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Pet Rats/Rat: Fractured Knee , Vet suggests amputation

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Question
One of my fancy rats, a one year old female, has been limping since a few days. They did an x-ray at the vet and found her knee to be fractured. The vet said this kind of injury is far to close to the hip to be managable through traditional methods and basically my only options would be to try to amputate or to put her to sleep since we can't really ensure her a good quality of life. She told me that when she was feeling along the leg she could feel her muscles tensing up immediately, which told her it must be fairly painful for her.
I don't really know how to go about this decision now. I've never had a rat injure themself in such a way (I still have no clue how she did that). My major problem is she seems completely fine. She takes foof no problem, she is still active, still climbs and bounces around completely unfaced. She takes pain medication at the moment but still.
Currently im leaning towards trying to amputate, but my main issue right now is that I can't seem to get a second opinion. I've never had a case like this. Have you ever had a rat go through this kind of surgery, and if so would you in retrospect say it was worth the risk?

Answer
Dear Elias,

I am sorry to answer late; I literally just got the notification.

If it is a good surgeon the surgery is by far the best option.  The fact that the vet has her on pain medication is good because rats do hide agonizing pain. Some vets still believe if they don't show pain they don't feel it.

To make sure though-- do make sure the vet uses gas and not injectible anesthesia. Injectible anesthesia is the cause for the terrible survival rate in rat surgery in the past.

You will be amazed at how quickly she gets used to being three-legged. She will be fine in  no time. Of course anyplace she wants to climb you must have soft hammocks for her to fall onto.

I am so glad surgery is an option for you. It is so sad when someone writes this but can't find a vet or afford surgery.

Best of luck to her. She is lucky to have you.

Squeaks,

Natasha

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Natasha Millikan

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Consider me a sub, when no one else is available. NOTE YOU MUST NOT HAVE ONLY ONE RAT. JOIN MY FACEBOOK GROUP (because there are smarter people than me there!!): ***** https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/. ***** Excellent sites: http://ratguide.com/ **** http://lilspazrats.wikispaces.com/ **** http://www.ratbehavior.org/rats.html **** http://www.ratfanclub.org/ **** http://www.sandyscrittercity.com/ **** http://www.ratwhisperer.net/ ****

Experience

I have had rats for 3-1/3 years and have researched them extensively. I am a mouse expert with 40 years' experience with mice. The two species are similar and yet also quite different.

Organizations
My Facebook group is Rats (and Mice) are Awesome. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RatsandMiceareAwesome/

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelor's and two Master's degrees in Linguistics

Awards and Honors
I am honored that my rats love me!

Past/Present Clients
My Facebook group, Rats are Awesome, serves at the moment 5300 members, and, considering all the huge rescues, probably averages 5 rats per member. That means my clients are about 25,000 rats!!!

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