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Discussion Starter #1
Like dogs do? Sorry if the topics kind of gross. I ask because if they can I think that's what one of my girls is getting and I'm not sure what to do about it. I've never heard of it happening before and I tried searching and nothing came up there either. And if rats don't have anal sacs like dogs maybe someone can give me an idea of what is wrong with her.

So the situation is my 2.5 year old pooch got an abscess right next to her anus, like touching it on the left side, about 2 weeks ago. At first I didn't even notice it, although sometimes she would squeak when I would pick her up a certain way touching her on the back and I thought that it could be because of arthritis. But then a few days later I felt something on her butt and looked and I could see the scab starting to form where it was opening, and at that point she wasn't doing the squeaking anymore so I realized what it was. I still never saw an actual lump, so it couldn't have been very big, but it was clearly irritating her as she was licking it a lot. Well just the other night that abscess finally drained out and it started healing up fine. When I looked at it this morning to check on how it was doing and if it was still healing okay (which it is), I now see that there is a lump directly on the other side of her anus, which I can only assume is another abscess. I'm hoping this will be the end of it after it's drained and cleaned out, but I want to try to prevent it from continuing.

Has anyone had anything like this happen or any ideas what would cause it?
 

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It's not really the same, but my dog had/has a bump on his nose that just keeps pushing out puss and it's pretty gross but he had had the bump before and it just went away after some time...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
IMAG0087-1.jpg IMAG0083-1.jpg

Those are the best I could get of it, she's very squirmy it's hard to even look for long let alone get a good pic under her tail. The first pic is from today, the one on the left is the older abscess that scabbed over and the one on the right is the new one which looks like it's starting to drain already so there's some puss on it. The second one is from yesterday when I first posted, I had tried to take some pics and she wasn't cooperating but you can see the lump on the right side sort of. Like I said they weren't very large and I guess it could be from anything but I just don't know what would cause her to get 2 of them, one on each side like that in such a weird place . And she's never had an abscess before in her entire life so it's not like she's prone to them.
 

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View attachment 179762 View attachment 179770

Those are the best I could get of it, she's very squirmy it's hard to even look for long let alone get a good pic under her tail. The first pic is from today, the one on the left is the older abscess that scabbed over and the one on the right is the new one which looks like it's starting to drain already so there's some puss on it. The second one is from yesterday when I first posted, I had tried to take some pics and she wasn't cooperating but you can see the lump on the right side sort of. Like I said they weren't very large and I guess it could be from anything but I just don't know what would cause her to get 2 of them, one on each side like that in such a weird place . And she's never had an abscess before in her entire life so it's not like she's prone to them.
In dogs, the anal glands are to either side and slightly beneath the rectum--your girl's issue appears to be almost above the rectum from those pics, correct? I'm having a hard time seeing detail in the pics, sorry.

I too have no idea if rats have anal glands, but the first thing that jumped into my mind, seeing where those lesions are is somebody may have grabbed her there as she ran away and those are tooth punctures that have become infected.

Just a guess--only your vet could tell you, but that's what popped to mind first for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, we're thinking she might have some sort of cancer that's causing this, now I know it's not bites or anal sacs, and probably not an infection. The scabs from the first two abscesses never really healed, they turned darker and stayed there, if anything they might have gotten a little bigger, but not enough to really be noticeable. So then I took her to the vet and since she had some respiratory issues anyway they put her on antibiotics to see if maybe she had infection in her system that was causing it. They still didn't go away though, and after about 2.5 weeks on the antibiotics she started bleeding vaginally. Then her dosage of antibiotics was increased in case it could still be infection causing all of this, and at 32 months old with her health I am not going to be putting her through a spay. But the bleeding is more like tumor type vaginal bleeding than pyometra bleeding and I have seen both types before, there is very little blood and it isn't infected looking or smelling at all, the vet couldn't feel a tumor though.

Despite all of this she was still doing okay and had lots of energy until about 2 days ago, I noticed she seemed to be in pain and wasn't feeling well. I thought if she did have a tumor maybe it was growing and starting to cause her pain, something along those lines. But no, she now has another abscess starting in her genital region, in addition to the 2 sores from before, which are also looking a little worse. And this one looks bigger than the first ones were.

So I'm pretty much positive she must have a type of cancer and I'm not sure what to do for her. I'm giving her some pain meds along with her antibiotics, she's clearly uncomfortable now, but I know last time she was too until the abscesses burst then she felt better so I don't want to put her down if she'll be feeling better in a few days. And like I said, I'm not giving her any more surgery, especially not something so invasive, she's already had a tumor removed before.

I'm really thinking I'm going to spay all of my rats when they're young from now on. So far ALL of my rats have had at least one mammary tumor, plus many of them have gotten additional cancer, or uterine tumors, or pyometra, it's ridiculous. I feel like the rats around here tend to live longer on average but are way more prone to female/hormone related health problems.:(
 

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steroids can buy you more time with cancer but i will be honest if i suspect a cancer (and most lumps aren't cancer) i put to sleep as soon as I've ruled out the other main options. Cancer causes then to go down hill fast in a pretty horrible way when it starts spreading and isn't anything you can fix, so I'd rather have then put to sleep a day early than a day late if you know what i mean. It's a very personal choice though. i do tend to put to sleep earlier than most but as i also get my rats pm'd regularly i have had confirmation that I've made the right choice every time
 

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I'm sorry to hear of her troubles.

I agree with the suggestion that steroids can be a good palliative care solution, but also that a kind euthanasia is often the best gift we can give them, before they're suffering too terribly.
 
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