Sunday, Dec 2, 2012
Garza County News


Dr. Kerry Wink

Peanut & Butter

Published Sept. 15, 2012 @ 6 a.m.

Peanut & Butter were the best of buddies.  They were also hairless rats.  Yup, I’m not just a dog doctor; I see ALL kinds of pets large to small.  I invite you to come by and visit with me about some of my most unusual patients, but for now, back to my story!

Peanut was my first “pocket pet” who came in for an eye problem.  Peanut had a piece of bedding in his eye which had caused the cornea to rupture.  Watch out here comes an icky statement….this resulted in the eye ‘leaking’ its contents out.  As I was examining this rat I was thinking to myself “If this was a cat or dog I would know exactly what to do and how…but a rat?”  My only option was to remove Peanut’s eye.  Then the thought crossed my mind of how much did this hairless rat cost?  Are they going to spend the money on the surgery to fix this problem? (We are talking about a rat here people!)  I knew the surgery was going to be a lot more than the cost of the rat.  However, Peanut was a part of this family and the owner decided to go ahead with the surgery regardless of the cost.  My next challenge was how to anesthetize this less than one pound patient?  Using some of my highly esteemed ‘Aggie Engineering’, I made a tiny mask to use in anesthetizing Peanut for surgery.  I preformed an enucleation (removal) of the left eye.  Peanut did great through the anesthesia and surgery and recovered good.  Two weeks after the surgery we took the sutures out and everything healed well.

Here’s where Butter enters as my second pocket pet case.  Butter, who like Peanut, was another hairless rat belonging to the same family.  And like Peanut, he came in for an eye problem.  In fact, this was the exact same injury as Peanut, but Butter’s problem was in his right eye.  Having learned what I did from Peanut, I removed Butter’s right eye without complications and with good results.  Needless to say after the second incident, we recommended to the owner to change the rat’s bedding and we no longer had any more problems with their eyes.  Both Peanut and Butter are living healthy and happy lives. One is a lefty and one is a righty.  I’m sure they trade war stories about their injuries.

I have never been much on ‘pocket pets’ until I had to deal with these two weird cases.  I can now say I’ve seen quite a few pocket pets since then.   From hairless rats to sugar gliders, I never know what is going to walk thru my doors each day at the clinic.  Sure makes an interesting dinner conversation some nights at my house.  Regardless of your pet type, if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health, give us a call up at Garza County Animal Hospital, (806) 495-3726.  We’d love to make you a member of our clinic family and assist you any way we can. 

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