Mrs Dingle and Jada on Christmas Eve 2004
The above picture was taken on Christmas Eve - it's the last picture that I took of Jada and Mrs Dingle until her surgery yesterday. It's because Mrs Dingle's had a tumour growing on her chest since last summer - you can see it in the picture growing under her right armpit. The day before I took the above picture I had taken her to the vet to try and get the tumour aspirated or removed and he said that he couldn't aspirate it because it wasn't liquid and he wouldn't remove it until it was twice the size that it was then - it wasn't worth it to put her through the anaesthesia and trauma at the size it was at Christmas time. So we had to wait. And what an awful wait it was.
It's such a tragedy that rats today are genetically programmed to get tumours - that's what they're on this earth to do now - to be tested on basically - so I think it's pretty common for them to get tumours. They sent off a chunk of her lump to the Atlantic Veterinary College in PEI to see whether or not it was malignant - so I'll find out whether or not she's likely to get more tumours like that one that just seemed to grow really fast in spurts.
It was a weird lump - it started the day that Jada arrived. In their initial "getting to know each other tussles" Jada must have bitten Mrs Dingle's chest and as the days progressed a lump grew, a head formed on it and after a couple weeks, just when I was ready to take her to the vet - it popped on it's own. So it obviously was all liquid. But then shortly after it started growing again - and I assumed it was liquid again and was going to pop again, but it didn't. I got Jada in August - so it grew in September and popped at the end of September. Then it grew again at the end of October until I took her to the vet in December. And then we waited until now to have it taken off.
And $322 later she's basically got a body cast on and a cast on her right arm because it had started to attach to her arm pit and a bit on her arm. Poor Mrs Dingle! But the vet said it came off quite nicely and today's she's eating up a storm and drinking and waddling around and acting generally quite pissed off about her currently living situation. So I think she's going to be okay.
She's got to be separated from Jada for 10 days until the bandages and stitches come out and then she can go back home - I'm sure she'll be very happy to not have her body weight hanging off her anymore - although she didn't let it affect her at all before - it gave her extra ballast to knock Jada around!
I took the pictures below this morning when she was eating her breakfast.
And if you were wondering - she DOES have Mycoplasmosis - which you can tell by the blood (which is actually porphyrin) around her eyes and nose in the pictures below - she's had it since I got her. She's been dealth such a tough life. That's also why her head is tilted in all the pictures I take. Do you know the amazing thing though? Jada's never caught it. Jada is one tough cookie. Mrs Dingle hasn't shown any symptoms of it for months though - I'd say the stress of the surgery must have brought the respiratory symptoms out. Only the head tilt is present all the time - that's usually the only way you'd ever know she has mycoplasmosis.