Monthly Archives: August 2008

To The Vet, Or Not To The Vet?

That is NOT the question!

Good intentions are one thing, poor judgement is something altogether different.

It is quite a common thing to find on forums, especially pet related forums, backyard vets and other wannabe medical professionals hiding behind the screens of the Internet.  Now that is an extreme point of view and fortunately it also seems to be a cyclical event on forums. Also, fortunately there are many rat community members that have many years of experience that they are willing to share in attempts to help another rat keeper bide their time until their next vet appointment.

It also does not help that new, and old alike, rat keepers tend to find themselves weighing the cost of a vet visit versus the welfare of their pet. I’m not singling out rat keepers, it just happens my family has had pet rats for several years and we are familiar with them and some of the online rat communities.  Nor am I saying all people that chose rats for pets are this way.

It is also a sad fact of life that people will try to find the easiest way to do something, which includes the care of their pets.  Easy may mean less expensive; maybe not having to leave the house; or, simply not having to bother with the issue at all and hoping that if ignored it will go away. Sometimes easy is just another word for excuses.

Instead of getting a professional opinion from a qualified veterinarian many people simply ask randomly on forums or other venues their questions and then quite simply most will then follow the strongest reply, or the most well written answer, or judge the merit of the person’s suggestion by how many thousands of posts they have made on that particular site.

Good intentions are one thing, poor judgement is something altogether different.

If your rat is not well, or you believe your pet is feeling ill, then all the research you do as a lay person is most likely just going to allow you to either ask a more intelligent question of your veterinarian, or allow your veterinarian to use more succinct wording with their explanations.

BUT, with emphasis on this point, the key here is take your rat to your vet if it is not well; or, even if it is doing just fine and you want your vet to have a benchmark for future reference. All the suggestions in the world from well meaning forums members, and yes even the harsh and rude ones, will not replace a proper exam by a qualified professional.

At we strive to have our members share first-hand experience about their rats, especially when it comes to their welfare, but we also recognize that the diagnosis from a qualified veterinarian is one of the most important things when treating a sick pet.

Good Bye Sweet Pea!

Our little girl passed today.  It’s been a long few weeks as we helped her valiantly fight a very difficult and aggressive bacterial infection.  Our vet did all he could, we did all we could … Sweet Pea did all she could to fight and stay with us.

She spent most of the day in my arms sleeping; when she woke she would take some water and some food by dropper.  She tried so hard to drink and eat, making us proud of her efforts. Her last breaths were with Mrs.R, nestled in the crook of her arm, as she appeared to be waiting to say good bye to her “mommy”

She will be deeply missed. She is survived by her brothers, Dash and Bruiser, and her father Inky.

Mrs.R made this video: In Memory of Sweet Pea!

Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Does the spirit know to continue on by itself?  Does the soul know when the time to loose its mortal coil has arrived?  These are questions, amongst many, that are asked when times are hardest on the sick and their caregivers, on all of us and our pets.

We keep going, that is just what we do.  We strive to live; it is in our very nature to continue to breath.  This is not a conscious thought process but something instilled by nature itself.

Do we have the right to choose when another soul should be set free? I do not believe anyone can truly make that decision, but we are still burdened with the choice all the same. We are given into our care the animals of this earth and it is their health and well being that is our responsibility.

How much must we care? Enough.  How many times will our hearts be broken? More. Can we continue with our efforts and our actions? How can we not? When our hope flags and our resolve weakens, we seek help fom our friends, from our peers, from all our resources.

Pray, even if you don’t believe; hope, even if the future is dim; and believe in the power of positive thought.

Faith, hope, and charity.

Gathering Kindness

You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.
~~ Zig Ziglar

What a handle on life to have.  It’s seems like such a simple concept, help enough other people get what they want and you will get what you want.  Of course, it would be important to know what you want out of life to begin with, but perhaps that is not really the point.  Helping others does provide significant rewards in and of itself.  Seeing another person excel in an activity or field of study that they were struggling with is immensely satisfying if you were able to help them along the way.  Especially having the favor returned sometime down the road, not out of necessity, but out of kindness is even more appreciated than words can say.

Gather to yourself friends and family, companions and co-workers, and help them through their days and lives and you will be rewarded; not for a debt, but simply as a return of your own kindness.

Life is Not an ISO Standard

Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening.
~~ Barbara Tober

Tradition can often cause the wrong actions to be taken as well.  Just because something has been done a certain way for a great deal of time does not make it right or correct, it just makes it like every other time.

A repetitive action or process can actually be quite harmful, such as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) come to mind. Where is it written than one cannot change the ways things are done?  Who said something must always be done the same way? Of course, some methods are tried and true and work quite well, does that also mean they cannot be improved upon?

I’m sure leeching was a grand ole thing to cure what ails you in the middle ages, but I think I much prefer modern day medicine and its advancements, even when it still involves leeches.

Keep an open mind to the way things are done, just because its been done that way for generations there is no reason it has to keep being done the same way.  Life is not an ISO standard!

Google Rat

Google, the great search engine.  Quite honestly in the beginning I was not a fan, now it’s a part of my everyday life, besides who could resist a site that does things like this:

Google Loves Rats!
Google Loves Rats!

Thanks Google, I really appreciate these “rat” themed ones the most.