Pets are just as bad as children... (UPDATED)

So, end of September my girl Toffee (who is about 14 months old), started getting a mammary tumor under her right leg. (Tumors are common in females rats). Usually it is my older or elderly females who get mammary tumors, and they are usually too old to be put through the stress of surgery. Usually it's just a quality of life decision I have to make. But, Toffee is youngish, very energetic, and active. She is only the 2nd female I've owned who got a tumor quite young. So we made the decision to have the tumor removed by my vet. (Which was $400 altogether). If we didn't get it removed, it would just keep growing and getting larger.

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October 23rd, Toffee had her tumor removal, which went really well. We dropped her off, and about 2 hours later picked her up. But... the morning after the surgery she had chewed the stitches out. So we had to run her over to the vet, and this time they used staples to secure her surgery site. 

She's also been a pain in the butt when it comes to her antibiotics twice a day. If I give it to her by mouth in the oral syringe she will slowly drool it back out, no matter how little I give at a time. I've had to hide her meds in baby food, chocolate syrup, peanut butter with lot's of jelly. She never wants to eat the same thing twice either, so it's frustrating to come up with different food combos to make sure she gets her medicine, and prevent any infections.

Her shaved, bruised, and stapled belly.

Just this past Thursday she had her one week checkup, and everything was looking good, and my vet said we could probably remove the staples one week from that visit. Then... this morning I woke up to give her her antibiotics, and found she had chewed at least 3 staples out. There's about a dime shaped hole, but it's very very deep. And my vet is not in until Monday morning. 

After looking online, decided to make a homemade e-collar (or cone of shame), for Toffee. I used the lid from a plastic ricotta cheese container. She is not happy at all to be wearing it, but it is preventing her from chewing or licking at the open wound. We had to make some adjustments to her small "hospital" cage. We gave her a lower food dish, and a water bottle. When she wants to eat she takes the food out of the dish with her mouth, and lays it down in front of her to eat it- since she cannot use her hands with the cone on. (I wish I had thought of a cone last week!)

We are going to keep the wound area clean with saline and betadine until she can see the vet Monday morning. Hopefully it will look a little better by then, and doesn't get infected. The surgery has already cost so much, and it's frustrating, when she chews and sets her progress back. I'm just extra stressed out at the moment. 

I don't get re-called back to work until January either, and my unemployment compensation runs out end of November. (I've been seasonal at my job for the past 12 years). With everything going on, I haven't even had the time to get the Zoya Wishes Collection swatched properly, and edited. The last photos I took did not come out well, so I have to redo everything. So please bear with me if I don't post a lot at the moment. Too much going on. :-\

Just because pet rats may be called "pocket pets", it does not mean they are any cheaper than having a dog or cat when it comes to the veterinarian. 

UPDATED 11/5/14: Monday the 3rd, Toffee went back to the vet. Her surgery site was infected from her messing/chewing at it twice now. She had to go back under anesthesia, so they could clean out the infection. They stitched, and stapled her this time around. She got a Baytril injection, and some new antibiotics to go home with. They didn't charge us for the exam or a painkiller injection she got. (Everything was $176). I also put together a new cone collar for her out of a Dollar Tree zebra print placemat, and velcro. It's now two days after her 2nd surgery and she is doing well. She doesn't love the cone, but she tolerates it. So hopefully now she will be on the mend since the cone prevents her from chewing at anything!

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