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African Pouched RatKali aged 6 weeks
Kali's vital statistics
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Species: African Pouched Rat (Cricetomys gambianus)



29 December

Kali hasn’t had a very good Christmas. Over the past couple of days her symptoms have got worse again and she is having difficulty breathing. Her breathing was very bad on Sunday night but, thankfully, it has improved a bit since then. I haven’t tried to shampoo her with the medicated shampoo – I know she wouldn’t let me – and her patches of flaky skin have spread. She is also loosing the fur where the skin flakes off.

She’s due to go back to the vets in early January so I’ll ask if there is an alternative treatment to the shampoo. I'll also ask what we can do to confirm the diagnosis of the heart problem.

6 December

Kali has started to show some small signs of improvement at last. Her breathing seems to be a little easier and she is more alert and has more energy. I don’t know if the improvement is due to the medicines starting to work or because I’ve changed her house and bedding. Kali has developed some dry flaky patches of skin on her rump. They don’t seem to be sore or itchy and Kali isn’t bothered by them.

She went back to the vets today for a check up and the vet remarked how much better she was looking. We’ve decided to keep her on the medication until after Christmas and see if she continues to improve. The vet thought that the flakey skin patches could be cause by either a bacterial or a fungal infection. He said that such symptoms can occur with heart problems. Poor circulation reduces the amount of blood getting to the extremities and the body doesn’t fight off infections very well. He has given me some antibacterial/fungal shampoo to treat Kali with but I’m sure I wont be able to shampoo her!

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