Sunday, May 03, 2015

Rats 101: Finding a Veterinarian


Finding a Veterinarian that treats rats sounds easy enough but you might be surprised to know that not all veterinarians treat Exotics or pocket pets. So it's a good idea to find one before you bring your new pet home.

Ask Around
Ask the local pet stores in your area what veterinarian they use to treat their small animals. Sometimes they will be able to lead you to a vet that specializes in Exotic animals. Ask other rat owners in your area what veterinarian they use. You can find rat owners on blogs, Facebook groups and rat rescues in your area. Use the Internet to look up veterinarians in your area and start calling them to find out if they treat small animals usually referred to as Exotics. Ask them how much experience they have with rats because you want a vet that knows what they're doing.

Ask The Veterinarian Questions
When calling the different veterinarian offices local to you, you should ask the receptionist to have the veterinarian call you back so you can ask them some questions and find out if they know about rats. Asking the receptionist doesn't really help because they might not know what the vet does and doesn't know about rats.

Once the veterinarian calls you back, tell them that you have a new or are about to have a new pet rat and are looking for a veterinarian in your area to care for them. Ask them if they have experience treating Exotics and especially rats. Ask them how many rats they've treated and if they have experience performing surgery on rats because rats will sometimes get tumors that need to be removed.

You should ask how much they charge for an office visit, tumor removal and if they give you pain medication for the rats after surgery. Some veterinarians believe that rats heal so quickly that they really only need pain medications that first day and this is false. If the veterinarian isn't willing to give you pain medication for post surgery, then call the next vet on the list.

Make An Office Visit
Once you've brought your pet rat home, you should make an appointment for an office visit. While there watch how the vet interacts with your pet. Are they comfortable? Are they scared? Are they knowledgeable about rats?

If you don't feel comfortable, don't go back. Find a new veterinarian and remember this is your pet and you should do what feels right for both of you.