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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had one ratty that has had a tumor before, and I got it surgically removed a few months ago. She now has another tumor near her front arm, and she's getting rather old so I decided i'm not going to have it removed. Over the past month i've noticed she now has two round bulges in her groin area, so i'm assuming they are tumors as well? Should I be more worried then i am now? When would be the appropriate time to put her to sleep? I had just taken them to the vet all but a few weeks ago and she didn't have the bulges then.

Also found out another one of my ratties has a tumor in the same place near her front arm. And she's probably about a year and a few months old. I'm curious if I should get her surgery, or if I should hold off since she will possibly get more?
 

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If you can get a photo of the location I can probably confirm on the groin lumps, they can be prone to abcesses in some places and mammary lumps in others.

In terms of when to make the call, you want to do it when either they are stopping her getting around, causing issues with urination / defication (can happen with groin mammary lumps) or about to / ulcerated (sore on the surface). At this point you do have chance to try a do or die removal, but its up to you, if she's got multiple tumours its not great. In the mean time whats her diet and would you say she was slim or a bit chubby?

As for your other rat, I would get it removed but also request a spay at the same time. With rats who develop tumours young this can go on to help prevent, delay or slow the growth of future tumours.
 

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We had two rats from the same commercial breeder that both got multiple mammary tumors. Surgery would have been a waste of time because one just followed the other... We had another rat that only grew one large tumor that eventually killed her... But I suppose in hindsight a surgery might have prolonged her life. Sadly, by the time you know which type of situation you are facing it's too late.

I suppose the only thing I can say is that rats with similar genetic backgrounds tend to get mammary tumors in a similar way.

Rats tend to do ok with tumors until they don't... then they go down hill really fast. I suspect that most of the rats that are put to sleep are actually on their way out already and perhaps would have lived another few hours to a few days. Unlike larger animals rats don't really drag out the dying process. I know of cases where rats actually passed away in the vet's waiting room while there to be PTS. When you know it's time, it will most likely be about the end anyway... I suppose you will save your rat some discomfort... but you will know when their time has come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Im having trouble getting pictures of the groin, but if it helps its near her last two nipples on her belly. She's always been a super big rat compared to my others, last time I took her to the vet she was about 1.5 lbs, my other rats around 1 lb each. She was a Petco rat, so I expected she would have health problems.

For my other rat, she came from a breeder from a local pet store that breeds rats and has been doing it for awhile. I also bought another female from that same litter, who has not had any problems yet. I'm hesitant to get her tumor removed just because tumor removal for my vet is about $230, and I currently don't have the funds to do it. I'm also hesitant because if another pops up I feel as though it would be a waste, which in this case I feel like it was with my first rat mentioned.

They're all on oxbow and have been since I got them, occasionally I give them fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and i'll give them spinach and lettuce if we have it in the house. They do like kale as well.
 

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It's a tough call with these little guys and gals. I won't try to offer any advice, because each situation and rat will be different, and it is unfortunately impossible to predict the final outcome or how much time you will be able to buy by opting for surgery... But I want to wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide, as well as peace in your decision! You know your rats best and should listen to what feels like the right thing to do, for your situation, and take comfort in knowing that you ultimately have your rats' best interests at heart. If only we could more foresight...as it is, all we can do is to make the best decision we can at the time, based on the limited information we have available at the time. Hindsight is always different...
 
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