Monday, April 27, 2009

Two rats

This is one of a pair of rats who were found running loose in the street by a member of the public and brought to our clinic. They're both visibly aged and this one has an injury which I suspect is the result of him chewing out the stitches after removal of a tumour.

At this time of life it's fairly unlikely that they would suddenly make a break for freedom off their own bat and the most likely explanation is that they were turned loose. They're both friendly and well-handled, and my guess is that the owner couldn't face up to the responsibility of deciding either to take them for euthanasia or organise continued treatment. Cost may have been part of this — a private vet would probably charge in the region of £30 to put down and dispose of two rats — but some of it may just have been inability to cope with the idea of sickness and death. In the past we've had stray hamsters with horrible-looking tumours which had obviously been released because the owner just couldn't bear to look at them. 

The clinic vets say these two are quite happy at the moment, but they've probably not got long before we have to put them to sleep.

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