Love rat

I’ve been soooooo good on the low booze front over the past month, but I slammed a couple glasses of Peterson’s Marsanne on Friday night.

I was drowning my sorrows after visiting the exotic pet vet – Twitch the rat has been diagnosed with chronic respiratory disease.

Sounds expensive, right?


But I must not get ahead of myself in the storytelling.

Let me quote from the fact sheet the exotic pet vet gave us …

Chronic respiratory disease causes sneezing, wheezing and general malaise. If an acute episode of respiratory disease occurs “it is advisable to take your rat to the vet to be examined – he/she may need to be hospitalised for supportive care”.


If the disease is caught early, some cases may be resolved with appropriate antibiotic therapy. However, most rats present with chronic respiratory disease “and the chronicity implies that they will have the disase for life”.

It is treated with antibiotics in a “pulse therapy” application – two weeks on and two weeks off.

“Some animals cannot tolerate two weeks off, while others will slowly tolerate less and less time between antibiotic treatments.”

The vet informed us – after examining the rat’s chest with a stethoscope – that if the antibiotics don’t improve Twitch’s lung function she may need to put her on a nebuliser.

A nebuliser!

My eyelids became slightly hooded at that point.

It’s also ironic considering I’m simultaneously bumping off identical rodents in my ceiling with Ratsac … I added another furry corpse to the tally on Saturday.

Apparently rat respiratory disease is very, very common. Most rats get it, many are born with it. Have I put you off getting a rat as a pet? Did you need to be put off getting a rat as a pet? Of course you didn’t.

But just in case, let’s move on to the vet’s suggestion that the rats have hysterectomies to avoid getting uterine diseases. It cost around $400 to get my bunny Frodo spayed at said exotic pet vet hospital. I’m guessing rat spaying ain’t much cheaper.

Not happening. Well, not on my credit card.

Anyways, we walked out of the examination room with a massive cache of medications and apprehensively approached the receptionist’s desk to pay the bill.

What would you expect the vet bill to be for a rat? $60? $120?

Nah, not even close.


Jesus H. Christ.

Tactical error on my part to agree to pay half. Should have gone for a quarter.

Thank heavens for Peterson’s Marsanne.

Oh, and because the rat medication needs to be administered twice a day – and there’s no freaking way I’m holding a squirming rat and squirting a syringe down its throat – the eldest is staying with me every night for the next two weeks.

But that was just the tip of my weekend drama iceberg. Stay tuned for Saturday’s installent – it’s a doozy.

Song of the day: Howard Jones “Things can only get better”


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