Nooch the rat will be 3 years old in June. That's pretty old for a rat! With his age Nooch has developed some health problems the biggest of which (literally) is a growth on his side. It showed up late in his life which makes a rat-loving person consider the options: risk the peril and expense of surgery to remove it, or make sure that your pal is comfortable and let him live out his natural lifespan.
I opted for that last method. Nooch has a great appetite (especially for yogies) and is pretty active despite having this cumbersome nodule. But in the last couple of months he's gotten a little mopey. Don't ask me how you can tell if a rat is depressed -- I think it has a lot to with the personal knowledge of a particular individual rat. But It worried me so I brought him to A.P.A.W Vet in Lanham, MD to see what I could do for Nooch.
The visit was great! Dr. Johnson was very understanding and had a great bedside (cage side?) manner. Nooch came home with two medicines: antibiotics for a boo-boo on his foot, and childrens' aspirin for discomfort. They were both flavored (one cherry, the other bubble gum).
We've been taking the medicine for a couple days now and WOW what an improvement. Nooch is his regular cheerful self. Medicating is no sweat -- in fact he likes the flavors so much he tries to drag the oral syringes into the cage when his dose is done.
I realize Nooch won't live forever but I am grateful to have him around for however long we're allowed.