Surgery on rats is different then surgery on cats and dogs. Rat owners must be very proactive as many vets do not know how to treat rats. Very few people have access to exotic vets trained in the treatment of rats, as Jorats' vet is. It is dangerous to just trust that the vet knows how to properly treat rats, no matter how well you know the vet or what their reputation is. 1. It is extremely important to educate ourselves as rat owners. When we go to the vet we need to have done our research, ask questions, etc. This site is a good place to start looking for information. 2. If possible, it is important to use vets experienced in successfully treating rats. Ask your vet about their experience treating rats, their training re. treating rats, what procedures they have successfully done on rats, you may want to speak to people with rats that have been treated by this vet. 3. The following list includes some topics that rat owners need to discuss with their vet prior to making an appointment for surgery. It is extremely important for rat owners to discuss the following with their vet before surgery: a. anaesthetic - isoflurane gas only, injectable anesthetics can be deadly - pre-anaesthetic (or a sedative/analgesic) can be deadly to rats. "The combination of the sedative and anesthetic can be fatal for rats." (p. 17) This should not be given to rats by the average vet. Some very experienced, well trained, exotic vets specializing in rats do give this safely. However, the use of pre-anaesthetic is used with caution as it is often fatal to rats. b. pain med (analgesic) is necessary - acetaminophen can be given before the surgery - butorphanol can be given as soon as the rat is awakens from the anaesthetic and is alert - a analgesic is important before surgery. Some vets may also give it during and after surgery. (info. from Lilspaz68 & theratlady) Vets often give medacam. c. suture material - "when the incision is small, subcuticular sutures may be used" (p. 17) - "for larger incisions needing more sutures, rats often have an inflammatory reaction to absorbable sutures" (p. 17) - vets may use Michel wound clips, staples, surgical glue, or steel wire sutures for large incisions, depending on the vet d. keeping the rat warm during and after surgery as rats can not regulate their body temperature for up to 24 hours after getting anaesthetic. They need to be able to move closer and away from the heat source. e. a full course of an antibiotic is recommended and should be started several days prior to the surgery (to prevent infection, or respir problems in rats previously treated for respir. problems/myco.) f. pain meds to give at home for at least 3 days after surgery (oral metacam) - rats hide their pain very well. After a spay or neuter, rats "may experience severe abdominal cramping for up to 3 days after surgery." (p. 17) "Analgesia may help prevent rats from chewing out their sutures." (p. 17) g. fasting before surgery - Do Not fast rats h. will the vet do a health check prior to surgery - for example: rats with respiratory problems or heart problems are at risk from anaesthetic. Surgery should be delayed until the rat is healthy or not done at all. (most of this info. was taken from the Rat Health Care book (http://www.ratfanclub.org), see this source for info. on dosage) Both the Rat Health Care book (http://www.ratfanclub.org) and the rat guide (http://ratguide.com/) have useful information. EDIT: Jorats' vet is a trained exotic vet that has specialized training and experience in treating all sorts of problems in rats. This vet is willing to discuss the treatment of rats with other vets. If your vet would like to consult with Jorats' vet, please pm Jorats for her vet's contact information.