De-gloving

About a month ago I lifted Dublin out of his cage for his free range time and had a horrible shock – the skin on the tip of his tail was ripped almost right off and red raw. The skin had pulled off in a perfectly circular pattern, so I was quite certain that it had been “de-gloved”. De-gloving happens when a rat catches his tail or his tail is pulled to hard and the skin pulls of in one clean go. I wasn’t sure what caused it, but one of the rats in the cage below may have bitten him if his tail was dangling over, so I cordoned off the cage in such a way that it couldn’t happen again.

Poor Dublin was obviously in pain because his squeaked whenever anything went near his tail and he wanted to sit and rest more than normal. It was out of vet hours, so I gave him a tiny amount (0.3ml) of Calpol (liquid paracetamol for little kids). I wouldn’t advise anyone else doing that – but he suffered no ill effects, and I couldn’t leave him to suffer.

The following day I took Dublin to the vets and they booked him in for a small operation to nip off the end of his tail (wince!). The skin never grows back after de-gloving so it is best to remove the bone – which could catch or become infected and would take longer to heal. Dublin had to have an anaesthetic -which always carries a small risk with tiny animals. I was annoyed to discover that the vet viewed his injury so minor that “it wouldn’t bother him” when it obviously did. After a tense hour or so wait we returned to pick Dublin up and he was fine – a little groggy but okay. I wasn’t given any painkillers for Dublin, so I gave him a tiny amounts of Calpol for the next two days. Again, I wouldn’t advise this – too much paracetamol could be dangerous or fatal – always ask your vet first!

Dublin recovered remarkably quickly, and his tail has now completely healed! Yeah!

postop.JPG
Dublin post-operation

Today my lovely rats have been mostly eating cereal and grapes.

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