Mabel and Winnie




Mabel and Winnie - my very special girls

PTS May 2008




Boggle Ratter


Winnie grooming Mabel


Mabel with her little dragging back legs


Winnie and her sweet little back feet


May 2008 I found one of the girls had a large amount of bleeding from her bladder and was now unable to move at all - she was vitally unwell and needed hand feeding as she could not get to her water.  We went to the vet who said she most likely was spetic due to low sphincter tone in her bladder letting bacteria infect her kidneys.  It was a terrible decision but we decided to have her and her sister PTS.  Her sister was most likely going to suffer the same way as she had the same congenital defects.    It would have also been cruel to keep one rat alone as she was unable to be housed with normal rats as they would attack her.

They were PTS gently and quietly together.

RIP Mabel and Winnie!


Mabel and Winnie (originally named B1 and B2) came to live with me on Feb 6th, 2008.  I was originally going to take a mouse or two from their owner but she offered me these girls instead as she felt she could not give them enough time with a toddler and another baby on the way.  She had cared for them for 8 months and they were adult rats when she acquired them from an old lady.

We estimated they were around 12 months old and are sisters.  They are very similar in appearance however Winnie has a broken area along her brown markings mid back and Mabel has a broken coloured area closer to her tail.  I get them confused.

Both the girls have congenital malformations of their spine causing spinal cord compression/stenosis.  It is evident when feeling their spine around their thoracic area (at the base of their hoods) there seems to be thickening of the vertebrae and a slight deviation away from straight.  This has resulted in some paralysis of their hind quarters.   They are both similarly affected.   They have rather atrophied (smaller) back limbs and their little back feet are a little curly looking and limp.   Strangely they are able to scratch themselves with their hind legs but have little movement in their actual feet.  One can walk right up high on her back limbs but will fall straight over after a few steps.  They generally walk by dragging their back legs which will roll back and forth.

They are VERY strongly bonded - they groom each other and watch out for each other wherever the other goes.  If I try to take one out the other bites me.  They are very protective as they are very vulnerable.

As you can imagine they require special care mainly with housing.  They are housed in deep soft litter to avoid pressure sores or grazing from dragging their legs.  They are unable to climb or use ladders so they have a flat home with everything in easy access.  

They must be kept lean to avoid further pressure on their spinal cords.   They are not in pain and appear to be quite content, enjoy food and biting me!   They will live with me for their whole lives.

I am in love - they are very special little girls...and they can boggle like no other rats I know!


We love our new cage - new smells, sights and textures..



My little feet