Reflection on a rescue Back in September of 2006 I took on the task of adopting an abandoned Greater Egyptian Jerboa. She was in rough shape but at first I left her at the pet shop. I did my best at researching what she was and her needs and decided that I was up to the task of adopting her believing that I could provide he a quality life. Perhaps it was foolish of me to think that I was up to the task not taking into consideration all the unknowns. I will say at this point that I did my best for her but looking back now I also see mistakes that were made.
About a week after seeing her I adopted her. She was weak, malnourished, and had some major problems with the hygiene of the cage she was once kept in. Her fur was oily and in spots caked with cage scum to the point the fur stopped growing under it and her skin was in a rash. She also had bumble foot due to the choice they had made in litter (something similar to yesternews).
First night. Hello Gizmo
First night. Trying to get a good look at my new shy girl.
I gave her some food and let her get acclimated for the first night. The second day we cleaned off all the cage scum and took a trip to the vet. Being she was what she was the vet really didn't know where to start on a general health exam so they just did a basic assessment. Her heart sounded good as well as her breathing. Her eyes were clear and her ears looked good. They gave me some suggestions to help with her bumble foot and was given a passing bill of health.
Looking better after cleaning off the caked on cage scum from her head. She's still malnourished and her fur is in sad shape.
Cute little nose
she's very apathetic during the first week.
Attempting to socialize Risu and Gizmo. Risu gave her a sniff and found other things to do and Gizmo just laid there.
Time passes and healing happens. Don't get me wrong I loved her and she was a little princess. What Gizi wanted Gizi got. Fresh veggies? Carrots? Lettuce? Spinach? Which one would you like tonight Miss Gizmo? She'd get full run of the kitchen almost every afternoon and she was starting to jump and skitter like a normal jerboa.
Starting to look a little better. Gaining weight, moving around more
Becoming more social and fur starting to grow back
fue is becoming less oilly
Detail shot of all those new little furs
Skittering around the cage
she seems to be well on the road to recovery
Full body shot while she sleeps
Another full body shot
look at all that nice head fur
Guarding her tail
Her weight is now good, fur in good condition, and she's moving about the cage. Behavioral wise she's social and curious about what is going on around her.
She's pushing her bedding at me
Inspecting the camera
Quiet but social
Her other favorite way to sleep
Play pen time
Sparkling with dust bath
Sleeping like a baby
Later I would find the reason she always pulled her fur out on her hip (visible here)
Mom focus on me!
I was trying to take a pic of her hind foot but she kept pulling it out of frame.
and then kicking in back out of frame
Making a mess with the food dish... The last picture before everything went wrong
It was a Sunday and Gizmo was snuggling on my lap like she normally did in the day. She suddenly started and I still don't know why but in trying to catch her from a fall that was defiantly going to hurt her I head a sickening sound that still haunts me. Her leg was broken. I'm in a panic sobbing my eyes out never meaning to hurt her I reached out to save her not to hurt her. Thank god my mom was there and level headed enough to locate an emergency vet. We drove over an hour to get there and right away they took her into the back and had me sit in the waiting room for what seemed forever. $500 later I found out some things like her pelvis had an old break that had not yet healed in the spot where she pulled her fur. That probably also explained why some days she was my angel and on other days she was a very mean little jerboa.
They sent me home with my copy of the x-rays, a list of specialists that would either amputate the leg or attempt a surgery to set the break, and a package of pre-measure oral syringes filled with pain management medication. I was ordered not to let her move around much and to bring everything to her. That was all well and good until about 3 am when I just got that feeling. I looked in on her and she was not looking well. She was having trouble breathing and I decided that vet's orders could take the back seat she was not going to pass alone in her cage. I pulled her bed out keeping her as still as possible and sat with her in my lap and gave her gentle little pets and she passed soon after.
I talked with the specialist afterward and with how she died they suspect it was most likely a blood clot formed and started moving around. I am still deeply saddened by her passing but I know I tried my best and she lived like a princess while I had her. Who knows how her life would have been if I had ignored her that day at the pet shop. Maybe it would have been better but it also could have gone worse with her original condition.
I'd like to introduce my jerboa. She is a Greater Egyptian Jerboa (jaculus orientalis). Her name is Gizmo and I made this community mostly because we're still getting to know eachother. She is about 3 years old and was dumped at the pet shop I get all my degu supplies at (different exotic rodent... very different). At first sight I so wanted to scoup her up and take her home to patch her up but I resisted. I wanted to know a little about what I would be getting into. What kind of a person would I be to adopt her and then find out she needs this that and the other that I can't accomidate right? A week later I have a new family member.
When she entered my life she had a gash on her head and around it was caked with some sort of scum. She was also kept in recycled pellets which chewed up her hind legs something terrible. The scum was on her head long enough that the fur it was lodged in had already started sheding. That first night I had her I felt so mean. Here she was in a new house with new smells and a new person and I'm holding her on my lap and cleaning her head with a damp washcloth. That is the first time I've thought a bald rodent was a wonderful sight.
That was two months ago. Now her head is completely healed and she's gained a little weight. Here legs are still a little pink but they seem to still be healing. She's a touch territorial and has quickly told the degus she is the boss rodent in this house.