Vet refuses to operate?!?!

TheFatRatGirl

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Aug 21, 2019
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Bristol, England
Hi everyone,

I have a nine month old rat with a mammary tumour and asked the vet to remove it and he said no?! He said there's no point as it will just grow back. I told him I was aware of the risk of it growing back but I had read that if you spay a rat at the same time as removing the tumour it greatly reduces the risk of it recurring. He said that in dogs that only works if you get them spayed before they have any tumours. So I said in RATS there's evidence that it reduces the risk even after a tumour has grown. He said 'that might be the case, i'm not a rat specialist' and then told me that he wasn't going to operate on a rat because of Covid19 and that the tumour would eventually make her miserable and I should put her to sleep. I'm a bit shellshocked from the phonecall tbh. I know that people often go to an exotic vet, but I don't have one I can get to and this vet claimed they treated small animals. It felt a bit like I was being told 'it's just a rat, we've got more important animals to deal with while we have lower staff numbers' but shouldn't a vet value all of the animals they claim to treat?

I'm not sure what to do now. I feel like over the past couple of years I have had some pretty appalling treatment from the vets in my area. The only other vet in my price range once botched a tooth trim and my rat passed away so I've been avoiding them. I feel a bit overwhelmed and am not quite comprehending that I have to put an otherwise perfectly healthy rat to sleep. I mean, look at her:
 

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lilspaz68

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I am so so sorry...your information was correct, if you remove the tumour (even if its a malignant mammary tumour...they do happen) and get good clean margins they often do not grow back. Spaying can reduce the incidence of estrogen-fuelled tumours like mammary and even pituitary tumours even later in life. At her age it would be ideal.
I would keep calling around, find a vet who may not have the experience but is willing to learn?
I would avoid this vet in the future :/
 

TheFatRatGirl

Active Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2019
Messages
29
Location
Bristol, England
I am so so sorry...your information was correct, if you remove the tumour (even if its a malignant mammary tumour...they do happen) and get good clean margins they often do not grow back. Spaying can reduce the incidence of estrogen-fuelled tumours like mammary and even pituitary tumours even later in life. At her age it would be ideal.
I would keep calling around, find a vet who may not have the experience but is willing to learn?
I would avoid this vet in the future :/

Thank you. I felt like I was going mad aha! I booked a consultation at the same practice where the dental disaster happened, but this time with a different vet so I've got my fingers crossed. Hopefully I'll be able to tell if they know their stuff. I recently had a rescue boy neutered by a vet who hadn't neutered a rat before but was making sure a more experienced vet was on hand if she needed them and had a lovely attitude. I could tell she was a little nervous but she did a really excellent job. I felt like she really cared and Jarvis did great and healed up really nicely. I hope I get her and not the same vet who asked me if one of my rats had thrown up post surgery...

I'm glad to hear you think Dolly stands a good chance. I've had a couple of family members trying to talk me out of it too because I recently lost my supply work due to school lockdowns here in the UK. She's just so young. My only worry is that my sister-in-law took in three of her siblings and two of them have already passed away; one from an abscess on her neck that turned into a hole when the vet tried to express it and the other from heart failure. We got them from a breeder who really seemed to take care in what she did and made her own rat food and had a little rat shop on the side. In hindsight I'm concerned that she might have been more focused on breeding Platinums and Powder Blues than actually breeding for health. The vet who saw Mona (the little baby with heart failure) was concerned that the condition could be genetic. Would that affect her reaction to the anesthetic?
 

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