So, my oldest rat, Sammi, has been diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. And as a symptom of this is increased porphyrin, and I can't seem to get all the crusties from her eyes! Is there an easy way to do this? Besides bathing her, I don't want her to be bathed four times a day, and be cold and wet..she's already sick!
I had several sibling rats pass away with tumours. I'm so sorry your Sammi is unwell.
It's true that euthanasia really is the kindest thing, as tumours are rarely if ever cured (mine all had surgery and medication to no avail at all), but if she's not stiff and spike-furred (in pain) and there's no disabling neurological problems yet, then perhaps she can enjoy some more time with you. I know body tumours grow very quickly in rats but I am not sure about brain tumours. Perhaps they respond better to meds.
Anyway, while it's just her eye secretions that's a bother, you can use a soft natural cotton eye makeup removal pad (which does NOT have cleanser in it!) soaked in some luke warm salt water. About a pinch of salt to a coffee mug of pre-boiled lukewarm water (make sure it's not HOT) and gently wipe at the crust, wait a minute if it's dry so it softens and then wipe again.
Good luck with that if she's still able to be wiggly though! :)
She doesn't seem in pain, just sleepy. But when she's awake, she Moises around, like a furry snake, getting into her wierd paws straight position to eat whatever snack I'm giving her.
The thing is her personality hasnt changed, just her body. I feel bad, cause she's still so full of life!
It's almost $200 for euthanasia at the only vet around who does "exotic" pets. Ugh. I keep expecting to look over and find her sides stopped moving. =[
I'm so sorry to hear that your little girl is sick. Its hard to watch them grow old and sick, and its not fair that our pets' lives are so much shorter than our own. I'm sure you've given her a wonderful life! *hugs*
As long as she's eating and comfortable, I think its reasonable to keep her going. When she's not enjoying life anymore, you'll know.
As an FYI, most vets around here will euthanize pocket pets and exotics even if they don't treat them. This may also be the case where you live. A few phone calls will help you find out.
Euthanasia solution is an expensive drug. And I know that price/cost of living is different in different areas... but $200 seems exorbitant. A regular vet (not exotic) will likely be less expensive. See above. Also, if you're sure its time for her to go, you can ask that there be no exam, just euthanasia. If the vet will do that, this will save you money, too.
Also FYI, the vet's method of euthanizing rats can vary widely. This might be gruesome, so prepare yourself for this next part. But you need to know. Most euthanasia solution is pentobarbitol. This is a barbituate, but also an anesthetic. So euthanasia with this drug is basically an overdose of anesthetic- they fall asleep like they were going out for surgery, but then they keep going. This drug is considered the only humane drug to use.
Again, this part is gruesome, I'm sorry... Euthanasia in rats can be accomplished either by injecting the euthanasia solution directly into the heart, or into the abdomen. If it is accurately injected into the heart it is instantaneous. If it is injected into the abdomen, they slowly and peacefully go to sleep. If it were my pet, I would make sure they "mask down" my rat with a gaseous anesthetic (like isofluorane) before they made the injection.
If you wanted to be with your rat when she passed, you could request the mask down and abdominal injection. Then they could bring her to you to hold as she passed. If you did not want to be with her, I would request the mask down and cardiac injection.
Again, I'm very sorry you're going through this. My thoughts are with you!
$200 for euthanising a rat is just ridiculous. My boys were properly put to sleep and it cost maybe $40 for each. I did not have them examined, but the vet knew their tumor history and had no problem with that.
I'm glad your ratty is still enjoying her life. If she's eating and ambling around, those are good signs. I hope she manages to do so for a long time to come - but I'd be shopping around for a cheaper vet, for when she declines.
Brain tumors can cause sudden bouts of extreme aggression, too. I've seen it in several species, including rats. It's kind of scary, but not their fault after all. That'd be another reason to look for a more compassionate (cheaper) vet, also.
I read in your sig that she's only a year old? Wow. Again, so sorry this happened to your little ratty. They really are precious little animals, I miss keeping them a lot.
I actually got Sammi last year for my birthday, which was the sixth. My friends bought me her, and after digging into where they got her, it's found she was a feeder rat, inbred, and most likely full of illnesses. But I loved her all the same, and still do, been babying her so much! She seems to be enjoying it immensely, but her eyes are so porphy its sad! I've tried a facecloth in warm water, it's just so crusted and she just moves her head and it's hard to keep it on one place before it cools down...
Also, the other vet near me won't do injection on small animals, only gas, and I won't do that.
Gas on a very small animal is pretty quick, like falling asleep and not waking up. But then, she's your rat and you must do what you feel is best for her, when the time comes.
I was lucky, with some of the feeder rats I adopted. One albino male I got as a skinny fuzzlet lived almost four years and turned into a massive blimp. I didn't have such good luck with the girls but at least they had a happy, fun and much-loved existence for a while.
Perhaps lots of little dabs with a soft cloth could help soften the porph up some?
I hate when people treat feeder rats poorly. I never buy ours from those mills, it's not that hard to treat the rats properly and to breed only healthy rats to avoid those problems. They deserve just as much care in life as a show or pet rat does, no matter what their purpose is. All animals deserve the same respect, be they food or pets.
So sorry your little girl isn't well. :( I'm happy she's still being a sweet little rat for you while she is still around.