This article is from the WSSF 2012 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Lara Kordsiemon Vitale, Facebook
QMy rattie has been experiencing occasional daily vaginal spotting. She has been on antibiotics for about 3 weeks and it still continues. The urinalysis was clear, xrays showed nothing. The vet and I decided, more so me, to not let it go on any longer and have her spayed. Has anyone had this issue and any issues with spaying? I’m scared to death to have it done but I think it’s probably in her best interest. She is about 1 year old now and seems to be in very good health—just this mysterious spotting.
AIf she is in good health with no respiratory issues, in good weight, and the vet has experience with spaying rats, then surgery might be the best thing. Bleeding from the vagina/uterus can be from an infection or tumor. Karen Robbins
Update: Both veterinarians (one being an exotic veterinarian) cannot figure out the cause and with my research seem to think the same thing—either infection or tumor. She goes in tomorrow morning.
Turns out it was a huge ovarian cyst about the size of her head on her right side. He had a word for it but I forget, it was filled with blood about ready to rupture, which would have been fatal in her case. It took us both by surprise because she was so “healthy” other than very minor intermittent vaginal spotting. Xrays and physical exam showed nothing, but all my research said it was a bad thing to have any bleeding. Mabel is now on the road to recovery!
She is doing wonderful and we are almost 48 hours post op. Just getting her to leave the stitches alone is a little tricky.
Paraovarian (next to the ovary) hemorrhage is fairly uncommon and there are no reports in the scientific literature. I have sporadically seen them in research rats. More commonly, vaginal bleeding is due to ovarian or uterine issues such as ovarian or uterine cancer, or uterine polyps. Carmen Jane Booth, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Barbara Gabrielli, Facebook
QI came home and I believe my pet rat must have caught his tail on part of his cage. The tail is still there, but rubbed about an inch of skin off the tail and it was bleeding. I managed to stop the blood, treated it with Neosporin, and have his tail wrapped in a bandage. My question is, is it safe for him to have the band-aid on? Will he try and eat it? Is there something better I can use? Is there something I can give him for pain? It looks painful—he is not whimpering and acts like nothing has happened. I wonder if trying to give him a pain med is dangerous? Should I try and leave the bandage on? Or try to let it air out on its own?
AWhere is the injury on the tail? It would be best to have a vet look at it to determine what the best form of treatment is. I’ve known of rats that had the entire end of the tail skin come off and when that happens, if you don’t get vet intervention to amputate the end of the tail, the end will eventually dry up and fall off. Rats are not usually good with bandages and will try to chew them off. They also lick off anything you try to put on them. Rats usually heal very quickly so he should be better in a couple days. Karen Robbins
Update: I couldn’t find a vet willing to amputate. Actually the rat let me bandage—he was a good boy and did not mess with it. We let it dry up today without the bandage. It looks a lot better. I have been using large bed pads to place under him so he doesn’t bump his tail into anything that isn’t soft. He loves that, and he ate and drank very good today. I think he is going to be okay. Last night he did whimper a bit and my son gave him just a small piece of a children’s pain reliever. He did well with it.
Minor tail tip or tail injury where you see bleeding, can be treated with topical styptic powder (Silver Nitrate; stings) that has benzocaine (pain relief) that is used to stop bleeding when trimming nails. An emergency topical treatment to protect the skin after applying styptic powder is super glue. Where you can’t suture, I use styptic power, apply topical super glue, and then dip the tail back in styptic powder. The glue forms a protective shell while the skin heals. Carmen Jane Booth, D.V.M., Ph.D.