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17month rattie with lump/mass/tumor on front left side near front leg. Contemplating surgery...

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xxzo

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Jan 25, 2021
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Minnesota
My sweet rat Gemini has a lump on her front left side near front leg. I discovered it the 20th, 4 days ago. we went to the vet the 22nd. I am considering surgery (for $350) but Gem is in good spirits, acting completely normal, can climb, run, waddle, eat, sleep and use all limbs. She seems to be acting completely usually, aside from a grape sized lump on her side. We went to the vet and the vet says she has had lots of success doing rat surgery. I'm just not sure what the right choice to make is and was wondering if anyone could weigh in... I don't want to cause trauma to my rat if she is still living her best life, but I also want to have her and love her for as long as possible. I hate the thought of the worst case scenario of surgery being death. She's a little skinnier than my other rat who is more round, so I guess i just think of her as a little more "frail"

Right now I am monitoring the size of the tumor and am waiting to schedule a surgery, but am thinking about tentatively scheduling one for a couple weeks and cancelling it if she seems to still be doing well and it isnt growing... Thoughts?

The tumor itself is not "deep", or attached to deep muscle according to the vet. It is like a little grape under her fur and has a round hardness to it.
It is also winter here, and below freezing temps, so thats another consideration I have for her health when we go to the vet... I bundle the travel cage in coats and blankets but still...

I have two rats (siblings) and the other is not bothered by the tumor.
 

lilspaz68

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If she only has the one tumour I advise scheduling surgery around the weather. If you leave it you could end up regretting it in 3 months or so. If you remove it (sounds like an easy removal) you could have up to a 7 months to a year left for her :)
With her being more frail that means the tumour is likely starting to steal the nutrients from her body.

As for a heat source, look into a SnuggleSafe, these warming disks are great for people who have to take public transit. Warm them up in the microwave and they hold heat for hours and hours. :)
 

Dallis

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Nov 1, 2020
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Maryland
One of my rats has had 5+ (can’t keep track at this point lol) mammary tumors removed very successfully. It’s actually better to get them removed sooner when they’re small. Mammary tumors don’t seem to be too difficult to remove since they’re not really connected to anything. I’d suggest the surgery if you can afford it because it’ll most likely allow your rat to live much longer
 

xxzo

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Jan 25, 2021
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Minnesota
thank you for advice! I've scheduled surgery (for both of them because i found a mammary lump on the other). Fingers crossed everything goes well <33
 

xxzo

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Jan 25, 2021
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Minnesota
Yes! They both got lumpectomies last wednesday! They got to stay over night at the vet the first night (to monitor them from chewing on stiches). And they had some metacam the first two days home. This weekend i did start to see Gemini's incision site a bit more open and Gemini start licking at it a bit, not sure if it got opened from the licking or scratching or from being a long incision with loose skin and being near the armpit. I've called the vet and emailed them photos of the incision site. I attached a photo here as well. I'm trying to keep the room a cozy temperature for them, give lots of baby foods, and change their blankets and pillows everyday/every other day. They are in good spirits and doing plenty of resting atop eachother and next to eachother, which warms my heart.
 

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Dallis

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Nov 1, 2020
Messages
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Maryland
I’m so glad they’re doing well! When my girl had one of her tumors removed she had stitches that had to be removed instead of dissolvable ones because of where it was. She ended up pulling one out and her vet said it was fine and to just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get infected. Obviously still ask your vet about it because I’m not a vet, but that’s my experience with that. She should be fine! I also had atropine sulfate ophthalmic solution that she was prescribed from her first surgery. It’s really bitter apparently and if you put it around the wound (try not to get it in the wound) it discourages them from licking or messing with it. So maybe you could see if the vet has any of that.
 

lilspaz68

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The incision looks good and its healing well. Its normal for the incision to be pulled apart a little because the rat is more comfortable and is moving more which stretches it.
 
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