Post-op tumor removal...look at that pretty incision
The rat is fine. Doing great, actually. The tumor turned out to be a malignant fibrosarcoma, "completely excised with little risk of reoccurrence" (patting myself on the back). The owners, who had become quite attached to this rat, were very happy that surgery was successful and the rat didn't "die on the table," which is what they were sure was going to happen. The mom had called the school last week to tell them about the rat's problem (we have year-round school here and the rat was home with them on a 4-week break). She talked to the teacher and gave her the estimate for surgery and histopathology, about $250 total for everything, really not that bad considering. Of course the school didn't pay for the surgery...they just got a new rat. Not sure about the ethics of that school, but whatever.
Surgery to remove a huge tumor from a rat: $250
Cost of replacing said rat with a newer, better model: Maybe $10.
The look on the family's face when I brought the rat out from surgery minus a 5cm diameter tumor, running around acting like nothing even happened: Priceless.
Note to parents: Rats are great pets, for some people there is too much of an ick factor but believe it or not they are usually pretty nice, rarely bite, and easy to take care of. The downside? They are TUMOR FACTORIES as Joanna pointed out.
I am a thirtysomething wife to a fantastic husband (TH), mom to rambunctious baby genius J, and a veterinarian in a constant state of "practicing" medicine. We live in Las Vegas but our history is in Colorado, where we hope to live again someday.