Tips for when your rat has a tumor?

Discussion in 'Health & General Care' started by FattoRatto, Dec 14, 2017.

Help Support Rat Shack Forum by donating using the link above.
  1. Dec 14, 2017 #1

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    My little Lola seems to have developed what I believe to be a mammary gland tumor. It matches the description of them I've read perfectly. It's a sizeable lump so it seems much bigger than a cyst though possibly it could be a really big one. More likely I think it's a tumor. Also from what I've read it seems that as long as the tumor is benign and you get the rat spayed there is a greatly reduced risk of getting one of those tumors again and they can go on to live a full life aside from that. Assuming this best case scenario, does anyone have any tips as to how this goes that has been through it before? I have pet insurance and sizeable savings dedicated to ratto care so I'm not too concerned with the cost. I just have no clue how to do recovery post op. To my knowledge tiny cones of shame don't exist so how are you supposed to prevent them from picking at it? Or tearing it open when they climb around?

    Thank you very much for any advice. She still seems to be a happy loving and lively girl other than this lump.
     
  2. Dec 14, 2017 #2

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,824
    Likes Received:
    614
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Jorats can speak to you from experience about having girls spayed after they have had a mammary tumour.

    Spaying is beneficial at any age and even in older rats it will reduce the chances of further mammary tumours and slow down the growth of any that may occur ..... as she may have other tumours that are too small to detect

    After surgery rats go beck in with their friends once the anesthetic wears off. The vet should give an injection of metacam after the surgery and you will need to ask about that so you will know when you can start giving oral metacam for pain. Rats usually leave their incisions alone if their pain is being managed. Rats can not regulate their body temp for 24 hrs after surgery so you need to make sure the temp is comfortable Do not use a heat source near the cage unless the rat is able to move far away from it

    My vet will not spay and remove a tumour in the same operation because of the danger associated with keeping the rattie under anesthetic for too long.

    Please see:
    http://ratguide.com/health/reproductive/spay.php

    http://www.ratshackforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7691

    http://ratguide.com/health/basics/signs_of_pain_in_rats.php
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  3. Dec 14, 2017 #3

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    Thank you that was very helpful. The vet I'm seeing will actually be keeping her overnight which makes me feel better as she will be carefully monitored there. I wasn't able to schedule her in until next week so I hope the mass doesn't grow too much by then. He's going to examine it more closely then as well so we can make a definitive plan of what to do. I hope everything goes well!!
     
    SQ likes this.
  4. Dec 14, 2017 #4

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,824
    Likes Received:
    614
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    so do I. Please keep us updated
    btw, pics are always welcome :)
     
  5. Dec 15, 2017 #5

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

    Not So Much Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    45,101
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Location:
    Northeastern Ontario
    Hi, how old is your girl? If she's in good health, I would definitely have the tumour removed and spayed at the same time. This should reduced any chance of recurrence. There is still a small risk because tumours grow long before we see them so if she has other tumours already started, a spay will slow the growth. All my rats have recovered very well from a spay and tumour removals.
     
  6. Dec 16, 2017 #6

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    She is 1 year 10 months. That's not too old for surgery right? I heard of plenty of rats living to 3 before.
     
  7. Dec 17, 2017 #7

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,824
    Likes Received:
    614
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    no that is not too old for surgery.
    Whether or not she is healthy is the most important factor
     
  8. Dec 17, 2017 #8

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    She has always been healthy, no history whatsoever. Even now with that big lump when we play she's energetic as always.
     
    SQ likes this.
  9. Dec 18, 2017 #9

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

    Not So Much Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    45,101
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Location:
    Northeastern Ontario
    I would definitely do it.
     
    FattoRatto and SQ like this.
  10. Dec 20, 2017 #10

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    Alrighty I took her to the vet and he said it was definitely a mammary tumor but because of her age he would recommend that hormone implant rather than a full spaying. We talked it over and I did some research on it and decided that was fine. So she's there and is going to get surgery soon, I hope everything goes well!! It would've been soooo expensive if I didn't have pet insurance, 765 bucks with the implant. But with my insurance I will be reimbursed for most of it so my actual cost is going to be about 130. Nice!!
     
    SQ likes this.
  11. Dec 20, 2017 #11

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,824
    Likes Received:
    614
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    I look forward to hearing how she is, and pics, of course :)
     
    FattoRatto likes this.
  12. Dec 20, 2017 #12

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    Just got a call from the vet, surgery went perfectly and the tumor is gone! She's up from the anesthesia and is in recovery there now. :bananas:
    Here is a cute photo of my girl to celebrate. I'm going to get a special treat for her for when she gets back tomorrow!
     
    SQ likes this.
  13. Dec 20, 2017 #13

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,824
    Likes Received:
    614
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Awwwww .... she looks adorable
     
    FattoRatto likes this.
  14. Dec 21, 2017 #14

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    Poor girl....vet called and said she was just too stressed out at the clinic and the bandages really freaked her out....said she should probably come home. So I have her now, I've never seen her look so rough before. Her fur is totally wild and ungroomed. I've given her some treats and have her set up in my bedroom in her smaller travel cage as they said she should be in a smaller area so she couldn't move around as much. She's taking the treats now and has been drinking water so I think she's calming down. I feel so bad about putting her through this stress but I couldn't just leave her with a tumor that could've spread and grown as big as her....
     
  15. Dec 21, 2017 #15

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,824
    Likes Received:
    614
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Glad that she is safely at home with you.
    My rats always come home after surgery and once they are alert they go back into their cage with their friends.

    In my experience, bandages etc usually bother rats and they will do everything possible to get out of them, and if they can't they will get extremely upset.

    They usually calm down when bandages are removed, and they are home in their cage with their friends
    she should be fine and if her pain is controlled, she should leave her stiches alone until they are ok to be removed
     
  16. Dec 21, 2017 #16

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    She has been licking the wounded area a lot. Is this normal? I don't want her to irritate it.
     
  17. Dec 21, 2017 #17

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,824
    Likes Received:
    614
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    as long as she doesn't start removing her stiches
     
  18. Dec 21, 2017 #18

    jorats

    jorats

    jorats

    Not So Much Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    45,101
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Location:
    Northeastern Ontario
    Make sure she's on the right amount of pain management. When a rat keeps going after their wounds it usually means they are in discomfort.
     
  19. Dec 21, 2017 #19

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    FattoRatto

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    Another update she is doing just fine now! Went to give her her meds this morning, her fur was back to normal, swelling was gone and she was energetic. Very good and relieving to see!!

    I think she was actually very sweaty. Someone said they can't control temp right after surgery, the vet had her all bundled up so I think she was overheated. Cool fan fixed the problem. (Don't worry she had plenty of burrowing/nesting material in her cage if she did get too cold). I'm happy she's doing well now!
     
    SQ likes this.
  20. Dec 21, 2017 #20

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    16,824
    Likes Received:
    614
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Just in case, for the future, know that drafts blowing on them can make ratties ill
     

Share This Page