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AZUR Klingklang Gesang (Ding Dong Song) aka "Gus"

NARR: 08AZUR0043/05NM
Color: Russian Blue
Ears: Dumbo
Coat: Standard
Markings: Berkshire
D.O.B. 6/19/2008
Litter Page: Bessi x Cadbury Litter at AZUR
D.O.D 4/11/2011
Cause of death:Euthanasia - failing quality of life, possible osteosarcoma
Breeding Status: Neutered, Pet Only, Never Bred
Show Results: Not Shown

Notes: Gus and Schnee arrived here at about 6 months old to keep Chortle company. Though he was never quite as skittish as Schnee, Gus also can be easily spooked by something that he is not used to hearing or seeing. He never showed any aggression issues like his brother, but both were neutered at the same time after their incoming quarentine period was over, to try and keep them on the same level with each other and help ease their introduction to Chortle. Gus is fairly outgoing and inquisitive most of the time, and a bit of a chow hound, ALWAYS interested in getting treats! He also gives lots of kisses and fancies himself the top rat in the group, pushing the other guys out of the way when he wants something, especially food! He's a friendly guy who enjoys coming over to say hi to people as they come in.

Gus has continued to be welcoming to his new friends as they join the group, and curious and inquisitive about things going on in the cage. He has started showing some hind end weakness in the past little while, since he hit about 32 months of age, but is still climbing and getting around without any problems. He no longer tries for the 'top rat' position, but is happy to just be part of a big rat pile taking a nap in a hammock! He's a sweet guy!

Gus started having hind end weakness around the same time as his brother, a few months prior to death, but it didn't slow him down much. After his brother died, Gus started going downhill rapidly, having more hind end weakness issues, as well as significant coordination issues, resulting in his inability to climb or avoid falling very easily, and a difficulty holding food. He developed a head tilt and a noticable, hard bony lump on the left top side of his skull (pictures are available here. Due to his failing quality of life and difficulties he was having we decided to euthanize him to prevent any unnecessary suffering. In a post mortem exam by our veterinarian, it appeared the lump was bone and growing in/on the skull, indicating a potential osteosarcoma, and certainly a neoplasm of some sort. As he is a pet only rat, and has no known relatives for many generations back still being used in any lines, we opted not to send samples out for a whole workup to confirm that diagnosis, so it remains a 'possible osteosarcoma. It is almost certainly this bony growth that lead to his problems with coordination, weakness, and holding food.

We feel its good to note that this lump was not even palpable or visible until very close to the end of his life, and did not seem to be causing him significant discomfort. Up until his last day he was boggling, giving kisses, cruising around as best he could, grabbing treats, and being overall a happy and comfortable rat! We'll certainly miss our Gus-gus here, but he had a long life with us and we were happy to have him here!

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