New Amputee, a very happy 3-legged boy?!

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New Amputee, a very happy 3-legged boy?!

Post by Little_Lovelies » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:39 pm

Hi All,

A couple of months ago we took our potentially 2-year old fella to the vets because of a slight limp he'd had for a couple of days. We were hoping it was just a sprain or similar from a tiny fall etc. so when the vet x-rayed him and said that more tests were needed but he suspected a massive tumour and that probably the best-case scenario would be amputation we were shell-shocked and so scared for our little man. When the tests came back it was what he suspected so our options were to have his hind-leg amputated or to let him go on a little longer on lots of meds. We were incredibly worried about what his quality of life would be like afterwards, but since he was an otherwise incredibly happy, healthy little boy we both agreed that there was no decision to be made. He's never needed an operation before so we were also extremely worried about whether he'd chew his stitches, whether he'd be dragging his wound in his mess because he couldn't balance very well yet, and whether it'd be really horrible for him not being able to do all the things that he used to do.

We popped him in a low cage for the first few days and tried to give him lap cuddles only, but he was so determined that on the 2nd day he insisted on climbing up to our shoulders, and by day 3 despite us trying to stop him, he was successfully climbing the bars! We bought him lots of accessories to make getting about easier (ramps & ledges etc.), but he wanted none of it! lol. As a ratty who previously wasn't really into bar-climbing, the second he was back in his big cage he was climbing the bars, ignoring ramps and leaping up from layer to layer instead, he's amazing! His balance has always been terrible which is part of the reason we were so worried, and if anything it's almost a touch better now?! When he wants to sniff/grab high things he flops his tail round with a thud to where his hind leg used to be, and uses it like a forth leg so that he can stretch up. He often eats one-handed now, but other times he again pops his tail where his leg should be (but poking out at a right-angle!) for added balance. We also feel him put his weight on his tail far more when he's on us.

We have loads of full layer and half sized hammocks from the rat warehouse and this really helps because he finds it far easier to balance on soft 'shelves' while eating than solid ones, he also loves bouncing around on the full layer ones :D

I just wanted to post this in case anyone else is ever struggling with the 'but will s/he cope and be happy?' question. Our little guy has been amazing us right from the 1st day, he's as lively as he always was and he genuinely seems happier than ever :)

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Re: New Amputee, a very happy 3-legged boy?!

Post by Feolthanos » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:03 pm

Happy to hear your boy is doing well. Can't say I've ever heard of a 3 legged rat before!

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cyber ratty
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Re: New Amputee, a very happy 3-legged boy?!

Post by cyber ratty » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:44 pm

That's wonderful - they are so resilient :love:

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