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Old 09-06-2017, 04:31 PM   #1
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Default My Rat has a mammary tumor

Hi all. I was hoping to get some advice from other rat owners.

I currently only have one female rat (her cage mate passed away a few months ago).

Her name is Pharah and she's a little over a year old. Just a few days ago I noticed a mass had grown near her left hind leg. I took her to the vet. He did a full exam. She's acting normal, eating normal, just as active as she always was. The vet said everything is good except the mass, which would have to be surgically removed.

He said there are risks including anesthesia, passing away during surgery, etc. But for the most part the rat's he's removed masses from have recovered. He also said healing might be an issue because she might pull staples out, etc.

I have already paid $99 for the exam, and he estimated between $569 and $699 for the surgery... and I want her to get better, She's still somewhat young. I just don't know if I should risk it. Is it better for her to live the rest of her life with this mass? Or risk her life to get it surgically removed?

I don't know what to do, and I don't want her to suffer...but as of now the mass isn't keeping her from doing anything she normally does. She is just as playful, active, and happy as she was before.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

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Old 09-06-2017, 06:19 PM   #2
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If it is a mammary tumour it will continue to increase in size until she has to be put to sleep. She will also likely get more mammary tumours. mammary tumours often grow quite fast.
You can give her the best quality life possible for as long as possible
or you can have the tumour removed and either have her spayed (separate surgery so she is not under too long) or have an implant that has some of the benefits of spaying. If you decide on surgery, it is better to do it before the tumour gets really large

If a good vet is knowledgeable and experienced in doing surgery on rats, then the surgery is low risk. Only inhalation anesthetics can be used on rats for surgery. A spay may slow the growth of any tumours already growing and may prevent other mammary tumours from growing.

I would suggest you look for a different vet - because your vet does not sound like he knows a lot about surgery on rats. While all surgery is a risk, deaths are rare if a vet knows what they are doing. Plus the cost you described is extremely expensive.

here are a couple of links:

I hope this info helps
and regardless of what you decide I hope you get her a friend or two ..... (there are established intro steps to intro new rats as rats are territorial and can not just be put together)
good luck
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Last edited by SQ; 09-06-2017 at 06:22 PM.
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