Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?
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Thread: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

  1. #1

    Default Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    I have a 2 year old tan and white hooded fancy (male, neutered) with no previous heath issues. He is currently on baytril as a preventive measure since he was showing a little discharge and one of his cage mates is currently sick with pneumonia.

    This evening I found a small hard lump at the base of his right ear. Is is very firm and does not move with the skin. It appears that he has been scratching it. It is roughly 1/2 inch in diameter.

    My research leads me to believe it is squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland.

    Other possibilities are a facial cyst or abscess.

    Any ideas? What do you think it might be? is there anything I can do if it is the cancer? If it is the cancer, what will he go through and how long do you think he has?

    My little Bean (my rat with the pneumonia) might not be here if it were not for your help and guidance (your the best Kinsey!), Thank you for everything and if you have any ideas about Sputnik please be honest, I would like to know what it is even if it is not what I want to hear.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    Do you know how to put a picture up?

    I do know the prognosis is very poor for ZGT.

    Can you smell his mouth and ears for the infection smell?

  4. #3

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    It could be an abscess, and possibly an inner ear infection that has caused fluid build up, but honestly, I have nothing to offer but ideas and guesses. It would be good if you could smell the ear and possibly post a few photos..someone else may know more than I do, and I might have something to add about it if I see it.

    Benjamin, Chloe, Lucy, Fleur, Lily, Echo

    Sleep peacefully-Peony, Marlena, Snitch, Rosebud, Romeo, Louis, Mendel and Tickles. I love you still.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    I will get photos up by this afternoon. When I tried to post photos on the forum I got a notice saying that the file was too big. I will post the pictures on my photobucket and provide a link.

    I found these pictures last night, I though I would go ahead and link them while I worked on getting Sputniks photos up. Sputniks lump is identical, except a little smaller


    What does the infection smell smell like? I just sniffed his ears (I tried the mouth too, but that did not go so well) and I could smell something, but I think it was just his normal scent.

    I know smells are hard to describe, but if you could tell me if I am smelling for sweet, bitter, sour, strong etc. it would help a great deal.

    Thank you so much!

  7. #5

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    What did the vet who prescribed the Baytril say? I would definitely take him back and show the lump to the vet - if it's an abscess, it could be surgically removed before the infection travels too far into the brain and bone there.

  8. #6

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    how common are these tumors? scares the crap out of me

  9. #7

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    alrighty.... the rat photo shoot did not go well. You can't see the lump in any of the pictures because 1. he is a blur of rat energy and 2. he is such a light color and with such thick fur that you cannot make out the growth.

    The pictures that I posted previously are the best examples I could find.

    I sniff checked him again and he still smells the same. Now I am sneezing like crazy lol.

    I am still searching for a vet. The vet I got the baytril from I was not too pleased with (hardly any rat knowledge, crazy expensive, $100 for a 2 min office visit alone!!!!) So far, no luck, but I will keep looking.

    What am I looking at if he has ZGT? Will he suffer? is it fast? slow?

  10. #8

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    If the lump is right below his ear it could be several things but the first thing we think of is ZG as its probably sadly the most common. The other sad thing is that ZG is not recommended for surgical removal. Its a watch and wait and manage any discomfort until it's his time.

    Have you checked the lump to see if there's a scab on or near it? Could it possibly be an abscess from a tussle with a ratfriend?

  11. #9

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    There are several scabs near the lump. At first, I thought it had to be just an abscess, but then I realized it felt nothing like one. I have dealt with abbesses before and they have all been fairly squishy and move with the skin. Also, my abscess rats tend to squirm away in discomfort if I poke at the lump. Sputnik's is as hard as a rock, does not move with the skin, ad despite his antisocial personality, he did not push me away.

    :,( Poor buddy! The one thing that gives me comfort is that he old and has had a good long life. I am still very upset though, he just turned 2 and since he was fixed when I got him and has been heathy all his life I was thinking he might last a little longer.

    I will keep everyone updated. This is the fist time I have dealt with this type of cancer and I will probably have a bunch of questions about how to maintain quality of life.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Squamous cell carcinoma of the zymbal gland?

    I will link you to Twiggy's adventure with what I thought was a parotid salivary tumour but acting a lot like a ZG. It ended up being one of the worst abscesses ever. Abscesses can fool even the most experienced of us and have done so for me many times. The only way to truly tell is to get an FNA at the vet (fine needle aspiration of the lump) to see if its solid, has pus inside or cystic material.


    I have had abscesses rock-hard, and sometimes with a bit of give and the same with tumours, you just cannot tell.

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