Oreo's Inguinal Tumor- Open and Infected?

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by Aida, Apr 22, 2014.

Help Support Rat Shack Forum by donating:

  1. Apr 22, 2014 #1

    Aida

    Aida

    Aida

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,323
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi guys, I just got back from the vet.

    Two weeks ago Oreo developed what I thought to be a abscess. This weekend the area around it, I thought "swelled" and looked worse. I just got back from the vet, and I found out that she has a really quickly-growing mammary tumor in her groin, that has opened to the outside.

    I have no idea what to do. The vet said removal is an option, but it is extremely likely to reoccur, and there are risks with surgery and recovery, as we know. Naturally there are risks with doing nothing, too, because the wound may get infected and the tumor may grow at unpredictable speeds. From speaking with my vet, it sounded as though she would be leaning toward not removing it, because of surgery and recovery risks and recurrence, but obviously it is my decision and she didn't directly say "I wouldn't do it". Also, the tumor is open, and the fear is that, unless all the tumor tissue is removed, the surgical wound wouldn't even close.

    She gave me metacam to stop any discomfort and to stop Oreo from picking at it, and she also gave me "trimeth/sulfa" to hopefully prevent infection in the wound. She put an antibiotic paste and a bandage over the hole, hopefully to help keep it moist and medicated until the antibiotics kick in, but Oreo ripped it off and licked the paste off as soon as we got in the car.



    This is the full report:
    Urogenital/Vent: ruptured mammary tumor lower right mammary gland; large cavitation with cellulitis, swelling, resness, and caseous material. Mass and surrounding area are painful to touch.

    Oreo has a mammy tumor....we can pursue surgery to remove the mass, but these have a high rate of recurrence. There is a higher risk of anasthesia in smaller patients. If we are not able to obtain completely clean margins, there is a chance the surgical site will not heal. There is also a risk of post-operative infection, and self-mutilation/removal of the stitches.

    The other option is palliative care. We can keep her on pain medications and antibiotics to try to keep her from being in pain. We will need to keep the tissue clean, medicated, and covered as much as possible. As the mass grows, we may have to make decisions about her quality of life.


    I imagine that most of you would say to try and remove the tumor, but I'm scared to do that. However, I'm also scared to just keep her like this with an open wound she is picking at(hopefully she will stop...). If the tumor wasn't ruptured, and if it was, say, in her armpit or more above, I wouldn't be as worried to remove it, or keep it because I have seen giant tumors on very happy rats....

    I always go in with no idea how bad it is. I always expect a "abscess" or, in NoName's case, "bloating"....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2014
  2. Apr 23, 2014 #2

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,105
    Likes Received:
    536
    Location:
    USA
    I am so sorry that your girl has this rapidly growing and ulcerated tumor. I wouldn't know what to suggest, but I think you'd want to look at a number of things: what is she like now, health wise and attitude wise? will you be able to control the pain?
    as far as surgery, with this type of tumor, I don't know if it's a good idea to put her thru it- I think when they come up this fast they are malignant, which is rare in rats, but bad news. I am thinking in terms of putting her thru the stress of surgery when it's bound to come back....
    very hard decision, when you can't see into the future. :/

    I don't know how you could keep the area covered... that's really tricky with rats. I've seen some pretty creative wraps on here that others have tried though, so it's possible.
     
    Aida likes this.
  3. Apr 23, 2014 #3

    Aida

    Aida

    Aida

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,323
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi Petunia, Thanks so much for writing.
    It is a hard decision and I'm a worried wreck again. Currently she seems fine, she's still very happy and curious and wanting to come out and play. She was a little weird after the vet's, for example she sat in my purse the whole way home, but I think she was just tired and in pain from getting poked at so much.

    As for wraps, we tried two at the vet's-- neither worked, and she ripped off the band-aid juuust as we arrived home. :(

    Judging by what my vet said, I believe that she thinks it is cancerous, and it did come up very quickly. I'm scared to even wait and see until the antibiotics kick in...
     
  4. Apr 23, 2014 #4

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

    Not So Much Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    45,145
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Location:
    Northeastern Ontario
    I'm quite shocked at your vet's negative prognosis with removal. Mammary tumour removal is usually pretty common and not too hard. I've never heard of a mammary tumour site not healing properly. Yes, recurrence is possible because she's not spayed but definitely not guaranteed.
    Factors should be her health, your financial situation and your vet's competence.
    How old is she?
     
    Aida likes this.
  5. Apr 23, 2014 #5

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,105
    Likes Received:
    536
    Location:
    USA

    but wouldn't it make a difference if this one may be malignant, and IF I'm understanding correctly, it's already ulcerated.....? came up very fast?

    my impression was that there wouldn't be enough healthy tissue to sew back together...
    don't some malignancies destroy normal tissue, beyond being a growth, they are invasive and may not leave enough healthy tissue to pull back together....?

    I thought this was one way they could tell a malignancy from a benign mammary tumor?

    no?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  6. Apr 23, 2014 #6

    Aida

    Aida

    Aida

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,323
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi Jorats,

    Oreo is about a year and a half, and she is healthy otherwise. She's lost weight lately, which is very worrisome, but this is just in the past week or so.

    As for removal, she did say that it can be removed-- she also mentioned she removed 3 in the past month and all are doing fine so far-- so I don't think it is a matter of competence or health. Mostly, she just felt rather sure that it would come back and possibly not close, but she never said to NOT do it. The biggest problem I suppose is that it is open, and my thoughts were similar to what Petunia posted about it maybe being malignant, but if that isn't the case then I'm feeling a lot more hopeful!

    This morning it seemed smaller, maybe the infection on the surface of it went down a bit, though I've only dosed twice now-- once with each med yesterday(the metacam and the trimeth/sulfa), and again this morning with the trimeth/sulfa.
     
  7. Apr 23, 2014 #7

    dspch911

    dspch911

    dspch911

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    7,963
    Likes Received:
    1,282
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Is it possible to get a second opinion? I know its hard to find one good vet let alone two. I would be worried about infection if the site is open. Obviously I have no girl rat experience so I cannot really give an opinion on removal or not. Comforting vibes to your girl from all of us :flowers3:
     
    Aida likes this.
  8. Apr 23, 2014 #8

    Aida

    Aida

    Aida

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,323
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks dspch, there is one other vet I have been referenced to in the past, but I have never been there and that is the vet who referred me to my current vet(he wasn't in when I took my first rat to the vet, and I have been going to the vet he recommended ever since). My current vet is one I trust to be a good one, she's always treated my rats correctly and offered the same medicines and advice I find on here. I also volunteer at her office.
     
  9. Apr 24, 2014 #9

    mamarat

    mamarat

    mamarat

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    19,701
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Garson, Ontario
    If she was mine I would go for the surgery. She is still young and in good health. But of course it's your decision. Fingers crossed for your sweetie.
     
    Aida likes this.
  10. Apr 24, 2014 #10

    Aida

    Aida

    Aida

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,323
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks mamarat. I've been trying to decide what to do, and I keep going back and forth. I'm waiting for Jorats and Petunia and some others to reply and to see their opinion on it possibly being malignant and ruptured and such. :(
     
  11. Apr 24, 2014 #11

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,105
    Likes Received:
    536
    Location:
    USA

    OH I don't think I have enough experience to really say, Aida.
    I might consider asking the vet, if this was your rat, what would you do?

    It could be that the vet thinks you'll be disappointed if her tumor comes back quickly and surgery only gives you a month or two, some people might think that was not a good outcome. But if she can get thru surgery and heal quickly and be well enough to enjoy her life, then it could very well be worth it.

    being malignant isn't necessarily a reason not to have it done, it's what happens after surgery- can the vet close up the site where the tumor was?
    I don't have any experience with a ruptured tumor (is that the same thing as ulcerated? opened up to the outside, I'm thinking)
    I had a girl with a necrotic tumor who had to be put to sleep....

    that's as far as my experience goes.
    I'd ask Shelagh. she's had a lot more experience. maybe PM her, she's super busy with work, her rescues and hospice ratties and the babies so she may not have seen this post.
    also maybe PM jorats she may not have checked the updates on this thread yet
     
  12. Apr 24, 2014 #12

    BlueSkyy

    BlueSkyy

    BlueSkyy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Colorado
    This isn't directly related, but I have had two neuters performed on rats that were a similar age (one for cancer reasons, the other for aggression) and both came out just fine. I've also had a very old (close to 3 years) rat sedated for an oral exam and ultrasound and he came out okay. I was so worried, though, that because of their age they wouldn't wake up. Shiloh (neutered for melanoma) is almost three now, and yeah the melanoma is reforming, but that first surgery bought him a LOT of time.
     
  13. Apr 24, 2014 #13

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    23,077
    Likes Received:
    1,761
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada, Earth
    In my experience once a tumout ruptures the clock is ticking. At this point surgery is life-saving and at her age I would definitely try the surgery. Even if it recurs it may not be for many months prolonging her life. Even vets don't know what they will find until they start cutting.
     
  14. Apr 24, 2014 #14

    Aida

    Aida

    Aida

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,323
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    Florida
    I think I agree with you all, and it's very comforting to hear about your successful surgeries, and it makes a very big difference to know that it WILL extend her life and comfort-- even just for a few months, that is worth it for me. Lilspaz, your post changes a lot-- if it is life saving and the clock is ticking, then I'm going to try and get it done.

    I'll contact my vet asap with some extra questions and I'll save up the funds(I have a nintendo DS with some games I can sell, and some other things- I think my mom would be willing to lend me the money if it doesn't sell in a few days), and hopefully we can get this surgery done before it is too late. I'm very scared of it not closing, though. If it doesn't, would that make the situation worse?
     
  15. Apr 25, 2014 #15

    dspch911

    dspch911

    dspch911

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    7,963
    Likes Received:
    1,282
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I don't know much about girl rats, but if they are afraid it will come back and she is not spayed - would the risk decrease if she was spayed at the same time? Sorry if you already said if she was spayed or not I must of missed it. I have seen so many older rats on here have tumors removed that I just cannot believe they even had let only were able to remove. I say go for it if she is in good health and you feel its in her best interest. Best wishes to your baby. :love2:
     
  16. Apr 25, 2014 #16

    Aida

    Aida

    Aida

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,323
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    Florida
    She isn't spayed. :( *bangs head against wall*

    I asked about that, and they said they can do it, but because she's already older the hormones are already there and progressed, so a spay wouldn't stop any tumors anymore.
     
  17. Apr 25, 2014 #17

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    23,077
    Likes Received:
    1,761
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada, Earth
    I am not sure what your vet means by won't close?

    Think of all the CRAZY surgeries Dr Munn has done...Dusa's tumour was abrading and even opened up a couple of days before the surgery. If you are removing the tumour, you are removing the problem. Because it had opened up, if Dr Munn had said he was unable to perform the surgery, I would've asked to have her put to sleep.

    I have had very very few surgical incisions be a problem post-op. Adira is one but she's got something weird going on. Inca and Balera both opened their incisions because they were given high doses of buprenorphine post-op, but with all my surgeries, almost all have stayed closed up and healed well. I don't think this should be a factor. At 18 months (if you can afford the extra expense) a spay would be beneficial, as it will remove those hormones from the factor. Tumours that may already be developing before the spay will lose their fuel and should grow slower or not at all. If she was 24 months old, I would probably say don't spay but still get the removal done. I consider 18 months relatively young for tumours.
     
    Aida likes this.
  18. Apr 25, 2014 #18

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,105
    Likes Received:
    536
    Location:
    USA

    I am wondering about this as well- what I imagine from what Aida said,
    is that the tumor has replaced/eaten thru or something- normal tissue so that even after it's removed, there's not enough skin left to stretch over and cover the incision...

    is this a possibility?
     
  19. Apr 25, 2014 #19

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    lilspaz68

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    23,077
    Likes Received:
    1,761
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada, Earth
    This would really only happen if the necrosis was very extensive, I don't see it happening just with a large tumour, as the skin will have stretched to cover the tumour and there should be lots to pull together (and excise to make a tighter fit) during the surgery.
     
  20. Apr 25, 2014 #20

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Petunia

    Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,105
    Likes Received:
    536
    Location:
    USA

    OK well with all the other rats with tumors on the board right now I'm getting confused.

    I don't know that this tumor is necrotic.........?

    here's what Aida wrote:
    "she has a really quickly-growing mammary tumor in her groin, that has opened to the outside."

    and

    "Also, the tumor is open, and the fear is that, unless all the tumor tissue is removed, the surgical wound wouldn't even close."

    this is what was making me nervous about the surgery.
    but then My vet thinks an 18 mos old rat is too older for surgery, so.........that's probably another reason why I am a lot more worried about surgery than others with a confident and experienced vet might be.

    I don't know what all the terms mean, I thought ruptured and ulcerated meant the same thing
    but necrotic means the tissue is dying, as it would in an older tumor.......?
     
    Aida likes this.

Share This Page