takes 3 seconds for the full realization to sink into my tired brain. THERE ARE 6 RATS ON THE TABLE, NOT 5! TAR-RA IS ON THE TABLE WITH HER BROTHERS!

I had moved the table further away from the chair after Starr got up there. I have learned another hard lesson as a rat keeper. A female rat WILL leap 3 1/2 feet off the edge of a precariously narrow chair arm to get to the boys. All indications (waxy plug, wet bottom) are that, "all systems are go", for me to have another round of grandmotherhood.

Maybe Tar-ra wasn't in heat and it didn't take?

Monday May 22,2000:
It's 5:00pm, Tar-ra's in labour. I had put her sister, Marjorie in with her, thinking that she would enjoy her sister's company and help. But Marj just seems to be in her way and more of a hinderance then a help. I removed Marjorie from the maternity tank. Tar-ra is building a huge nest

I post a message to the Ratlist.

Is there anyone on the Ratlist who can guide me through Tar-ra's birthing? I am so scared and excited! When Sage gave birth I was asleep, I didn't see anything going on. Now I am witness to everything, and I don't know what's normal???? I went into the dining room at 4:45pm to check on Tar-ra. There is blood in the bedding, but she doesn't appear to be bleeding any more. There's lots of blood, but I saw that Sage's bedding was pretty bloody too. Tar-ra is crouched, belly down, her eyes half closed, her breathing coming in even "tics".....1 and 2 and 3 and 4.....and I put my hand around her ample middle, and I can feel movement inside of her. The thing that worries me is that, unlike her mother's pregnancy, I have not seen a lot of movement from the babies inside Tar-ra. Is this normal? What if Tar-ra only has a couple of babies and they are too big for a normal birth?........

I e-mailed the Ratlist again at 2:20am and was able to converse with a couple of members.
It's 7:00pm and nothing is happening. Tar-ra's asleep, she's so relaxed and content. this little girl has just 2 more hours to produce some babies, or else!
There was still no sign of babies at 2:20am

Tuesday May 23,2000
It's 10:14 am, and it is with a heavy heart, and a sick stomach, that I have to report that Tar-ra will not be having any live babies to care for. I'm going to continue this report in point form because I'm feeling to weak and sick to talk much.

5:30 am: no babies yet.

7:00 am: found two babies stillborn, still in their sacs. Tar-ra is pale and weak.

8:00 am: Tar-ra is at the vet fighting for her own life.
Doctor's questions and comments and my own thoughts from the conversation:
When did labour start? 4:30pm yesterday.
There are still babies inside her, probably all dead. There is too much blood. It's taken too long for her have the babies, maybe they were dead before the due date? Maybe her contractions were never strong enough?
Some of them were alive, I saw and felt some movement, but not as much as when Sage was pregnant.
How many babies do you think she would have?
At least 7.
How many do you think she already had?
2 stillborns are still in the bedding, I don't know if she ate any babies?
Doctor will give oxytosin and something for shock, and she will phone the U of Saskatoon to get advise from the experts there.
Some questions the Doctor asked me, maybe one of you can help answer them?
Has a rat ever had a cesearian to remove dead babies?
Has a rat ever been given antibiotics, and the dead babies allowed to rot out of her?
Doctor Micheal, any comments you have would be greatly appreciated. Signed,
A very distraught, Sandra Beasley and the Spaz Rats

They called me back to vet's office, telling me that Tar-ra was doing better, but in the few minutes it took me to drive back to the clinic Tar-ra's condition had deteriorated. She was beyond help at this point and the decision to have he put to sleep was made. I stayed with her during the procedure. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge very quickly, rushing to catch up with her babies who had died just an hour before her.

RIP ratties can be seen here

Their bodies held in storage in the freezer, awaiting this day,
Tarra and her babies were cremated, their ashes mingled,
and returned to me, August 19,2005


Taratoo - 
Sage's Niece 5 times removed

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