Monday, August 2, 2010

Rat discrimination

Last week, I had the opportunity to take a tumor of a little rat named Fonsworth. She is the sweetest little rat that there ever could be. I just wanted to give Fonsworth's "mom" the biggest hug for having this tumor taken off. She had actually been to another vet awhile back that said nothing could be done. And so the tumor got bigger, but it was in a pretty good location to be able to be removed. Now rats are little tumor growing factories so to speak, but a lot of the tumors they get are benign. They just get so darn big that they do gross things like break open and get infected. But if taken off early, surgery can make big difference in a little rat's life.

I must admit there were a few snickers about doing surgery on this rat, but not from me. I think it is shameful that rats are discriminated against. No one would say a thing if this were a dog or cat. So why should a rat be different? Some said why do surgery on a little critter that can be replaced for not very much money? Uh, I have yet to pay one dime for any of my cats, but I spend lots of money to feed, spay/neuter, and give flea and heartworm prevention to them. Plus treat them for their illnesses if anything goes wrong. I have only bought one dog in my life (a hunting beagle for my husband). Every other dog I have ever owned as been free. Ok, acquiring them has been free. Afterwards, not so much. Just ask me about the "free" beagle I adopted that got a stick up inside her nasal passage a few weeks after I got her. A trip to the specialty clinic and several hundred dollars later, not so free.

Maybe it is the life span issue. But again, I clean teeth and take lumps off my 13 and 14 year old dogs that may only live another year at most. So do a lot of my clients. So I am not buying that either.

I just think rats have a stigma. So rat lovers unite! Spread the word that they are not disgusting little vermin running around the barns and fields and buildings of this country. Well, ok the ones that run around barns and buildings are disgusting vermin. But no, I'm talking pet rats here. I for one think they should be treated like any of our other pets we keep in our homes. Just meet Fonsworth. She will make a believer out of you.


  1. What a great blog entry and what a sweet-faced little rat Fonsworth is! I'm a rat lover myself and right now I'm sitting next to my sweet Norrie who underwent an emergency spay this morning to resolve a sudden but serious pyometra. So many thanks to you and the other vets who realize that it's not "just a rat."

  2. Poor little Norrie. Hope she is doing ok today.

  3. Love it! We just had surgery on our rat to remove a large tumor. It was money well-spent, even though she's a relatively old rat. She's a great pet and we'd do the same for our cats or dog. My oldest cat is on 2 meds already. Thanks for the support!