Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rat drama

If it's not one thing it's the next, and if it's not the next it's...  the rats.

Ryan's brand new rat Holly has been sneezing.  She's been sneezing a lot, and her sneezes are getting juicier and juicier.  That's not good.

She's still under warranty, so I called PetSmart.  It turns out that Holly can be returned or exchanged,  but she's not eligible for free health care.

Great.

Does this look like a child who wants to return his rat?
So, today we boxed her up and took her to the vet.  
Yup, the vet.
With any luck, Holly will be fully recovered within the week.  I wish I could say the same for my checking account!

Will this be the next saddle rat?

She darn well better be.  She owes me that much.

8 comments:

  1. But she's cute!!!!!!!!

    That's gotten my horse a ridiculous amount of healthcare.

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  2. you can console yourself that you've saved that rat's life. You can bet it wouldn't have ended well if you'd taken her back.

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  3. It still might not end well, but at least she's got a shot. The vet was surprised to see her at this stage. He said they're usually in much worse shape by the time they get brought in... Basil's littermate Cinnamon died from a respiratory infection that wasn't treated immediately so I guess I'm a bit overly cautious!

    Holly is still sneezing this morning but she seems to be feeling GREAT otherwise. She was friendlier this morning than she's ever been, but I don't know if that's getting better or just getting used to us.

    Either way, it was a nice Christmas greeting!

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  4. I don't get the return policy...yes, for the heartless or the folks who haven't seen the poor dear already (ie: gift/giftee). Who could say geez, my rat is sick, here give me a different one? Knowing that one would die or get fed to the snakes. I don't know but someone must return them.

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  5. She looks as if she might make a pretty model for hunter tack. Get well soon, little rat ! Best wishes from Germany. :-)

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  6. Def does not look like a kid who wants to give his rat back. Hope she recovers quickly and fully.

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  7. I hope she is a little better. Rats are unfortunately vulnerable to upper respiratory bacterial infections that aren't completely curable with antibiotics and most vets are not experienced with treating rats. The proper treatment is a 3-week course of Baytril (enrofloxacin) at a dose of 5-10 mg/kg of the rat's weight (I have it compounded at a strength of 20 mg/cc (or ml) so that the dose is very tiny; you measure it with a little syringe). I have a local pharmacist compound it to remove the bitterness and flavor it with banana. The meds cost only $35 mailed to me. Then I mix it with a little cool whip and berry soy yogurt or strawberry Ensure and the rats love it. It is much easier than force feeding it with the syringe. Injections of Baytril are not advised for rats because they tend to develop a sore at the injection site. So much rat advice is on rat forums rather than in books or from your average vet. For all kinds of information, especially medical, you can go to this site and print out pages to bring to the vet: www.ratguide.com. Here is the most important page and it pertains to what your rat has: http://ratguide.com/health/bacteria/mycoplasma_mycoplasmosis.php
    If she is still sneezing, the Baytril will fix her up, but she needs it twice a day for three weeks. Tell your vet you do not want the "injectable" form of Baytril--it is awful tasting and nothing you mix it with will hide the taste. See if you can find a local pharmacist that compounds for veterinarians--they are pretty common these days because it is a large source of business. Some rats need a course of treatment more than once in their life. Unfortunately, mammary tumors are very common in female rats unless they are spayed at an age of 3-4 months, but that requires an experienced vet as does debulking or removing a tumor. They require different care than a dog or cat during surgery. It can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 to spay a female when she is young, but it saves a lot of heartache in the end. They can live a long time with a huge tumor though, and still have good quality of life. If they are still interested in the "Three A's" (Appetite, Affection, and showing Attention to what goes on around them), then they are still enjoying life. When they stop eating or are suffering, euthanasia is the kindest thing to do, but request gas first and not just an injection to the belly. Rats absolutely ADORE humans; it's unfortunate that they do have sort of a steep learning curve at the beginning. Glad to see another child converted :)

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  8. Wow! Thank you for all the good advice. Fortunately, Holly made a complete recovery. She's big and happy and healthy now--definitely the bravest and most out-going of our three rattie girls. I'm really glad we were able to nurse her back to health. :)

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