Tag Archives: vet visit

TeeTu – Rest in Peace

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.

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 www.RatChatter.com 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.