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Discussion Starter #1
Rokk and I went to the vet today for his scheduled staple removal. He was really calm on the way there and while we were waiting, no scared poopies this time. I was expecting the vet who performed the surgery and checked him over afterwards to be removing the staples, but a couple of the vet techs took us back and said they would do it. One of them held Rokk, wrapped in a towel, and the other one started to work on the staples. After much squeaking and struggling from Rokk (and now the scared poopies were starting), the vet techs told me I should hold him because he was struggling so much. So I held my baby still while she went to work again, trying to calm him down, using all of my silly baby talk, and he did struggle less. But they couldn't get the two staples out. So they went to find one of the doctors. She came in and I held Rokk some more while she tried for a while. No luck. The staples were bent and had turned a little (one of them already had been like that when we went in for the post-op appointment, but the vet only commented and made no indication it was a problem of any kind). They couldn't get the instrument under the staples. But that vet thought one of the other vets would be able to get it, so she left to find that one. This one tried for a few minutes, and couldn't get them out. The other vet came in with some smaller instrument and tried again. Still couldn't get them. By then, Rokk had peed and pooped all over the place, and was very distressed. The incision had started to come open, and now there's a little wound near one of the staples that was bleeding a little bit. At one point I let him run back into the carrier, and he scratched some more fur off his head. This whole process took an hour.

We have to go back Tuesday morning to probably sedate him so they can get the staples out.

My consolation is that even while I was holding him through all of that and my hands were right near his head, he never bit me. He did lick my finger frantically at one point, but it was like he understood I didn't like what was happening to him any more than he did. Also, I feel quite justified now in not wanting to go back to that place with my rats. People had been questioning that and for some reason, just not liking and not feeling comfortable with a vet is not on the same level as feeling that way about a doctor. The next person to use the phrase "just a rat" or "just an animal" is going to get smacked in the face.

*sigh* I just needed to rant a bit. Neither one of us is very happy right now.
 

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Argh! I've had conversations with a few people who's vets used staples, and I'll never understand why they don't choose to use glue or dissolvable stitches instead! :(

Poor Rokk & poor you! I think I'd choose not to return to that vet if I were you.
 

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that's a bummer, i'm sorry you had a bad experience with your vet. i think that some vets choose staples over dissolvable stitches or skin glue because they can cause a bad reaction and maybe cuz your ratty is so small a reaction could be much worse for them. plus, rats are very active and staples are generally sturdy and permanent in that they must be removed with tools, and not energetic little ratty feet, whereas stitches or glue can be pulled open much easier in comparison.
 

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I personally despise staples. :(
My vet has a standing order to not use them unless its truly needed. She used dissolvable stitches and surgical glue, especially for neuters. The stapls make them pick at it and the healing is delayed. Within a few days the regular (unstapled) neuter is almost healed but with staples, they have to finish healing after the staples are removed.

good luck with Rokk and I suggest telling them you don't want staples again. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone ^_^

I'm not going to let them use staples again, after I've had experience with them. The vet used glue as well, "in case the staples came out", so I don't understand why the staples were used in the first place over stitches.

I'm not going back to this vet clinic with my rats, either. They're great with our cats, but I'm not comfortable taking my rats there. I've heard really good things about a couple other vets in my area, so next time I'll try one of them.

The biggest things that got to me about this experience was that the vet never indicated that a turned staple would complicate the removal at all, and yesterday she was not even there. She is the only vet there who works on rats, so everyone else who tried specialized in dogs or cats. My appointment (which we had scheduled the day of the neuter) should have been rescheduled to a day when she was there. Everyone who tried to get the staples out yesterday were surprised that staples were in at all, and it was frustrating to know that no one else there had experience with removing staples from a rat (almost everyone made some sort of comment about how "Dr. Evans probably could have gotten them out")

Hopefully she will be able to get them out Tuesday without sedating him.
 

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My vet had 4 staples out in 10 seconds...rat barely noticed so I would think sedation should not be required. I'd be peeved if it was and make sure they don't charge you for it (their incompetence not yours).
 
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