In the course of a rat’s life, operations are often necessary. Unfortunately, the animals often develop tumors or abscesses. In the case of small rodents, pre-and post-operative care is (life) important.
Unfortunately, pet rats often develop tumors and abscesses. However, male animals are also being castrated more and more frequently. With such operations, it is important that the owner supports the recovery with optimal pre-and post-operative care. The decision for or against an operation (with all associated risks) must be made together with your veterinarian. Discover the first signs of illness shortly before the operation, e.g. B. sneezing, nasal discharge, diarrhea, lack of appetite, etc., the operation may have to be postponed – in consultation with the veterinarian.
Apart from the reason for the operation (tumor, abscess, etc.), the rat must be absolutely healthy. Before the surgery, your rat should have enough food and water. Rodents have a very fast metabolism and are dependent on a constant supply of food. Unlike dogs and cats, they cannot vomit, so there is no risk of vomit getting into their lungs.
Before the operation
A darkened transport box is used for the way to the vet and for storage until the operation. The box is lined with kitchen paper so that after the procedure you can immediately see whether blood or pus is leaking from the wound and whether feces and urine are being passed. In addition, you should offer your rat a sleeping hut, some dry and juice food, and drinking water that is as fresh as possible.
Ideally, the operation is performed under gas anesthesia, as this type of anesthesia is best tolerated by small rodents. Your vet will likely give the rat an antibiotic and pain medication before surgery. Please find out how often, over what period of time, and in what quantities you have to give the operated animal antibiotics and painkillers. The plan is that you will have to go to the vet again a few days after the operation to check the wound healing and have stitches removed if necessary.
Immediately after the operation, your rat will need to be kept warm with a protected heat pad. Only when the animal is fully awake and ready to be transported can you take it home again. Prepare a special sick cage for this in advance. The cage should be flat and not encourage walking or climbing. In this way, falls from great heights can be avoided. Disinfect the sick cage and line it with kitchen paper, which you change several times a day. The rat does not get exercise in the first few days.
So that the sick rat does not have to stay alone (this would mean isolation stress!), you should add a pack member with whom it harmonizes well. As soon as the operated rat is no longer dazed after the anesthesia and there is no danger that it could choke, it can be fed again. The diet should initially consist mainly of porridge and fresh food. In the first few days after the operation, make sure that the wound has healed well and that the animal patient is in good general condition.
It is important that the animal eats well and defecates and urinates. Changes in the wound such as B. Blood, pus, swelling, etc. must be checked by your veterinarian. Many rats tend to gnaw their wounds or surgical sutures. If this is the case, please consult your veterinarian.