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By VCA Greenhaven Animal Hospital
Published: December 27, 2011

Percy is a petite, friendly and outgoing little girl. She is 3 ½ years old. In human years, this feisty little rat is about 90 to 100 years old. Percy had been happy and eating well, playing with her people, and being her usual enthusiastic self �" except for one big problem. She was carrying around 4 benign tumors under her skin that had grown so large that she could no longer walk around. The tumors alone made up more than half of her body weight and she had lost the use of her back legs due to their weight and pressure.
She had had surgery over a year ago to successfully remove several other masses, but was now approaching an age where many believe that anesthesia is too risky to be worth proceeding with surgery.
However in Percy’s case, we had to make a tough decision. Percy was still in good spirits �" but the weight of her tumors was impacting her quality of life. Her family decided to accept the risks of surgery, and proceed with the delicate procedure required to try to help her regain her mobility.
Our team designed an anesthetic plan to minimize the risks associated with her surgery, and we treated her prior to surgery with fluids to help replace some of the blood that she would lose as part of the procedure. We worked as quickly as possible and removed four large masses, and several large blood vessels.
Percy was such a trooper after surgery. She recovered well and seems to be enjoying being able to get around and squeeze into the tight spots that she couldn’t fit into previously. She took her antibiotics and pain medications well, as well as an iron supplement to help her regenerate some of the red blood cells that she lost during the procedure. We are thankful that Percy was so strong and did so well, and we are inspired by her gentle nature and determination.