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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three ill rats that I, sadly, cannot afford to have treated by a vet. I am a broke college student. I have put away nearly $300 in vet bills since November between Harley and Pyg (who sadly did not survive his head trauma). I still owe $60 to my vet. A new semester starts next week, and I barely have money for books and supplies for school. My parents cannot help me pay my bills either and I don’t have any friends to borrow money from…

Harley: Harley is a strong old girl (2 yrs). She's undergone two surgeries since November (when I had a little money), to have massive tumors removed. However, a third tumor has appeared between her hind legs, literally overnight. It has doubled in size over the last two days and is the most rapid-growing of all of her tumors. She eats more than her fair share and still over-grooms her daughter (who now has a bald spot on her forehead from her mother's attentiveness XP ). She seems content and indifferent towards her tumor.

Baby: Baby, almost two years, has developed the same symptoms of a respiratory illness that killed her father. She has lost a considerable amount of weight and has a quiet wheeze when she breathes. Her wheezing seems to be increasing every day. However, she eats like a pig, is less active than normal but still gets around, cuddles with her mama, and seems otherwise content.

Blazer: Blazer, almost two, also has a tumor deveolping on his side. It is small and developing slowly. The tumor doesn't interfere with his mobility and he is still fat, happy, and goofy as ever before.

I don’t know what I should do!

I know all of them need to see a vet, but I cannot cover the bills! I’ve seen six of my babies pass away over the last three years and I don’t want Harley, Baby, and Blazer to go before they have to. But I feel like there is nothing I can do to help them.

I need some advice, please!

I know that not taking them to the vet is absolutely horrible of me...but what can I do? I still owe my vet money from Harley's last surgery and I have no one who can help me. I'm so confused!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
UPDATE:

I've contacted my vet again and he'll allow for me to make small, monthly payments to cover their treatments! So I'm taking Harley and Baby to the vet tomorrow morning.

Wish my babies luck!

P.S. Sorry for posting without thinking this all the way through. I was frantic and didn't know what to do!
 

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i was just going to suggest a payment plan, but you did that already! sounds like you love them very much. hope everything works out ok.

good luck! :)
 

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also, could you consider pet insurance? some may charge for "exotic" pets (insert eye roll here) but it can save lots of money in the future? now my girls are a year old i am researching insurance at the moment.
 

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harley, glad to hear this!! You have a wonderful vet who won't let the animals suffer under his/her care :)

its a terrible situation to be in. I lost my job and almost lost everything. I had to quit doing elective surgeries, but had enough of a support system that they could still be medicated for illness or pts if they needed it.
 

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Good luck :D

That was very nice of the vet to let you do that. wow 8O I don't even know of any vet that would let make small payments every month.... You're in good hands harleydarley. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone!

Pomperella, I've never even heard of pet insurance. Sounds like a really good idea! I'll definitly look into it! Thanks!
 

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I would be careful with the pet insurance. They will not pay for things that are "genetic" such as rats URI's, and other normal things. They only pay if say your rat gets hit by a car or dropped off a roof or something that would not "normally" happen. Usually you end up paying alot more in then you ever see out.
 

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I agree. Before the rescue, we looked into getting each of our rats insurance. In the long run, for the small exotic animals, it's not so worth it.

In the long run, you'd be better off saving whatever it would cost to insure them in a savings fund that'll build interest. Put how much it'd have cost in there monthly. That way, if something happens, you'll know you'll have the funds.
 

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I agree with what Kimmie said. I'm a broke college student, but luckily my parents give me a set amount of money every month (for my medical bills, prescriptions, bills, and any extra school costs). Sometimes I end up with a lot of leftover money, and sometimes I come pretty close to being broke.

But I always set aside portions of the money towards certain things, one of which being an emergency vet fund. Some months it's only $10 or $20, some months it's a lot higher... but I figure it will certainly pay off in the long run!
 

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ooh, the pet insurance i have seen in the UK is quite different. they pay out for general vet bills - including x rays, operations to remove tumours and such. but i still haven't got it as i do worry i'll get stung! i am worried though about the costs for emergencies! an emergency out of hours trip to teh vet, without any treatment is minimun £80.00. x rays - a further £80.00. Operations have a minimum charge - its horrible. but i think the idea of saving a bit a month is a good idea - especially as insurance in other countries sounds bad!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do have a savings account, but it's currenty occupied with the money needed for next semester for school. Once the beginning of the semester is over and my school fees, books, supplies, etc...are paid, I'll be able to actually use my savings for emergencies rather than paying for books.

The only pet insurance around where I live, that I could find, is supported in and only in Petsmart. You have to use their vets and buy their products. The vets there, however, are awful and I would never take my rats to them. But if insurance is not a good idea, I will probably not get involved with it. I'll just start building my savings back up after my school fees are paid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update on Harley and Baby:

Harley's "tumor" actually decreased in size since yesterday, leading me and the vet to believe that it is not a tumor. The vet advised that I just keep an eye on it. Any ideas as to what if is?

Baby's lungs turned out clear. However, it is her breathing that is the problem. She can take in the air just fine, but when she exhales she has to force the air back out. The stress from her difficulty breathing caused her weight loss. The vet said this had to do with the tissue in her lungs. He said it could be infection or cancer. I'll be giving her a round of Baytril for ten days.

When Baby sits, she hunches over the side of her shelf. Her fur bristles up and she stares off into space. Is this just because she's concentrating on breathing? Or is it another symptom? I told this to my vet, but he didn't say anything about it.

I did not take Blazer in today, because his growth does not bother him and is very small. I had another male who lived for over three years with a tiny little growth on his side. It didn't seem to bother him in the least. The vet told me that it was fine, but if it started to affect his health, I should bring him in.
 

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Any pictures of the growth's that Harley and blazer have? it could be a sebaceous cyst, and abscess, infected hair folicle or may other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Stephanie, my mother has my digital camera, so I can't take any pictures to upload right now. If their growths are cysts, do they need to be removed?

I can probably get the camera tomorrow and upload some pictures.
 

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Well the sebaceous cyst is what two of my boys had and I have dealt with NUMEROUS abscesses and never even took them to a vet (including one on my brother). But a picture is worth a thousand words so I can't really say. It all depends on how bad they are. If it is a sebaceous cyst you can treat it the same as an abscess but ONLY if you are comfortable doing so. I have posted an abscess treatment outline at the top of this forum topic but again this should only be used if you know that it is an abscess or cyst.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I tried taking some pictures, but all of them didn't turn out really well. Blazer and Harley have dark fur and the growths or bumps are not big enough that they can be seen in a photo. They can be felt, however, but you can't really send touch through the internet.

The bumps are a little squishy and can be nudged around a little. This is what made me believe they were tumors. The funny thing is, Harley's "bump" gets big, about the size of my thumbnail, but then it flattens out again over a couple of days. Right now, it's the size of pinky nail.

Blazer's "bump" hasn't grown at all since I noticed it. It is also soft and jiggly and is the size of my pinky nail.

Sorry that I can't get any good pictures of them. I hope my description might be a little helpful.

On another note, do rats like the taste of Baytril? Harley was put on Baytril after her surgeries and she took to it nicely. Baby even attacks the syringe! She grabs it, bites it, and sucks on it faster than I can give it to her. Do other rats enjoy Baytil as much as my girls do?

Oh, and Baby is doing great! She's up and moving around more. Her breathing is still strained, but her behavior has gotten better. She even followed Harley out of the cage this morning. I think she's put on a little weight, too!
 
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