Braveheart Greyie Sanchez
This month's thoroughly deserving recipient of our Braveheart award is Greyie; a one year old, super-friendly rat.
Greyie was brought in to see our exotic specialist vet Nicky when his owner noticed a strange lump had started to form over his right shoulder - over a matter of weeks, it had grown to around a quarter of his bodyweight! It is common for rats to develop fast-growing benign (non-cancerous) lumps, although it was very hard for Nicky to fully examine Greyie, as he was very lively and wriggly! She persevered and concluded that the mass would have to be removed as it was severely hindering Greyie's movement.
Greyie’s owner was happy to give the go-ahead for a general anaesthetic so that the lump could be removed. He was very carefully monitored throughout by our brilliant exotic nurse Teri, as there is always a higher risk when anaesthetising an exotic animal. Once Greyie had been anaesthetised, it was obvious to Nicky that this was not going to be a straightforward lump removal - the large hard lump was in fact wrapped around the humerous (the upper bone in the arm) with a section also attached to the muscle associated with the scapula (the shoulder blade). Unfortunately the only way that the lump could safely be removed was for Greyie to have his whole right limb and shoulder blade amputated. After discussing all the options with Greyie's owner, together we agreed that going ahead with the amputation was the best option, freeing Greyie from the discomfort he had been experiencing.
Nicky requested the help of another of our highly experienced vets, Laura, for the tricky forty-minute procedure - the surgery was very intricate and our smallest, most delicate instruments were required to ensure the best outcome for our tiny rat friend.
Greyie recovered extremely well from his general anaesthetic and was looked after for the rest of the day by the Sandhole nursing team, who kept him warm and comfortable and offered all his favourite foods. Greyie was able to go home that evening with strong pain relief and antibiotics (which his owner was fantastic at giving him, even when he was being particularly wriggly!)
After a few days of recovery at home, Greyie returned to Sandhole for a check up. We were all so pleased to see that he had already adjusted so well to getting around on three legs and Greyie's owner was over the moon with the progress he had made in such a short space of time. Greyie has since made a full recovery and gets around with no trouble whatsoever; he has even learned to eat with one hand!
Congratulations on your Braveheart award Greyie - you thoroughly deserve it!
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