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Claire and Rey are gone
#1
Claire had been sick and I had been hand feeding her for about a month.  I found a really good vet (the one we got Popeye from) I got some better food (the same Popeye eats) and medicine.  I was soaking her for about 30 minutes every morning and evening.  She was very weak and during one of these soaks she fell in the water, I had walked away and when I got back I tried to get the water out of her lungs but it was too late.  This was a week ago. I felt so guilty I broken down and was nearly inconsolable.  The thing that was suppose to help her ended up killing her.  It's still really rough.  I had her only 4 years but I have no clue how old she was.  I can only guess that she was 3-5 when I got her so that would make her 7-9yrs old.  I just feel could could have had so many more had she been able to get over her illness.


Rey was about a week before that.  I noticed Rey had drastically dropped her activity level just over night and she was bloated.  I took her to the vet and they said she was very prone to cancer and with her being 2yrs I knew she wouldn't have long even if the tests came back and said it was something curable.  So they gave me enough meds for 2 weeks to give her everyday and that if she needed more to call and they would have it ready before I got there.  She only lasted 3 more days and pasted while Kasey and I were out of town on our 1 year anniversary trip.  I was sad but knowing how much pain she was in I'm glad she went quickly.  I had only had her since October but she was such a sweetie.  I think Leia and Padme knew something was up because they left her alone the last 2 days but would check on her.  I just feel bad I wasn't here.  My roommate checked on her multiple times that day.  It was the day we left and I did get to love on her before we left.  I knew she wasn't doing well because she was having a hard time breathing.  The meds calmed her down to where all she wanted to do was sleep so I like to think she wasn't in too much pain if she could sleep.

This same thing happened last spring where I lost Charlie and Buddy a week apart.  It's rough having pets but I wouldn't change it for the world.  They give me so much more than I give them and I give them a lot.  This Dr. Ray that I got Popeye from and took Claire to is great and will actually test poop every 6 month to check for parasites.  She's all about education and trying to keep them from getting sick so it's nice to finally have a vet that not only the ONLY vet in Tennessee that specializes in exotics but she isn't about trying to get every last penny out of her clients.  She lives at her clinic so she can care for the sick animals over night and will forgo sleep to care for them!  She's amazing.  I normally only hear or read about these people I don't usually have the pleasure of seeing them in person.  My animals have never not had needed medical care but the place I used to take them too was not what I would call the best but really my only option before.
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#2
I am so sorry for your losses. Claire was special and you gave her a good life. She could have been a lot older than you thought.
I have noticed that reptiles just start to fail when they get old. You can baby them along, but they age fast. I know you wonder if you failed her because you were not there. She may have fallen into the water because she died. Most reptiles no matter how weak will be able to lift their heads from the water when you soak them. I have never heard of a reptile drowning while being soaked.  
I think you did everything you could for Claire. When their bodies start to fail all you can do is keep them comfortable.

That is so sad about Rey. Reptiles do get cancer. The others would have known, that is why they acted the way they did. Rey wasn't alone, even if you were not there. She had her tank mates and they would have been a comfort. You gave her a safe place to live and she new you valued her. In the end you kept her comfortable and gave her a safe place to die.  Sometimes that is all we can do for our reptiles.

This is the difficult part of rescuing animals. Any pet can die, but with rescues we know so little about age and health. Often we are taking a pet that has already lived its best years. It may be hard, but we will still do it.
I rehomed a number of older corn snakes and other species of snakes 6-8 years ago. I am seeing real signs of aging and I know I am going to have loses this year.

I hope all you other reptiles are doing well. Claire and Rey join a party of your friends who are waiting for you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
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Catherine

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#3
I am really sorry to hear about Claire and Rey, Libby. Bless them.

It is much harder to cope with when you were doing something to try to help Claire too, and an accident happened. I am sorry.

Your vet sounds like a real vet ought to be! It's so good to know someone like that.
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#4
Thank you for your kinda thoughts.

I may have not clarified that Rey was one of my hairless dumbo rats I took in back in October.  I still have her sister's Leia and Padme.  I wrote the post with blurry eyes so I skipped over a small fact. I think knowing when I took the rats that half their life was already over prepared me for losing Rey.
Like you said because I was trying to help Claire and saw real progress happening it was more of a shock. We also suspected she may have had a blockage so that could have been what killed her and she just happened to be soaking one of the thousands times I had soaked her over the years.

All of my other reptiles and the 2 dogs are fairly young and in really good health and with Dr Ray being so awesome in her preventive care I have a feeling my 7 snakes, 2 Leopard geckos, and bearded dragon will have a good long life ahead. Even the dogs have a really good vet. The same one that saved my mom's dog Mia when we found out she had an autoimmune disorder. My mom wouldn't let me take her when I moved out lol.
Unfortunately Leia and Padme are still 2yr old rats so if I'm lucky I can get another year or so out of them. They make of for their short life with how sweet and loving they are the whole time.
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#5
I thought Rey was the Ball Python you rescued. I was surprized because two years old is young for a snake to die.
Sadly for a rat two years is a full life. It is hard when you take a pet that has passed half its normal life span. You know you only have a little time to enjoy them.  I hope Padme and Leia have some good months ahead with you. Rats are  wonderful and sensitive, but they don't live long. You did a kind thing to take them in and let them finish their lives with you.

It is sad about Claire. Once the geckos develop a blockage they never seem to recover. You were doing your best to save her, but sometimes there is nothing you can do. You did keep her comfortable and you met all her needs. Claire had a good life with you. It seems like yesterday when you were excited about getting her, and now she is gone. I know it has been years, but it passed by so quickly. Claire was special and you must miss her a lot.

I am glad your other reptiles are young. You have many happy years ahead with them.
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Catherine

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