So to follow on from my previous post, Wormy underwent an operation on Thursday.
She recently showed signs of illness (hunched up, fur all puffy), so on Monday I gave her some medication and plannned to take her to the vet on Tues.
Tues arrived and saw us both at the vet (ok ok, all five of us went to the vet – Wormy needed her cage buddies for support) and the vet checked her out. He suspected an enlarged spleen or a tumour so asked me to come in on Wed for an x-ray.
On Wednesday, I arrived, again with all four girls, and the vet mentioned he’d rather do a biopsy. He said we knew it was a lump, so the xray wouldnt help much. I agreed and left them with him and went to do some reports/work at a local coffee shop while I waited. 20 minutes later I got a call to come collect. I would get news on Thursday.
Thursday came and I got a call in the morning confirming cancerous lymphnodes in the spleen. The vet recommended either an op or medication to make her comfortable until The End. I chose op, no question about it. She had just recently turned two and was still otherwise healthy. I was also confident with the vet as they have performed successful ops on rats many times before. I was asked to bring her in as soon as possible so I did, this time sans my other three girls.
They scheduled her for 11am and at 11:30am I got a call to say the op was successful and she is in recovery. At 3:30pm I got another call to say she was awake and ready to go home. I collected her at 5pm and brought her home. The vet said her spleen was 60% tumour and would have ruptured (which is fatal) within the next few days. I’m so glad I took her in and everything was so prompt!!
This is when the trouble started. See, this Friday was a public holiday and most vets are closed, including mine. Wormy relentlessly tugged and pulled at her stitches and successfully pulled out two by the next morning. When I noticed at midnight on Thursday evening that she had removed one, exposing the secondary stitches beneath, I made the decision to stay awake the whole night until I could try find an open vet to fix the stitches. I literally stayed on the couch, focused on lifting her head whenever she started towards her stitches. This was the longest night of my life. I was so tired and frustrated, I hope never to have to go through that again. Poor Wormy got some very harsh words throughout the night. Finally, at 2.30am I phoned the After Hours clicic (read: vet that charges a fortune!) and asked their advice. They were honest in saying they dont have the medication required for rats but they agreed I could send them an image from my cellphone so they could see how bad the damage was. In the end, they couldnt help, so back I went to keeping Wormy from tearing out the rest of her stitches.
By 3am (or just before) I ended up calling my vet on his cellphone (which I got from his answering machine message), and he sleepily agreed to see her at 7am on the public holiday (I’m bringing him some chocolates or biltong or something next time!). So at 6:45am I was waiting outside his practise. Lo and behold, Wormy fell asleep in the car. Typical! I guess I should have just driven around all night. Sigh!
He opened up and I brought her in. In all of ten minutes he had her glued back up again and added three small skin staples and I was on my way. I tucked her into a clean cage and left her with Iso for the day. When I returned at 17:30, she had only removed one staple (but she had started on that on already before I left).
This morning, she is perked up a little more and all incisions are still closed (a little weep-stained though) and all staples still in tact (touch wood). She’s still eating only small amounts, but I’m keeping an eye on her and I think her apetite will grow soon. She’s loving the chocolate she’s been getting haha!
I also emailed my breeder to let her know about the op, and while I was doing so, I looked up some old photos of Wormy when she was still a baby. I thought I had to post them here
The vet bill thus far is about R1000, but my girls are worth every penny!
Wormy (in front) and the late Ramoth before I got them
Wormy in the cage after she was delivered
A typical Wormy face <3
Wormy sleeping behind my thighs