Sprinkles is a sweet little 1 year old rat who was brought into the Small Animal Practice by her owner for a second opinion. Along with her sister Pockets, Sprinkles had been adopted from an animal sanctuary at the beginning of 2018. The sisters were happily integrated into the family's brood of four other rescue rats, Allie, Edna, Rusty and PJ. The girls quickly settled into their new life and their mischievous personalities rapidly emerged. They love living together in their big 'adventure cage' full of ropes, climbing apparatus and ladders and enjoy nothing more than having a big group snooze. When their owners are home they absolutely engaging in their favourite game of peekaboo from behind the sofa cushions.
Around Easter time the owners noticed a small pea-like lump appearing on Sprinkles' side. Concerned they took her to their local vet who diagnosed it as an abscess or benign tumour. Over the following months, much to the family's dismay, the lump rapidly grew to the size of a tennis ball and didn't seem to respond to treatment. Poor Sprinkles' mobility was soon affected, she struggled to enjoy climbing and gradually found she was unable to haul herself and the extra weight from the floor of her cage. Her rat family became very attentive and heartbreakingly would purposely move their play sessions to the bottom of the cage so that Sprinkles could still join in; they also took it in turns to help her with her grooming as Sprinkles couldn't reach around the lump to keep herself clean.
As the lump slowly consumed Sprinkles' life, her local vet decided to offer a surgical option whereby the mass would be removed. Sprinkles' owner was unsure as the odds given for Sprinkles' survival after the procedure were only 50/50. Seeking a second opinion, we were delighted to be introduced to Sprinkles here to the Small Animal Practice. After an appointment with one of our vets and a lot of thinking, Sprinkles' owner decided to risk the lump removal surgery and she was duly prepped and sent into theatre. Surgery went will and our staff were shocked to find that the final weight of the tumour, once removed equated to almost half of her entire body weight prior to surgery!
Post surgery Sprinkles proved to be a model patient, there was a high risk of infection as the wound site was very large but Sprinkles left her wound alone and it has healed beautifully. She has now been officially discharged and is back at home enjoying playtime with her sisters. We were delighted that we were able to help Sprinkles rediscover her zest for life and wanted to document her journey to remind us that anything is possible and (most importantly) that animals are amazing!!