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Discussion Starter #1
I really don't want to come across as mean, but i've read a lot of the posts that are posted in this area and a lot of you really have poor judgement as to when it is necessary for your rats to see veterinarians. If you don't have the money to bring your pet to a vet, the vet can surely arrange payment plans with you, and if there isn't a small vet in your area i'm sure a vet that works on cats and dogs could in the very least help in some way or another, i'm sure they've had some experience with rats during their training, it is a six year process where i'm from... Anyway, like i said, this is not intended to be mean, just maybe you guys should act before you write, its that simple. One sneeze out of my babies and they would be in the vet clinic, I just don't understand i guess...
 

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while always making sure you have a vet lined up before you need them is a good idea not everyone thinks about it. i remember when i first got my very first rat. looking back on what i did and didn't do compared to what i've learned since and i cringe. it wasn't until after i couldn;t afford treatment for Pocket that i started routinely setting aside money for the vet. adn even now i'm not completely happy with the vet i have and am still on the market for a better one. but i also don't run to the vet over one isolated sneeze either or every little lump or cut. there is a lot that can be done at home first that the vet will tell you to do anyway. like monitoring the sneezes to make sure it an illness and not evironmental and watching a lump and using warm compresses to check to see if its merely an abcess. also watching their weight and habits to see if it change to indicate if the lump is cancerous or not.

and though everyone says to check if there is a payment plan in my experience very seldom will the vet actually let you do it. i've asked about it myself and was refused because i was too new to clinic and because they don't normally allow it (they probably also had less professional reasons as well but i can't prove them so i won't mention them).

in sum a lot of the owners here are new and just getting their feet wet in rat care. many of them are young and don't have the funds for it. getting into rats seems to be mainly an impluse rather then a well thought out and researched decision for most people. no one really thinks that the vet bill for a rat can actually cost over $100 in one sitting and over $1000 in only a few weeks. its just not something people think about when they get the "cheap" pet.

its can also be very difficult to find a vet that has had experience with rats, other then putting them to sleep. when i was looking around for a new vet when my current at the time was on vacation and i needed one i came across A LOT of vets that said if i wanted to put the animal down they could do that but nothing else. they didn't know what do it for them and weren't willing to learn. we have a lot of vets in my area to but so far only 3 of them will look at a rat for treatment and not just to kill it. its great that in your area that's not the case but its not the same everywhere. i'm sure it can be even worse in more rural or less populated areas (and my area isn't all that big either).

the judgement for some may be poor and the situations not ideal but they do what they can with what they have for the most part anyway. you have to keep in mind that we're all learning. it doesn't matter if we've had rats for a week or 20 years there is always something more to learn and a another way of doing things.
 

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learning or not, i don't think ignorance should be used as an excuse, if you're taking on a new pet its important to realise that there is the risk of illness, and spending money,. Maybe you're right about monitering sneezes, and such but if you're not willing to actually take your pet to a veterinarian, which is the impression im getting from more than one poster,than you shouldn't have the pet to begin with, its as simple as that. When you're sick you can bring yourself to a doctor, your pet has to rely on you, its just not fair to ASSUME that you can care for an illness on your own when really you should in the very least be consulting veterinary advice.
 

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yes, that is certainly true. but that is not the majority of people on these forums. unfortunately there are a lot of people that believe animals are lesser creatures and not deserving of the same type of respect and care as humans (though the type of respect given to fellow humans can also be debated...). and yet these people still have pets. it is certainly frustrating to see these cases and more so to know we are in no position to help the animal but its not fair to assume that all cases where people aren't taking an animal in to the vet when we think they should have been is one of these owners. some people may just not realize the severity of a cold in a rat or the unaccounted purr in a cat. fortunately it is in these cases that we can help but sharing our knowledge and experience when they come to forums like this one asking for help.

EDIT: typos
 

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I think Twitch has already covered this one well, but I would like to add that whilst I understand and share your concerns, posts like this could actually do more harm than good by scaring potential posters from asking for help, possibly leaving a rat to suffer.

There are also a lot of people that ask for help with the tiniest of problems which don't require vets care. If they spent their vet funds on those, what happens if they get a real emergency?

Again, I understand your concerns and frustrations, but perhaps you can think about the consequences before posting your thoughts out loud?
 

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My new baby Kane had the sneezes, so I posted and everyone agreed it was likely the "new home sneezes". When Kane's nose sounded stuffy and sniffly, I freaked out and rushed her to the vet. I even passed up going to a expensive water park my friend was gonna treat me to. The vet checked her out, and said he didn't want to do anything for her that she was probably not sick. He said to come back if she gets colored discharge or sounds in her lungs. Money down the drain, really. Now my money is tight.

I may be new to this forum, but I have had rats for eight years. I have 5 rats over the rainbow bridge, and two right now not far from it. I have seen the "new home sneezes" before, and getting insight from others on how common this is, and how to tell when it is not just that, is a good thing to have.

So ya.. case in point, DonnaK.
 

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One sneeze and you get them checked out? Your rats must be some pretty thoroughly harassed little creatures.

Rats are hardy creatures and they don't need to be taken to the vet for every small problem that comes up with them.

You can tell me all you like about weakened systems through breeding, being prone to illnesses, whatever. Taking a rat to the vet over something small like sneezing a few times in one day is a waste of your time and a waste of your money.

You think before you act. You ask questions and get answers. You don't immediately take them to the vet and fork out $100.00 you could spend buying them food or a bigger cage, or putting away for emergencies.
 
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