Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Patches' First Surgery

Happy Valentine's Day.

Sigh, I got to go to the veterinarian today.

We, including the moral support of Mabel and Doctor, took Patches to the vet today to find out about her tumors.
Female rats frequently have breast tumors. One of the multitude of reasons that rats are used in research.
Anyways, Patches has become quite bumpy. We had initially just been watching as she's my old lady at 2 years of age, but her left armpit lump has been growing fairly quickly. The lump is visible in the following photo.

The vet says she's still young enough for surgery to be beneficial so, Patches goes to surgery on Thursday morning to have two tumors removed. She actually had 3 bumps but the third bump hasn't grown over several months. Unfortunately, the vet does not want to tax Patches too much with the surgery because the two tumors are going to leave a large scar. To put it into perspective, one of the tumors is the size of Patches' head. Imagine how big a surgery that would be for a human.
We have a good vet fortunately. She's operated on several of our rats. I was complimenting her on how neat her stitches are and she was mentioning that she intentionally is diligent with the rats to make very fine stitches and tosses glue in, too. And, she said, that her (the vet's) hands are small which makes it easier to make really small stitches. This is all great, as I am worried for Patches. She is not as healthy as her buddies, ie she's an old lady.
Rats heal very fast, but they are also fastidious about cleaning and are well-known for chewing through a surgeon's handiwork post-op. Yeah, gruesome. Fortunately, we have never had that problem. As I said, we have a good vet.
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