A rat is in danger. I’d heard Vancouver had a drug problem, but this is a first. A woman there found her pet rat, Snuggles, in quite a bad way after it had ingested heroin left out on a table. She brought a near death and sick “Snuggles” in to an overdose center in desperation for help to save its life, which also led to a new home.
VOLUNTEERS CONFRONTED WITH TINY OVERDOSE VICTIM, UNSURE WHAT TO DO
That day Melissa Patton was on duty at the Maple Overdose Prevention Site when Snuggles arrived. “[The owner] said it had eaten some heroin off the table and had OD’d,” Patton told the CBC. “It had pretty much passed out and wasn’t really breathing.” But this was a scenario no one could have predicted; an overdosed rat?
Patton said, at first, her team wasn’t sure what to do, because Snuggles was so much smaller than the typical patient. “We weren’t sure what to do, so I gave it some Narcan orally. Because it was so tiny, I didn’t want to puncture anything by giving it an injection.”
RAT WINS BY A NOSE, LICKING LIFESAVING DRUGS
Instead, they put the Narcan on the rat’s nose and she licked it off. Patton, who is studying to be a pharmacist, also gave Snuggles some oxygen from a small can to help the rat retain brain function. She and other volunteers then gave Snuggles water with protein powder and held Snuggles during the ordeal.
“I know from NICUs that skin-to-skin contact is really important she told The Blot.
SNUGGLES ALSO SAVED BY CUDDLES
Snuggles managed to make a full recovery by the next day, with a ravenous appetite. “Right now she really seems to like Cheerios, bananas and strawberries,” Patton told the Canadian Press. The experience seems to have affected Snuggles’ owner. The day after Snuggles’ OD, Patton said the woman decided to go into detox treatment. Patton has since adopted Snuggles.
So while there’s a saying about rats fleeing sinking ships, this time the rat may have saved the ship, by saving the life of its pervious owner.