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Once the rat is home from spay or neuter surgery, how do you prevent them from pulling out their stitches? Do they have to go back after two weeks to have them removed by the vet?
How safe is it to spay females? Is it worth the risk? Do most of them get mammary tumors if not spayed? How old should they be for this surgery?
I am going to get three females in a few months. Sigh, what a long wait.
 

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I don't have answers to all of those questions, but here's what I do know... or.. have heard, at least.

Some people say there are a lot of risks to getting females spayed, but it really depends on your vet. I've never heard of any rat, or owner (on this forum at least.. this is the only rat forum I visit) having a serious problem. The worst I've heard is just that the rat is in pain afterwards, but so is everyone who goes through surgery--human or animal. Just keep those rat pain meds handy. :)

Also, almost everyone I've ever talked to says it's definitely worth it. It greatly reduces the chances that a mammary tumor will develop, plus completely eliminates the risk of a prolapsed uterus, which is apparently common in rats... (?)

Getting them spayed is expensive, but if you compare it to the cost of getting one tumor after another removed again and again, it's more likely going to be cheaper in the long run.
 

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- If the stitches are done right and the rat is given pain medication for a few days you often don't have a problem with the rat worrying the stitches.

- They might need the stitches removed but it also depends on what kind are used.

- If done by an small animal/exotics vet experienced in the procedure the risks are minimal.

- Whether it's worth the risk is up to you. Spaying largely reduces the risk of mammory and pituitary tumors later in life and also removes the risk of uterine cancer, prolapse, or infection (pyometra).

- Between 3 to 6 months is supposed to be best but you can have them spayed later than that too.


Here's some more information: http://www.petinfopackets.com/rats/rathealth.html#spayneuter
 

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When Carrot was spayed, the vet got the stitches as far inside as possible, so she couldnt get at them so easy. And she glued them too.

Carrot managed to get one loose after about 5 days, but they heal really quick so no real damage was done. I trimmed off the excess of the one she pulled so it didnt come out completely. She has a possible hernia now next to that one, but it doesn't appear to be causing her pain.

The stitches dissolved after 10 days and we had 3 post ops over 2 weeks just to check things out. She lived on her own for 2 weeks, and yours should relaly be kept apart initially at least, as they could pull each others stitches out.

After the initial painkiller injection, she didnt need any more meds. She slept prety much constantly for the first 12-24 hours, and she only showed signs of discomfort a couple of times in the rest of the recovery period, and her fur grew back fully after a month.

I would get Pea spayed too, but I cried when Carrot went in, and I don't want her to be operated on unnecessarilly
 

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I found an experienced vet and the spay went fine.
she is about 1 1/2 years old
like the people before me said and experienced vet will try to get the stitches inside and then will have a stitch at the top and bottom that can be seen and will put glue over all of it. I haven't really heard of a rat chewing on stitches. Usually they leave them alone.
Also the vet will usually use an inhaled anesthesia.
They will give an injected pain killer and usually don't need anything after that.
about the risk part. You need an experienced vet because ultamately you are putting your rats life in the vets hands.
My rat had to be spayed to save her life, but even if your rat doesn't have any problems you dramatically reduce the risk of problems in that area.

in just one day Sweet Pea was back to herself so as long has you have a confident and experienced vet I wouldn't worry too much.

Sorry this is so long lol

Nikki >.<
 

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I prefer pain meds (metacam for 1-3 days) and abs (baytril) until the incision is closed.
Neuters get 1 day of pain meds after the initial 24 hour metacam injection has worn off. I watch for discomfort.
Spays get 1-3 days of pain meds, since they can cramp up to 3 days afterwards.
Tumour removals get 1-2 days usually, depending on the rats behaviour.

They heal incredibly fast.

My vet does internal dissolvable stitches and glue on the outside. I have only had 2 rats trying to open themselves up, one had staples and the other had a huuuuge incision from a multiple tumour removal. I find rats hate staples and no matter how little pain they are in they want them "out"!, and I find that pain meds will stop most rats from picking at their incisions.

I also put my patient right back with their cagemates when I get them home. You just watch very carefully for the first little while to see if another rat is paying too much attention to the surgical site or is bothering the sleepy rat too much. I find that the rats put back with their companions are happier and heal faster then rats kept in solitude to heal. Oh and the incisions usually close in 3 days not 2 weeks like us :D

Sami, prolapsed uterus is not a common thing in the rat world, but uterine infections are common.

I have/had 13 spayed girls here, only one developed a tumour, but it was cancerous which has nothing to do with hormones. Three have died but it was ongoing respiratory issues all their life that wore them down. The rest are hale and hearty with no mammary tumours or PT (pituitary tumour) :)\

The unspayed girlrats are getting tumours and dying of PT sadly :(
 
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