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Discussion Starter #1
Alrighty then.

I'm doing research in my area before I get rats, calling around to see what vets in my area will treat rats so I can be prepared... I just got off the phone with a Dr McNeil in my area. He will treat pet rats (cool), but he seems to be VERY wrong about rats as pets... at least, as far as what I've been researching goes.

Some of the things he said that I'm really confused about:

Female rats are much friendlier and cuddlier.
Male rats are aggressive and much more likely to bite you.
There is no reason to spay a rat to reduce the risk of tumors.
Rats are very healthy and hardly ever get sick. (myco?)


I thought female rats were the more playful of the two, but cuddlier? And I've heard limited cases of males being aggressive, but as a rule I thought they were cuddly squish lap rats! And not spaying to reduce tumors??? He actually said that he doesn't know of any vets that would recommend spaying to reduce tumors. Also said that since rats' lives are so short, once they get mammary tumors they might as well be put down. :evil:

I knew it would be hard in my area to find a decent vet because rats aren't popular pets in Oklahoma, but it upsets me all the same.
 

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Forget the first 3 statements, that last one worries me. Rats can get sick all the time (URI, UTI, treatment for lice/mites, inner ear infection, stroke or pituitary tumours (the last 3 have more or less the same treatment), mammary tumours, cancerous tumours, abscesses, etc...to name a few :roll:

He must not have a lot of experience with rats if that is what he is claiming. :lol:

If you really want to test him, as what his treatment for inner ear infection or stroke would be. A good vet has a strong ab (baytril usually) and a steroid (prednisone is the norm). A bad vet may give you just baytril or something weaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And a receptionist just laughed at me. Seriously. Laughed at me.

"I was wondering if Dr. -- treated pet rats?"
"Oh--*laughing*--no, of course not. He only treats cats and dogs."

... "of course not"... like it would be silly of me to think of them treating rats even though in the phone book they are listed as a "small animal clinic." I guess "small animal" = "cats and dogs".

Twenty-something vets down. Three more on the list within 30 minutes of me. Only one so far who will treat rats, but they only spay/neuter. Great.
 

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Katherose said:
And a receptionist just laughed at me. Seriously. Laughed at me.

"I was wondering if Dr. -- treated pet rats?"
"Oh--*laughing*--no, of course not. He only treats cats and dogs."

... "of course not"... like it would be silly of me to think of them treating rats even though in the phone book they are listed as a "small animal clinic." I guess "small animal" = "cats and dogs".
yeah, i got that too when i was calling around my local area. its like the only pets anyone can have are dogs and cats.
 

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Geez. It sounds like you're going to end up with a regular vet who doesn't know what they are doing really. Just because a vet will see rats doesn't mean they know a darn thing about them. You can't find any exotics/small animal vets around you?

Have you checked the recommended rat vet lists?: http://www.petinfopackets.com/rats/rathealth.html#vetlists



If you really have to go with one of these less experienced vets I recommend getting them this booklet: http://www.craftyrat.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=BR-002&Category_Code=BR
 

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You will want to look for exotics vets. Rats, mice, hamsters....all considered exotics. Often I find these types of vets to be better anyways, because they stay "in the know" more than your typical small animal vet, who just shoves science diet and tooth cleanings down everyone's throat. Can't do that to rats, so why bother.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yay! I found a vet near me who is an exotic vet and is very knowledgeable in rats. *happy sigh* Neels Veterinary Hospital about 5 minutes from where I live. Last on my list of places to check but ends up being the best in the area and closest. :)
 

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Yay... I'm happy for you! There's an exotic vet close to me at home (a 10-15 minute drive with no traffic), but I have to drive about 50 miles to get to the closest exotic vet here at school. No gooooood.
 

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Females are the more likely biters, it depends when you get them though. Males are the ones that will sit in your lap and snuggle, and females are the ones that act like they have had 100 cups of coffee. My wife says males are boring, I say females are a handfull... apples and oranges, but both good fruit.

Females are more protective of their cages, but I think if you get a pair of rats that has their first real home be your home, then there is nothing to worry about either way.

Everyone here will say don't go to a pet store get a rescue, rats shouldn't be "bought" yadda yadda, but you don't want to be trying to fix what someone else screwed up when you are just learning how to care for rats in the first place. Try to get them young and try to get them where you are their first real home so they can grow with you.

Good luck!
 

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what a muppet dont go to him!!! keep calling around dont know much more cause vets in england treat everything really :) shame they arnt the same there :(
 

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When i called around here i got vets who were willing to see my rats...but not treat them....what is that??? Luckily i did end up finding a wonderful vet (after a couple of duds who knew about rats but were jerks.) I suggest asking to go in for an interview. I could have saved myself a lot of money and trouble.
 

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That's interesting on that website of recommended rat vets...
The vet I called today regarding fixing rats wasn't listed there. In fact, neither was the other one I called, who said they neuter but wont spay because there's not enough practice in spaying females. o_O

I think in most rodents the females are generally a little more wild/flighty/aggressive, and rats are no exception. Baby-protecting instincts, maybe?

At first I thought there wasn't much of a point to spending a whole lot on a pet that will only live a couple years, but now I feel differently. Even if they only live 2 to 3.5 years, the least I can do as their owner is make those years comfortable for them, after all, I believe that to a little rat, 3 years is much longer than it is to us humans.
 

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Katherose said:
Also said that since rats' lives are so short, once they get mammary tumors they might as well be put down. :evil:
That's a lie.
I noticed Dotty had a lump about 4 months ago, I admit it's getting bigger and her time may be gettin shorter( :( ) but otherwise she's a healthy, happy rattie and the lump isn't bothering her.




yashu said:
Females are the more likely biters, it depends when you get them though.
Females are more protective of their cages.
I didn't know that!
I always thought that males and females are as likely to bite as each other - if you get that. I can believe they are more protective of their cages though.
 

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All animals can get sick. Rats are no different. They can get a miriad of medical conditions especially later in life. MOST conditions are treatable. Any vet who says "if your animal gets sick might as well put them down" shouldn't have ever graduated Veterinary school.

As for chances being high or low i really don't know how to answer that. Rats have just as much chance as any other pet of getting sick.
 

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it depends on the conditions a rat is living in and it's genetics. just like humans some rats will be more prone to illness then others simply because of the chance genetics it ended up with. and of course the environment and diet will play a important part, again like humans. if you aren't getting your proper nutrition a person is more suspectiable to illness, same is true for rat. if either is living alone or confined to a space that's too small then they will have mental side effects that can reduce their immune system and make them more likely to get ill. and i think the most obvisous is if a person or rat is living in an environment that is toxic to them (pine and cedar for rats, smog and heavy pollutants for humans).

all that being said, a rat i likely to get sick at least once(likely more) in its life time. sometimes, if caught early and treated properly then the rat can recover and live for quite some time afterwards. that may not always be the case however and sometimes the illness is just too strong. often, a rat will get sick closer to the end of its life and make fighting the illness harder. however, a young rat can still get sick too and any age can get mites. its always important to have a rat friendly and experienced vet for your pet before you need him. it can take weeks to find a suitable one in some places and that's not time that your rat can afford if it gets really sick.
 

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My issue recently was finding a 24 hour emergency clinic to see my rat. Most didn't treat rats at all, and past midnight the few that did didn't have the people who saw rats on the premises that late. (As if rats can only get sick during normal operating hours.)

Fortunately we ended up at a great clinic who gave us a wonderful vet referral.

What's even more strange to me is that I live near Los Angeles. You'd think a city like that would have more vets handling exotics 24/7.
 

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Macabri said:
You'd think a city like that would have more vets handling exotics 24/7.
You'd think! Weird... I'm in Fresno and we have one here, and we are WAY smaller than LA.

emster said:
I noticed Dotty had a lump about 4 months ago, I admit it's getting bigger and her time may be gettin shorter( ) but otherwise she's a healthy, happy rattie and the lump isn't bothering her.
Has she seen the doctor? What kind of lump is it?
 
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