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On January 18th 2023, my pet rat Enderman (female, a little over 1 yrs old) went in for surgery to have a tumor removed near her back right leg, possibly on one of her teets.

Surgery went well, so I was told. I picked her up, she was extremely loopy & disoriented. I was told she would bounce back within 24 hours. (Given my experience with a previous rat and this same surgery, something felt "off")
Totally normal for any animal or person to be wobbly and disoriented post-surgery. It's lingering effects of the anesthesia and should wear off in a day or two.

Now let's rewind to a week BEFORE surgery, the lady I saw was NOT familiar with rodents, she kept running out to ask my questions to another vet tech (who worked along side the doctor who performs the surgeries) instead of just having that vet tech come in to talk with me.
Was the lady the vet? If so, why was she asking a vet tech questions she as the licensed vet is supposed to know or at least be able to look up? If the lady was just a vet tech, she should be getting answers from the vet or asking the vet to answer your questions and concerns directly.

You have every right to walk right out of the exam room with your pet if you don't feel comfortable with the vet and / or how competent the vet or staff is.

Are there other exotic vets in your area you could see for future care?

Before leaving she told me that on the night before surgery, that I need to take away her food at 10:00pm (drop off was at 8:00am next day) ... This sounded weird to me, since rats do not vomit, so I didn't understand this condition, but figured "they know best" so followed it. (Probably why I am in the mess I am in now)
Not uncommon. It keeps the animal from aspirating any food during surgery. Freak things can happen.

You also have every right to question the vet on anything that doesn't make sense to you.

Back to AFTER I take her home from surgery.

She is not eating or drinking. She is extremely lethargic and doesn't move around at all. She has been secreting porphyrin non-stop from her eyes & nose. She barely grooms herself. All typical signs something is WRONG and when a rat is about to pass on.
This goes on for 2 days, I decided on the 2nd day to put her back in with her cage mate (I typically quarantine for 2 weeks after surgery) in hopes she was just needing a friend. No change.

Again, not uncommon post-surgery. It usually takes a day for animals to be back to normal.

I have stopped putting the ointment they provided for her suture as it was only recommended to keep her from messing with it (she hasn't even acknowledged it is there).
The picture of the surgical site doesn't look too good. I'd keep an eye on it for any sign of infection.

  • Where to get an over-the-counter antibiotic for a rat. (Plus any info on how much/often given)
  • How much food she needs in a single day, and how often.
  • How much water she needs in a single day, and how often.

There are no OTC pain medicines for animals sold online or in stores. Medication and proper dosing should only be prescribed by a vet. Not going to get into the using Human penicillin for the rat 🤐

Can you at least call the vet and discuss antibiotics and any other post-surgery questions and concerns you have? If the vet doesn't give you the answers you need, you'll need to find a new vet. Yes, exotic vets are expensive but owning a critter or any other pet means you have to be able to afford vet care which can be unpredictable.

Water is always given ad libitum. Every rat has their own water need. Besides syringing water, you can offer fruits and baby food.Check your rat's hydration level by pulling up the skin at the back of the neck. If the skin snaps back down, the rat is hydrated. If it slowly sinks back down, the rat needs more fluids. You can increase the amount of water you are syringing or, if the rat is lethargic and just not normal, the vet will have to give subcutaneous fluids.

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CareCredit may be an option to get the vet care your rat needs. What is CareCredit? | CareCredit It's basically a credit card that can be used for health care needs and includes veterinary care. I have no idea how it works, how to qualify, etc so read the web site for more info. The vet may have financial aid options for pet owners in need as well. Call and ask.
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