TeeTu, or as he had recently become known as, our Chi-Rat, left us last night. He was an ornery little cuss, and we loved him dearly for that. He was our oldest boy, but that did not slow him down. Nothing did, at least until last night.
After work, Mrs.R and I came home to TeeTu in apparent respiratory distress of some sort. We tried to see if perhaps it was a piece of food lodged in his throat or something similar, but he was not cooperating in any fashion. He was gasping for breathe an becoming more and more agitated as the minutes passed. It was time for a vet visit, hopefully a professional would be able to solve this quickly.
I called our rat vet. I cannot say enough good things about this man. An animal lover of absolutely no doubt, Dr. Aziz of Aquitaine Animal Clinic. He offered us an appointment in an hour, then said I will see you then I am just waiting for you. When I said we could leave immediately, he said in his peculiar accent, “come!” We were there in less than 10 minutes.
TeeTu received a full exam. The doctor, working on his own due to it being late in the day, tended to TeeTu, a rambunctious pup that had suffered a severe allergic reaction, and an individual that brought in their cat to be euthanized. All at the same time. TeeTu after being examined and having his temperature uncomfortably taken, was moved to the procedures area. As Mrs.R held TeeTu, Dr. Aziz administered gas to begin sedating TeeTu to continue an even more thorough examination.
A small lump was found in TeeTu’s throat area; the shaver was used to remove the fur in the area; a fine needle aspiration was made; slides made; stains created; and, microscopic analysis was done. TeeTu had the beginnings of a cancerous type of tumor, and it was inoperable. Fortunately it was also very small and with medication the doctor suggested it may be possible for TeeTu to continue for possible another six months.
We took TeeTu home with instructions for giving him MetaCam for reducing the inflammation he was suffering, that was the apparent cause for his gasping breaths. We were also to give TeeTu an antibiotic as the MetaCam is considered an immunosuppressive medication. An infection in TeeTu’s condition would be very bad. We gave TeeTu his first does of MetaCam, which appeared to help. We tried to help clear his nasal passages as the doctor showed us how to, TeeTu would have nothing to do with that. Our Chi-Rat, ornery little one that he was! TeeTu became extremely agitated shortly after that.
Mrs.R recognized the signs … she picked up TeeTu and held him close.
TeeTu entered into a very short, but severe, bout of convulsions. Then he became very quiet, and subdued. Then he passed as Mrs.R stroked his back and told him how much we loved him.