Pip Gone to the Bridge

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On the 14th April our sweet Pip departed to the proverbial Rainbow Bridge…

Since the death of his brother Stripe, Pip had been struggling against the ongoing effects of Mycoplasmosis. Although we tried an antibiotic called Septrin for roughly a month, the infection was too advanced, and his shallow gravelly breathing continued. In the end his body just couldn’t fight any more and he stopped eating.

Pip was the leader of the gang, and very much a rat’s rat. He tolerated being picked up and fussed, but he wasn’t overly friendly. He would rarely seek out human attention, so the day he slowly made his way across the cage to me and climbed onto my chest, I knew something was wrong. I thought at first he was asking for food (I had been giving him soft baby food for a while now) but he wouldn’t even take his favourite yoghurt. I tried him with different favourites, and water, but he didn’t want anything. So I put him back in his bed with some extra bedding to keep him warm. No sooner I had put him in his bed, he was up again and making his way feebly towards me. Now I was quite distressed – I knew he was asking for something but I didn’t know how to help. I think I knew then that he had had enough of his illness, and somehow I was a comfort.

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I took a few deep breaths and calmed myself down, and carried Pip in the house to monitor him more closely. I wrapped him up in a blanket and sat with him on my chest. He made no attempts to move and soon fell asleep. He had used up the last dregs of energy and it was obvious that he was not going to recover, so I made the decision to take him to the vets to be put to sleep. I didn’t see any point in trying to keep him alive – I think in his own way he “told” me he was ready to go. It was terribly sad for us all – especially so soon after Stripe’s death, but we didn’t want Pip to suffer any more.

On a brighter note – here are some fond memories of our lovely Pip…

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Slumbering Fuzzy
This is Pip at six weeks old, on the day we brought him home from the Rescue Centre.

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Pip and Rocky
Pip was very timid at this age and snuggled up to his brothers for security. We wouldn’t have guessed he would become the Alpha male in months to come.

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Too Cute!

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“I is shy”

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Pin-up Pip
Pip was such a good-looking rat!

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Cuddly Boy
Here Pip demonstrates his good nature and patience at being man-handled by young children!

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Guarding the Tube
Pip was a good alpha leader – firm but fair. There were never any serious fights among the pack of four. In fact, when Stripe was ill, Pip was protective of him.

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The Last Days of Pip
Finally one of the last photographs taken of Pipsy, with a yoggie drop in his mouth!

Today my lovely rats are mostly eating ethereal yoggies.

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2 Responses to “Pip Gone to the Bridge”

  1. Such a pretty rat. Stripe too. Sorry for your loss.

  2. Thanks.

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