TMI Tuesday: Rattus norvegicus

I’m in a veterinary technician program, and this semester one of my classes requires that I take care of the animals that we house in our vet services building.  My first week of work was taking care of the rats, which was a piece of piss (mostly just food and water and cleaning the floor), until it came time to clip their teeth.  It took me almost ten minutes per rat (we have almost forty) just to clip their lower incisors, but I was learning a new skill and I’m not naturally patient so the frustration was good for me, so I was glad to do it.  Lots of urine and feces got on my hands and scrubs, but that kind of thing doesn’t bother me in the least.  The disgusting moment came when I got to one of the last rats…

I held it in my left hand, kinda smushed up against my chest, and got the clippers in its mouth.  After a few minutes of the rat giving me trouble, I got the teeth clipped.  And the part I clipped off flew past my glasses and into my eye.

Rat teeth are like yellow, old, crusty toe nails.  In.  My.  Eye.

The woman in the program who did the rats after me asked me what it was like.  She’s grossed out by rodents and was horrified that she was going to clip their teeth.  I didn’t tell her what happened, that would’ve been cruel.


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