Cara’s Story

This month we have a very different type of pet as our special ‘Pet of the Month’.  Cara, a one year old rat, has been chosen as she not only survived a major operation but also helped demonstrate what great pets rats can make. (This story does contain some ‘operation’ pictures.)


Cara came to our surgery as she had grown a large mammary tumour (a very common problem in female rats) and was a little of colour.  Our Head Vet at our Chelmsford branch, Nadine, has a special interest in treating rats and felt sure she could help Cara.  She first of all started Cara on antibiotics to clear up a slight respiratory infection and when Cara was 100% she was booked in for surgery to remove her tumour.

Operating on any animal to remove a large tumour always a carries a big risk but when operating on an animal,as small as Cara, the risks are increased.  Cara was given a pre-medication of painkilling drugs, anti-inflamatories and antibiotics and was then transferred into a special box into which anaesthetic gases were pumped into to make her fall asleep.  Once she was completely under the anaesthetic she was transferred to the operating theatre and placed on a warm water filled bed.  With very small animals under anaesthetic it is important to maintain their body temperature so she was also wrapped in ‘bubble-wrap’ that acts like a sleeping bag too keep her warm!

 As you can see from the picture the tumour was extremely large but luckily Nadine was able to successfully remove it.  After the operation Cara was monitored closely and she recovered quickly so was able to go home that evening.


The hard work was then down to her very dedicated owners who’s main job was to try to stop Cara from itching and scratching at her stitches!


Cara has made a complete recovery and her hair is already growing back already.  We are all so pleased as she is such a great animal and fantastic pet.

While Cara was in with us she even managed to help our Nurse Vici overcome her rat phobia!