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Discussion Starter #1
My special heart rat Bijou has a lump.. I just noticed it tonight. It's still very small, but it's near her crotch, slightly above, and slightly to the side. I can put my fingers behind it, so it's not solidly attached to any organs as far as i can tell, and it feels like a lot of little lumps or clusters, kind of similar to my boyfriend's boy's fatty tumor.

My stomach just feels all in knots now.. She's the most special pet I've had in a long long time. So intuitive and affectionate, really smart, and she chose ME when I saw her for the first time, and she was pregnant and gave me wonderful babies, 4 that I kept and 4 I found great homes for as pairs. The idea of putting her through surgery (and spay at the same time) makes me so scared... she's so so special to me.

I don't know how old she is, she seemed to be an adult when I got her. But I've owned her for a year and 3 months. I'm thinking she's at least a year and a half old, or maybe older.

I guess the best course of action would be to take her to a vet and see what they think (if it's a typical benign mammary tumor or possibly cancer). I got my boys neutered at a low cost spay/neuter clinic with a wonderful vet that has lots of experience in fixing small pets and doing lump removals, so I would probably get the surgery done through her, plus a spay to prevent any more. The good thing is that at least it's all in the same area so she would probably need only one incision. I wonder if it's possible to then take the lump to have it tested at a regular vet?

Oh man, i'm so nervous for my special, wonderful little girl...
 

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You caught it at a good time, and you are ahead of the game by already having a relationship with a trusted veterinary surgeon.

Make an appointment ASAP, as some tumors can grow very quickly, very fast. The larger it gets, the more complicated the removal surgery becomes.

As long as her heart and respiratory health is good, the risks of surgery are very low. Certainly much lower than allowing the lump to take her from you.

As far as getting the lump tested, I wouldn't bother.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well the only vet in the area that I feel mostly comfortable with opens at 8am, so I plan to wake up early and call for an appointment to see what the vet says after they see her. I'll tell them about the other vet that I want to do the surgery that I've been to that will do the spay/lump removal and see what they say to that as well, and make an appointment with the surgeon and ask about what she thinks of the situation as well.

The only vet I truly trust and was completely impressed with experience/skill/knowledge is 3 hours away that I saw for my megacolon babies when Charlie was having issues, and since it's hopefully a "normal" female mammary lump, I think she hopefully would be ok if I didn't take her there? Though i would feel absolutely horrible if anything happens and I didn't end up taking her to the best vet I know of..

Though I was very happy with the results of my boy's neuter. It's just that this is a more invasive spay plus a lump removal on an adult rat who is probably at least a year and a half old, or older (not a young 4 month old like the boys!). I just hope she's not too uncomfortable or scared during all of this... I can't decide if it would be a good idea to take her in all alone, or if she'd be more comfortable having a cagemate with her for emotional support while she waits for her surgery so she's not just waiting in a small cage all alone in a strange smelling place.

I feel really rambly and nervous, so I hope my babbling is ok!
 

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Are there any pre-surgery things I can do to help her out? Maybe adding an immune support/tumor growth suppressant like turkey tail mushroom?
 

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I've been through this with three of my rats, two of which were able to have surgery and one who isn't. I know how terrifying it is, especially since one of them was Cookie, one of my heart rats. Not that i don't love the others, but I know what you mean about having a special bond with some. I asked advice on here, and found as long as a rat is in basic good health there's only a four percent chance of loosing them on the table. I really agree with cagedbirdsinging. They may or may not spay her right away. I asked my vet about that, and she advised against it, but she's unwilling to do spays in general

I've been doing a combo of turkey tail, wheatgrass powder, and apricot baby food with Dash since her tumors are inoperable, and it's slowed the growth. Best thing is before surgery just have her as healthy as she can be otherwise. I know it's scary, but i'm so glad now I had surgery for Cookie and Cindy lou Who. Ask your vet about two kinds of stitches so they can't be pulled out, and temperature control during surgery. After surgery use fleece bedding if you don't already. don't be shocked by her incisions. They'll look really bad, but Cookie felt good enough for a cage break the day after her surgery.
 
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