The young lady brought her rat for check up as she is worried about the big wound.
"It is very hard to put an e-collar on the rat as well as the hamster," I said. "They will try to pull it out and get stressed."
The rat weighed 306 grams on 6 days after mastectomy but weighed 385 grams with the tumour of 78 grams before mastectomy. Pre-op weight of 385 - 78 was 307 grams. So, it was good news as the rat was back to normal. Otherwise she would lose weight.
The career lady showed me a video of a swelling where the stitches had been one day ago. It would be a haematoma. Some pink plasma seeped out. Now it is a gap as the two stitches had been bitten off.
Over 20 pieces of big round stools were in the carrier indicating that the rat was normal as she would not eat if she was infected. This was good news.
What are my advices?
1. There was no need to re-stitch as the rat may bite the stitches off. The rat may die under anaesthesia as she is older being 2.5 years old. A rat is said to live around 3-5 years.
2. An Elizabeth collar is not acceptable to the rat. She will be stressed getting it off. In any case, the wound will heal by granulation.
3. Get a bigger plaster dressing to cover the wound instead of two smaller ones.
4. Clean the wound twice a day with chlorhexidine but rinse off the wash with clean warm water and dry the wound.
5. Antibiotics oral - baytril and painkiller meloxicam for 2 days. Wait 4 days and repeat if needed.
Day 1 Jun 2, 2015 mastectomy
FOLLOW UP BY SMS
Jun 3, 2015 6.30 pm
Dr Sing: Is you pet rat ok after op?
Owner: Yes, she is okay now. Started eating since this early morning and now running places.
Dr Sing: Thanks.
Jun 4, 2015 7.44am
Dr Sing: Give medicine for the next 4 days
Owner: Thanks Dr. Will continue to give her medicine for another 2 days. The wound is quite dry. But she does chew a bit of the stitches off
Dr Sing: Need to make an elizabeth collar with thin cardboard paper to wear around the neck for 7 days at least. No running around. E-collar similar to what dogs wear. Do it before you go to work.
Owner: Will keep her in the tank and won't let her out.
Dr Sing: Or bring her to office.
Owner: Oh yah I saw that in the internet. Will make her one.
Dr Sing: Or tape wound with human dressing for wound protection. Urgent to do it before you go out.
That's what we did yesterday with a plaster but it came off this morning.
Dr Sing: Need to keep replacing it for 10 days. Pl email video of stitched area. email@example.com
Owner: Sure I will.
Sat Jun 6, 2015 5.22 pm
Dr Sing: How is the patient?
Sunday Jun 7, 2015 10.57 am
O: Hi. Pixie has a lump just to the left of the incision. She eats and drinks okay and still very active. Am wondering if it's water retention or internal bleeding. Will send you the video of it via email now.
Dr Sing: Some bleeding in the area.
O: There was some pink trace of blood but the wound looks dry and neat.
Dr Sing: The rat should be Ok.
O: Hi, she pulled off the stitches. There's an open wound now. But not bleeding though. Will bring her in the morning
Monday Jun 8, 2015. Inspection of the rat at Toa Payoh Vets
The fancy rat had an open wound as two stitches were taken out by the rat. Not serious. Advised bigger plaster and cleaning wound daily. No need to re-stitch. The wound will heal by granulation.
UPDATE Sunday Jun 14, 2015 6.18 am
As I write this report, no news from the owner is good news.