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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some may remember me posting pics of Bert's scrotum when he was young.


I know such spots are normal with hairless rats and found that out after posting this picture. But recently a mole like squishy lump has developed.




I had Dr. Mercer look at it. She's the main vet that I work with and only dabbles in exotics. Most of what she knows about rats she had learned from me mind you. She took on quick look (we were busy that day. I expected an aspiration/microscopic exam but oh well) and said she would have it removed asap because it looks like a possible melanoma. I hadn't thought too much of it as Bert has always had a black spot back there and Bastian occasionally nips at it (in play) but when she said that I got scared. I hope I hadn't put it off too long thinking it was normal (I've known it was there a couple of weeks but hadn't done anything about it because I wasn't too worried and it was too cold to take him out for something I wasn't worried about. This was the first warm day since it happened)

I'm going to talk to Dr. Paul today about it. I tried to call him earlier but he was out for a couple of days. Hopefully we will be able to schedule a lump removal/neuter for him next week.

Has anyone else had this happen? I've not been able to find anything in rat guide and when I look up melanoma on other rat sites I find a scabby skin disease. Bert has healthy lovely skin other that that lump! Could it mutate into a melanoma? Should I get the tissue tested and if it tested possitive for skin cancer what would be my next step? Or should I just wait to see if another spot pops up later in life and hope I caught it early enough?

Money isn't as tight as usual lucky enough with me taking on a second job but I still have to be careful as there are other things that need to be taken care of. That's why I ask about the tissue testing because if it isn't necessary I would just save the money for other uses (dental cleanings are needed for all cats and all ferrets but Gidgett)
 

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I don't really have anything for your post (Other than Im sorry if it turns out to be somthing bad) but I was wondering if you still lived in indiana? And what vet you work at (location) and of the other vet that you have consulted because I may be getting back to rats in a few months and I need to find some vets that will take in rats if somthing is wrong.

Thanks,
Amber

EDIT* Or yuo can just PM it to me if you would rather not share the information with everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I live in Indiana. I work with Dr. Mercer of Banfield in Carmel. We are totally not set up to be a sole exotic vet and while I love Dr. Mercer and her willingness to learn with my pets I would not recommend her as a rat vet for anything other than minor URI's. That and preliminary evaluation of things such as this lump are the only things I take my rats to her for and only because I can do this for free >_> She is a nice woman though.

Dr. Paul is in Noblesville VCA Wellington and even though he's only been in practice for three years I love him. He's so good to me and my pets. THen again it seems like in some areas I'm teaching him! I'm fairly certain he's done tumor removals and spay/neuters in rats though and am going to quiz him tonight before I book the appointment. If he doesn't pass I'm going to take him to the area expert, Dr. Lennox of Avian and Exotic. I could trust her to do any surgery on my rats and I love the way her x-rays turn out as well as the wonderful price of only $75 for them! I would pay $100 at my office even with my discount for a crappy x-ray lol. The only thing with Dr. Lennox is she is so BUSY as Indianapolis is huge and I feel I don't get the patient/doctor relationship I need with such a large amount of babies. That's why I go to Dr. Paul instead, the patient/doctor relationship. He's really not much cheaper at all.
 

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Could you let me know if Dr. Paul does spays/neurters and how much it costs? And also how much Dr. Lennox prices are? Thanks!

Because if I get rats I'm rescuing them but hopefully they will already be spayed or nuetered. Because I was planning on getting 2 boys and 2 girls to live together. But if Happy ending (rescue) doesn't fix them before letting them leave then i will have to pay for it myself.

Amber
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dr. Paul said on a previous visit that rat neuters are around $100. I've heard Dr. Lennox's rat neuter/spays are 100-150. Happy Endings in Indianapolis is run by Sarah who is a vet tech at Dr. Lennox's office and I think they only spay when needed but tend to neuter all male rats.

What happened to all of your rats?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bert has an appointment on Tuesday! I was lucky in that they had a cancellation! Dr. Paul told me he had done many rat mass removals and anesthesia on rats as well as other exotics. He admitted to never doing a rat neuter but has done neuters on rabbits, sugar gliders, etc so he didn't see it being a problem at all. I'm putting a lot of trust in him for this but he said he is extremely confident and have done successful mass removals which are very much more difficult than a neuter.

He is going to try and remove all the pigmented skin but the area around the rectum might be more difficult to remove as the skin is tighter in that area. He will remove what he can. He hasn't seen the area yet and I just described it over the phone. He is only charging me a neuter but said it may be a little more expensive (20-30 extra would normally be $89-$100) if it takes more time, etc.

I'm incredibly nervous but I trust him, he's a good vet and he seems very confident. He uses gas anesthesia but does do a shot of local anesthetic. He will be sent home with pain meds as well.
 

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that's good to hear. i hope he pulls through well. please keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bert passed his surgery with flying colors! Dr. Paul said it was defiantly a tumor but whether it was benign or not we won't know as I opted not to send it off. I can't afford the $150 right now and feel like we wouldn't do anything differently if we had found it was cancerous.

Dr. Paul is wonderful, he trimmed his teeth and nails and looked at a new forming bump (a sebaceous cyst) and lanced it for me for free. I think he did a wonderful job and he was the center of attention for the day. He's very groggy and sleeping in his new hospital cage. I feel bad but he needs to be seperate from Bastian at least for a couple days as the incision is larger then a normal neuter due to removing the mass as well.

He removed all the black part. I'm happy I won't have to worry about that being a problem anymore. I love my Bert.

I will post pics of the incision tomorrow after he has had time to rest.
 
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