Bubbles - A story of rat family love

By Dr Louise Grey

You may have seen our recent post on Facebook regarding the remarkable Bubbles and her rat friends helping her through anaesthesia. We always knew this was a lovely story but we were not quite expecting it to reach so many people. Bubbles story was by people all over the world and by over 200 thousand people! That's a lot of reach for a little rat!


We'd like to give you a bit more of her remarkable story given there was so much interest and support for her. Bubbles is an older female rat and had developed a mammary mass. This is an all to common issue for female rats. The mass was likely benign but was growing to a large enough size to cause her discomfort. She was admitted for surgery to remove the mass. Given the size of the mass (large) and the size of the patient (small) this surgery was not without risk. Further complicating surgery and anaesthesia was Bubbles advanced age and underlying respiratory disease (another super common rat issue).


Her surgery was very straightforward and she had very little blood loss. Measures were taken to support her respiration and body temperature throughout and she had a smooth anaesthetic. Her initial anaesthetic recovery was very routine but after the first 20min she started to struggle with her respiration. She was given medication to sup