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Ouija hasn't been doing so hot. He was losing fur, but it wasn't a big issue and he wasn't losing it in mats or anything nor did it look barbered off... so I attributed it to old age, as I'd heard some ratties over a year old can start having thinning fur.

Then I noticed he was very light. He doesn't look underweight... but my newest baby is much heavier than he is, even though he's smaller. That, too, I could explain away - with the new baby he's been playing more and running around more and possibly eating less (he does like to share his food, after all). I couldn't see any ribs, so I let it slide. Again, I can't see any ribs, but he is very light. He's never been pudgy or large, so this may be concerning or not... he's always been more of a go go go runner than anything else. Now with the larger cage, too, he might have lost weight for himself...

And now... he has a tiny lump. I know it's not an abscess - my dog has a few tumors, sadly, so I know what they feel like. It's very small... but it's on his chest. And I'm very worried. Mom says we'll watch him for a little while to see what happens before we take him to the vet, just to make sure it's not like with our dog (whose tumors turned out to be nothing more than fatty tumors... a few hundred dollars later).

I just came on here to ask - what can I buy to help him out right now? The lump is very, very small, but it's definitely there. I know there are some things that can slow it up but not prevent it. I am not expecting miracles and, as I said, we will be taking him to the vet if he declines in personality or mobility or seems sick (he does not at this point). I know there isn't some magical cure out there, but something to slow its growth would be nice or even just to help him get weight on quickly so he's not so skinny anymore... unless you guys feel this isn't a problem. I don't know whether to be concerned about it or not. The hair thing, though, I don't know if it's even a problem. He is over a year old now... they were over 5 months old (Tarot must have been 6 at least, he was a bit older) in March... so he's a little over a year now.

Oddly enough, he didn't seem to go through a hormonal phase at all. In fact, he seemed to completely mellow out instead of going all hormone raged like Tarot did... is this unusual? I know hormones usually are supposed to make them more rowdy, but Ouija never got that way.
 

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You should take him to the vet now, before it gets any worse, or it might be too late. The tumor isn't the biggest problem here. Most of the tumors rats get are fatty tumors, however unlike in dogs they will keep growing until they are as big as or larger than the rat itself and they can kill him, so you will probably have to get that taken care of eventually. But the fur and weight loss is a bigger concern and suggests an underlying health problem. How old is he exactly? One of my rats that started to get a lot of health problems as she got older lost a lot of fur, got very skinny, and her teeth turned white as well. She had chf, hed, and possibly a pt on top of that. She only lived a few months after she started losing a lot of weight, but she was over 2. The faster you treat whatever he has going on the better his chances will be, especially if he is still young.
 

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Dashielle, I have said he will be going to the vet. My mother knows. My hands are tied as I don't drive and the only vet who sees rats in my area is a good half an hour plus away by car (and no, we don't have buses in the country). I stated he was around a year old, a little older. I'm looking for things I can do myself at home right now to help him. I know there are some foods that are good for slowing things like this, and I want to know what I can do for him in the meantime. He will be getting to a vet. We just can't take him right this very second.

Meanwhile, after looking up CHF it is most certainly not heart failure. He is loosing fur but it's still smooth and looking like it should be - just with less. No problems breathing at all. Not even a sniffle from him. No excess porphyrin either.

Again, he will be getting treatment probably within the next few weeks, but there has to be something I can do here. I'm not trying to be rude, and I apologize, but it's just very frustrating to hear vet, vet, vet, when he's already going to the vet - just not right this second. :/ (obviously not on RF, but it's still frustrating).
 

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Can you get some urine dip sticks or ask your mum to take him to the vet to get that checked out. i strongly suspect he has a level of kidney degeneration going on. typical signs for this is thinning fur and weightloss. Often they drink more to. a check for abnormal levels of protien in the urine will tell you if he's got issues. If so then fortekor (a diuretic) can significantly improve there symptoms and moving then to a kidney friendly diet really helps too. This can be done without using the vet and is probably a worry while doing regardless of official diagnosis. i can give you more info on this if needed.

In terms of the lump, it could be a fatty lump, these normally feel soft and are quite flat profiled and slow growing. males can also get mammary lumps (they have some mammary tissue) these feel firmer but still squishy and much rounder like peas at first. a nastier tumour would feel lumpy and hard. It may yet be an abcesses but i tend to monitor those and try soaking with warn water to get them to come to a head then deal with them myself unless the rat seems I'll, had more than one or has any swelling elsewhere in its body (meaning the infection could have spread). i would monitor it and see how fast it grows. Fast growing is more serious and life affecting than a very slow growing fatty lump (which i would probably leave on an old rat with kidney issues).

I'd definitely look into his kidneys though, it could really help him and give him a longer happier life
 
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