Pistachio-Sized Rat Totally Worth $85 Medical Bill
by Liz Colville
“When my son flopped down on my bed with tears in his eyes, I knew I was in trouble. ‘Mom, one of my baby rats needs to see the vet,’ he said. A week before, the female rat — way too young, in my naive view, to be sexually active — he had brought home from the pet store had given birth to 10 hairless babies, each the size of a pistachio. One baby was in distress: a teeny hair, invisible to the naked eye, had wrapped around its toe and cut off circulation. A local veterinarian could see him/her immediately. Ninety minutes and $85 later, we returned home with our recovering patient, hair gone. Just apply Neosporin to the infected toe, the vet said. But keep an eye on the injury; if it gets worse, we might need to amputate.” — Newsweek writer Linda Flanagan, whose report on privileged pets also enumerates several other freakish features of modern pet medicine, including animals who swallow underwear, DNA testing to help owners predict the diseases they’ll have to shell out on years later, and testicular implants for a male dog or cat “to help him retain his natural look and self-esteem” after his real ones are cut off.