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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone! Hope all is well. I'm posting here today because I am in some desperate need of advice. I have a wonderful male (2 years old next month), Lannister (aka Lanny) who is having some issues. In July, we unexpectedly lost his brother, Stannis. Ever since, Lanny has not been the same. He sits and stares at the wall, and has become very aggressive. I am the only person he tolerates. His entire life he has battled URIs. A couple weeks ago, a tumor popped up. I have had 6 other rats in the past 5/6 have had tumors, and none of them have ever grown this fast. I took Lanny to the vets last night to have it examined. It's grown so big, so fast that it can't keep up with it's own blood supply and an ulcer has developed. The vet found 4 other growths. She explained given his age, respiratory issues, stress levels, and general lack of health his entire life, that surgery is very risky. At the same time, these tumors are so aggressive that he will not live much longer without the removal of them.Lanny had a skin scrape down to test if he had mites, when he came back he sneezed blood all over me. With his URIs, he sometimes has porphyrin drainage, but this looked different. We got a black light out, and it was actually blood. I'm really terrified to have him operated on. What would you guys do in my situation? I am leaning towards doing it, because if I don't, he stands no chance at living. However, without Stan, his quality of life has definitely decreased.. Exponentially. He's been so aggressive, I'm not sure how he would respond if I introduced him to a new mate. I was thinking a spayed female around his age from a local rescue? If he tolerates the surgery and lives longer, I don't want him to be solo.He is receiving revolution for mites and we will treated prophylactically with antibiotics if I decide to go for it. Any input on surgery or any attempts to bond him with a new partner are appreciated. Thanks, everyone!
 

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Sorry to hear about Lanny :(
It sounds like hes not doing very well. I think if I were you I would go for the surgery, then at least he might have a chance of a longer life because to be honest it sounds as if he might not have much longer anyway ;(
 

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A couple of months ago I had a male rat whose tumour that we had removed grew back. He was also loosing a bit of weight and not acting like himself. The vet said he was well enough to have a second tumour removal. I think there were underlying respiratory issues going on as well. The first night after surgery my boy was mouth breathing. He bounced back the next morning. Over the next few days he got penis prolapse which I attributed to the swelling around his penis from the surgery (his tumour was golf ball sized and on the lower right side of his abdomen growing toward his penis). He had this condition for a few days and all I could do was rub coconut oil on the area to help lubricate it. This too resolved itself.

After a week or so my rat ended up with hind leg weakness and looked sickly. His incision healed well because for some odd reason after surgery he lost his two top teeth and looked comical. I could tell my boy was going downhill as he would no longer eat solid foods and was eating a rat mash even when his teeth grew back. He passed away four weeks after surgery. He was a brave boy who would chase my cat around the house and bite him. He was a funny boy too and would hop up the stairs to say hello to me in the computer room and then go off back down the stairs to visit with the girls who would try to punch him through cage bars but he would stand on his legs upright and take it. What a goof--a goof who I loved dearly.

You're in a tough situation. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't. I don't know what the right answer is for your rat, but if you do go for it optimistically the outcome may or may not be what you want it to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you all for your kind words.
I'm sorry to hear about your rat passing, it sounds like he was full of character. His brother was much like that, chasing the cats and my two bunnies around. Lanny has always just been a really fat sweetheart who is too lazy to chase after anything unless it's food:p

I decided to have the surgery. He has been home for a few hours and is gasping for air through his mouth and using accessory muscles to breathe. He isn't eating or drinking yet, and I am terrified he is not going to make it. It honestly breaks my heart to see him like this. I just gave him some water through a syringe. I might bust out some critical care and feed him some rat mush in the morning if he hasn't started eating by then.
 

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Soy baby formula is good too. Hydrates and feeds. Should be able to force about six ml down his throat with a feeding syringe. That is per meal, three times a day. Be careful to B fast, as if he is mouth breathing, you don't want to obstruct his mouth for long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, Lanny has continued to deteriorate throughout the week. He's had no sign of improvement. His respirations never returned to normal, his nose bleeds have persisted, he has decreased urinary output and little bowel movements. He has lost a significant amount of weight and has begun drooling profusely. I had him hospitalized today while I attended classes. He underwent nebulizer treatments, fluids, syringe feedings, etc. and he was sent home with me for the night. The vet and I discussed our options and decided that if in the morning he has not had any improvements that euthanasia would be our best option. He is clearly suffering. At the moment I'm not sure if he will make it through the night. I found him completely laying on his back and barely breathing. I'm doing my best to comfort him. I feel awful for putting him through all of this and I'm not ready to lose my little nugget :,(
 

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I'm so, so sorry that you and Lanny are going through this. Give him lots of cuddles and kisses and know that you have done everything you possibly can for him.
 
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