Quantcast

Della is going downhill

Help Support Rat Shack Forum:

SqueakingJellybean

Mission Control -- All is ratness
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
189
Location
Ontario, Canada
Back in December, Elsa and Della developed lumps. Elsa's was malignant, aggressive, inoperable, and the vet gave her about a month before internal bleeding started. She went to the Rainbow Bridge on January 21.

Della's lump wasn't immediately apparent. It was much smaller, slower growing, and, when we saw the vet, were told it was likely benign or possibly a fat lump. We got her some Metacam, and have been keeping her comfortable. She's had a scattered few rough days, but they've been increasing. The lump has been growing slowly and steadily.

A day or two ago, I noticed that her vaginal opening was gaping. I figured it might just be that time of the week. Later on, I noticed some dried blood on her tail and Mara's (not unusual, they usually sleep in a ratpile). I couldn't find a source, though-- nobody had wounds and there were no torn nails. I filed it as a "to watch" issue.

About an hour ago, I went to give the girls their evening treats. Della was on the wall of the DCN, so I got a good look at her undercarriage. She was still gaping, but this time there was dried blood on the fur around her genitalia. Not a lot, but enough to show me where the blood on their tails had likely come from. Last time I checked, rats don't menstruate the way humans do, so that's cause for concern.

Mara and Della are little old ladies. They're just shy of a year and nine months. Mara is still pretty vigorous and zoomy, but Della has been slowing down more. She looks older than her sister now. Surgery was not an option, we felt, given how badly the vet visit alone traumatized her. She was so terrified. I suspect it brought back memories of being taken from the hoarding situation that had been their home before they came to us. She and Mara are both champion chewers; any stitches she had would not have lasted.

I think it's time.

It hurts my heart to lose another wee friend so soon after Elsa's passing, but once there's bleeding, that (to my way of thinking) moves out of "keep them comfortable" territory. The bleeding thing doesn't seem to be frequent and is definitely new; there was some very minor spotting on the nest-Kleenex when we changed them on Tuesday night, and the aforementioned tail stains, but that's it so far. She's not coming out onto the bed as often as she used to, and while she's happy to have love when she's feeling social, she's starting to look tired.

Does this sound like it's time for her to take that last trip, or am I overreacting?
 

Dena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
156
Location
Texas
Poor Della! So sorry you're dealing with this. I too have a girl with a large lump on her lower tummy, and one by her left arm, that is now making things difficult for her. She's also starting to drop weight. I know her time is coming up soon. I believe she will actually be 2 in a month or less (adopted with no idea of actual age, just around 7 months at that time). I think it's more difficult for us to let go, than for them. I'm sure you'll make the right decision for y'all both, whatever it may be.
 

lilspaz68

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
23,481
Location
Toronto, Canada, Earth
Sometimes vaginal bleeding can be a genital myco flareup. It's the reason most vets will give you a week's worth of antibiotics to see if the bleeding stops.
 

SqueakingJellybean

Mission Control -- All is ratness
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
189
Location
Ontario, Canada
@Dena -- I'm so sorry to hear about your wee lady. :(

@lilspaz68 -- Thank you for that info. Would that explain the huge blob of red-brown goop blocking an increasingly large opening? I had thought maybe I'd jumped the gun when I posted this, but that was startling to see this morning. If I didn't know she couldn't be pregnant, I'd have thought she was crowning.

Edit: It looks like she cleaned away the goop, but there's still a bulge of flesh that should probably be inside. Looks like the beginning of a prolapse. Maybe pyometra? Along with her mass and the wiping at the left side of her face/head, I think our poor wee girl has a lot going on. She is deathly afraid of vet trips, unfortunately, which makes this so much harder. (Edited again to add picture.)
Della underside March 30 2020.jpg
 
Last edited:

SqueakingJellybean

Mission Control -- All is ratness
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
189
Location
Ontario, Canada
Turned out to be a mass.

When we got up this morning, it looked like she was giving birth to a red grape. The vet said later that the mass was at least as large inside as outside. It was not an infection; if it had been, we could maybe have treated her. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done. We went from "Hey, that's weird," to "WHAT THE **** IS THAT?!" in five days. She's with Elsa now.

We'll have to keep a close eye on Mara. I don't think she's going to handle this well. She was already distressed by Della's health-- she's been barbering her arm for about a week. We'll give her as much love as she'll let us.
 

Fidget

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2007
Messages
3,304
Location
Victoria BC
I'm So sorry 😢 I hope Mara can be happy being your little queen..
Last thing I want to do is stress you further, but keep an eye on Mara, a couple times when I had an older kid start barbering their arm when they hadn't previously they started showing signs of PT's a short time later. I hope this isn't the case with Mara ♥
 

Dena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
156
Location
Texas
Was going to say that in that pic, it almost looks like a mass in her lower right side, near her vaginal area. Eva had the bleeding for one day, then a couple months later, I noticed she started having a "fatty" looking area, but now it's pretty noticeable when she stands up. But it started out, like your pic. A little puffy area. She just doesn't have gaping. It all looks normal with her potty parts.
 

Dena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
156
Location
Texas
So sorry for your loss. At least she's with her sister again....
 

mwp051699

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
32
Back in December, Elsa and Della developed lumps. Elsa's was malignant, aggressive, inoperable, and the vet gave her about a month before internal bleeding started. She went to the Rainbow Bridge on January 21.

Della's lump wasn't immediately apparent. It was much smaller, slower growing, and, when we saw the vet, were told it was likely benign or possibly a fat lump. We got her some Metacam, and have been keeping her comfortable. She's had a scattered few rough days, but they've been increasing. The lump has been growing slowly and steadily.

A day or two ago, I noticed that her vaginal opening was gaping. I figured it might just be that time of the week. Later on, I noticed some dried blood on her tail and Mara's (not unusual, they usually sleep in a ratpile). I couldn't find a source, though-- nobody had wounds and there were no torn nails. I filed it as a "to watch" issue.

About an hour ago, I went to give the girls their evening treats. Della was on the wall of the DCN, so I got a good look at her undercarriage. She was still gaping, but this time there was dried blood on the fur around her genitalia. Not a lot, but enough to show me where the blood on their tails had likely come from. Last time I checked, rats don't menstruate the way humans do, so that's cause for concern.

Mara and Della are little old ladies. They're just shy of a year and nine months. Mara is still pretty vigorous and zoomy, but Della has been slowing down more. She looks older than her sister now. Surgery was not an option, we felt, given how badly the vet visit alone traumatized her. She was so terrified. I suspect it brought back memories of being taken from the hoarding situation that had been their home before they came to us. She and Mara are both champion chewers; any stitches she had would not have lasted.

I think it's time.

It hurts my heart to lose another wee friend so soon after Elsa's passing, but once there's bleeding, that (to my way of thinking) moves out of "keep them comfortable" territory. The bleeding thing doesn't seem to be frequent and is definitely new; there was some very minor spotting on the nest-Kleenex when we changed them on Tuesday night, and the aforementioned tail stains, but that's it so far. She's not coming out onto the bed as often as she used to, and while she's happy to have love when she's feeling social, she's starting to look tired.

Does this sound like it's time for her to take that last trip, or am I overreacting?
Personally, I would find out if she's in any pain, or if she's already showing signs of pain, then yes, it's about her time, the pain will only increase. But if she's NOT showing signs of pain, and seems to living well, see what the vet says about the blood and go from there. If it's very minor or stops, I would let her be until there's a significant change in the situation. Good luck and my heart goes out to you both.
 

SqueakingJellybean

Mission Control -- All is ratness
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
189
Location
Ontario, Canada
Personally, I would find out if she's in any pain, or if she's already showing signs of pain, then yes, it's about her time, the pain will only increase. But if she's NOT showing signs of pain, and seems to living well, see what the vet says about the blood and go from there. If it's very minor or stops, I would let her be until there's a significant change in the situation. Good luck and my heart goes out to you both.
You may have missed the obituary post, then. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday.

In the 18 years that my husband and I have had rats, this is the first time we've ever seen a uterine mass so aggressive that it went from a slight vaginal gape to looking like she was giving birth to an angry red grape in five days. We've been at this long enough that we have a pretty good idea when our critters are in pain; we'd been giving her Metacam as needed, and she was doing relatively okay with the mammary mass until the uterine mass appeared.

The vet said afterward that we'd made the right call, since the new mass was at least as large inside as outside. There was nothing we could do.

Rest assured that we gave her as much time as was reasonable. While we'd have loved more time with her, waiting for the external portion of the mass to rupture would have been unspeakably cruel.
 

Latest posts

Top