Lump found on rat

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Valse

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Hello everyone! I have two boy rats a little over a year old, I got them in March 2019 at around 3 months or so I think.

As the title mentions I just now noticed one of them has a lump on his side/belly area.. It seems to have come out of nowhere though I suppose I could have missed it (in spite of all efforts they never became tame/trusting enough to come out of their cage or hang out with me sadly, so I am unable to handle them much) but it seems to come out of nowhere, and I heard a loud squeak earlier today so not sure if it could somehow be injury-related to their scuffles.

It's very soft to the touch, it honestly almost feels like nothing is there at all it's very strange. Not hard/solid in any way that I can feel, but I'm of course worried and not sure what I'm dealing with or what to do. No obvious changes in behaviour that I've noticed.

Any help would be really appreciated :(
 

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Lefty

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That could be a cyst filled with pus. I would take him to the vet as soon as you can. Call your local vet even if they don’t take small animals because then you can ask them to refer you to a vet that does. My rat had an eye ulcer and the medication & treatment they gave him costed me $90 total to give you a sense of pricing. If the cost is too much for you to pay upfront a lot of vets will let you do multiple smaller payments.
 

Valse

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That could be a cyst filled with pus. I would take him to the vet as soon as you can. Call your local vet even if they don’t take small animals because then you can ask them to refer you to a vet that does. My rat had an eye ulcer and the medication & treatment they gave him costed me $90 total to give you a sense of pricing. If the cost is too much for you to pay upfront a lot of vets will let you do multiple smaller payments.
Thank you for your response! That's a bit of a relief. I'll make some calls tomorrow and hope there's a place nearby I can go (no car) and that they don't charge much more than that. $90 is doable but Canada is expensive and my area especially.
 

Lefty

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Thank you for your response! That's a bit of a relief. I'll make some calls tomorrow and hope there's a place nearby I can go (no car) and that they don't charge much more than that. $90 is doable but Canada is expensive and my area especially.
If it’s soft it’s probably not cancer, which is a relief for sure. Maybe if you have to go far you could ask a favor of your friends/family?
 

lilspaz68

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If your boys scuffle it could be an abscess or hematoma. You can compress the lump with damp warm/hot water to see if you can get it to darken, scab then open up. If nothing happens it might be a tumour.
 

Valse

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If your boys scuffle it could be an abscess or hematoma. You can compress the lump with damp warm/hot water to see if you can get it to darken, scab then open up. If nothing happens it might be a tumour.
They do scuffle so I was wondering that as well, it just seemed too large to be an abscess at least according to most articles. I actually have some Baytril (liquid) and Doxycycline (powder) on hand, assuming the former does not go bad once opened. Should I maybe start him on a round of antibiotics just in case and try the hot compress? How long should I try it before I see anything happen?
 

Valse

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As a note I got a better feel for it today, and while it's not hard it's definitely a movable lump, as in it's attached to the inside of his skin and not an organ as I can pull it away from his body with that flap of loose skin if that makes sense.
 

lilspaz68

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abscesses can be monstrous so don't let that fool you. Even my vet has been fooled. Sent a rat in for a tumour removal and it was an abscess *whew* :p
 

Valse

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abscesses can be monstrous so don't let that fool you. Even my vet has been fooled. Sent a rat in for a tumour removal and it was an abscess *whew* :p
Good to know! It's right in the skin so definitely not a tumor, I can literally pull it away from his body with the loose skin. So hot compresses, how often and when should I see something happen/know whether it's working or not? Should I try the antibiotics?
 

lilspaz68

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in the skin could also be a mammary tumour, as males occasionally get those as well as they have a little mammary tissue, and at 18 months the timing is right for it.
 

Valse

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That would be a little more concerning.. Is surgery even worthwhile in that scenario given his age? I hate to say it too but he and his cagemate were very obviously not bred well, even after two rounds of antibiotics they still sneeze a lot in spite of their dust free bedding. I've done my best to provide good quality food etc for them but his health has never seemed stellar.
 

lilspaz68

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The best thing to do first is determine its not an abscess. You can just let it brew and watch and wait. A tumour will grow and you just want to watch how fast or slow it grows to determine if its worth it to remove it. At 18 months I consider that middle aged and definitely doable.

As for the respiratory issues, what antibiotics were given and for how long each time? A lot of vets only prescribe for 7-10 days when the very minimum for a treatment of an active infection is 2 weeks, with 3 weeks being preferable.
 

Valse

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I was using the two I mentioned earlier in conjunction, Baytril and Doxycyline and the treatment was for 4 weeks.
 

Valse

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There was a reduction but they just came right back not long after treatment finished. So far it's just sneezing, though once in a while it's bad enough that it sounds squeaky/like an exaggerated kissing sound.
 

lilspaz68

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OK next we check the actual dosages to make sure this wasn't a case of underdosing. Do you still have the bottles and can tell me the concentration (mg/ml or %) of each med and how much you were to give? Can you give me weights of the rats so I can work the doses out for you?
 

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