I noticed today that Hershey has developed a lump right behind one of her front legs. What could it be? I can't afford to take her to the vet right now, so is there anything I can do in the mean time????
keep an eye on it and monitor its growth and her energy levels. most lumps are benign but they can grow to a size that could cause problems. you should discuss with your vet your best option when dealing with them. soe don't grow too large and though the rat won't be winning any beauty contests but will be fine. having said that though that is not always the case, it is possible that she could have cancer. if that's the case you'll notice soon enough if she goes off food or starts to lose weight even though she's eating lots. unfortunately there isn't a lot taht can be done for the malignant tumors as often by the time they're noticable the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. some steriods can be used but i just wait for the rat to tell me on her own when she's ready to go and don't normally bother with the steroids. however it COULD be a simple abcess which antibiotics and perhaps draining will fix right up. without seeing it myself i can't tell you which it is. all you can do in the meantime is watch and wait. i hope all goes well.
yeah, that looks more like a tumor to me. an abcess would be near or on a wound and would at least be red and sore. the best thing for now wold be to keep an eye on it and document its growth so you can get an idea for its rate of growth. watch her weight and activity levels, if they go down it could be a sign that the tumor is malignant. at that size it shouldn't bother her too much for mobility. can you touch it? what does it feel like? are there any hard bumps inside that you can feel? when you can take her in to see a vet to get the vet's opinion on if it needs to be removed or not. how old is the rat? she may need surgery and the older the rat the less well they cope. though with a good vet and previous good health most rats do just fine. my 27 month old rat, Spider is going in next thursday to have hers removed. the problem with these types of tumors though, even if they're benign is hat if they don't get every little peice the tumor will come back. so its easier if the tumor is free floating and on the smaller side (about the size it is now would be good) then when it gets bigger. but the larger ones can be removed as well. so long as the tumor doesn't get bigger then the rat cause then the blood loss from the surgery alone would more likely kill the rat. but any, for now, monitor it and document it. when you can ge the vet to look at it and your records and go from there. i hope everything turns out well.
its the same as my daisy had you have discribed it the same way as i did down the phone to the vets so it seems to me like its a tumor, they can operater on it although its (as all operations on small animals) not 100% they will pull thu, and also the tumor might come bk, but dont just take my word plz talk to you vet and ask about options, i hope it all works out for you! keep me updated
Yeah that is a standard place for a mammary tumour. She's a bit young to be getting one but I have noticed this more and more. If the lump showed up slowly then it would be a tumour most likely. If it showed up very suddenly its more likely to be an abscess which can be treated, even at home or with the vet. With mammary tumours you have a couple of choices.
1) Have the tumour removed surgically with a proper rat vet who is accomplished at this surgery. It can cost quite a bit but if you have the money, its very worth it as it can really extend the life of your rat. The tumour may return but it would have to start again from "scratch" so that all that time it grows you have given to her. The only real issues with this are if your rat has chronic respiratory problems and then cannot be put under for the surgery. If you really wanted to, you could have your ratgirl spayed at the same time, and this would really reduce any chances of more tumours.
2) Leave her be. The tumour will continue to grow. Some grow slowly and some grow quite quickly. It shouldn't affect her life until it starts to impede her mobility, or if the tumour gets big enough to rub on the ground, or if it gets big enough that it starts to steal the nutrients and blood supply from her body. Her life could be as short as 2 months or a lot longer, depending on speed of growth.
I do advise one thing, make sure you have the money to have her humanely put to sleep if she needs the help. This means gas first til they are unconscious, then the fatal injection to the heart.
i really can't afford surgery, so I am just going to let her go and give her the best life I can while she still has time. I will make sure to save up the money to have her humanely euthinized when the time comes. Thanks.
Wait, hjkaga, you are willing to save up money for euthanization, but not a surgery? Also, have you even talked to your vet about a payment plan? Many vets will work with your financial needs and set up a monthly payment plan. If possible, do a tumor removal and spay and then pay for it monthly. Saving up for a euthanization, but not a surgery is like saving up for a casket, rather than chemo.
I agree whole-heartedly with Nerdchick. Save up for the surgery, not the euthanization. What she has is basically the quintessential mammary tumor, it looks like, which is why I ALWAYS spay my females. They are so prone to mammary tumors.
Not to be harsh, but you took Hershey in, so you have to take care of her. Any vet care your animals need, you have to get for them. Like Nerd said, a lot of vets will work with you on a payment plan. One of my favorite quotes is, "If you can't afford the vet, you shouldn't own the pet."
surgery has to cost way more than euthanazia......also, the tumor seems to be growing fast....so she doesn't have long to live anyway. I am not getting her spayed either. I have no reason to need her spayed. I am not breeding her but I do not plan on housing her with males either. So that's surgery she doesn't need. My main thing is I don't want to put her through surgery. I think it is very stressful and something a poor little rat just doesn't need to go through. I have been through multiple surgeries myself, so I know what it is like.
the vets near me dont like to do payment plans. I live in the country, not a city where they work with you more on stuff like this. their is only 2 vets near me that will even handle rats, although I'm not too sure on how much they really know and how experienced they are with them.
I can't afford medical care for myself either, if I didn't have insurance I wouldn't see a doctor either, so I am not being mean, its just a fact.
I am taking care of her the best I can. Like I said, I think surgery is too stressful for a rat and don't want to put her though it. It is my decision. I undertand others may not agree with me, but that is how I feel.
Oh yea, Night, I don't really care what you think as I already know you just like to start fights anyway. I don't like the attitude you have had towards people here and therefore I do not respect your opinion anyway.
Actually, I'm not just "starting a fight." You can't care for your animals - rats NEED medical attention just like any other animal! They need regular wellness exams just like any dog or cat, and if you don't want to have to deal with tumors, definitely don't get any other females. Male rats are less likely to develop them, where as they are very prominent in unaltered females. Spaying greatly helps female rat's health, and it's a shame you won't even consider doing it, regardless of the fact that your poor girl has to suffer through having a tumor when it should be removed by now.
Since you keep saying that surgery is too stressful on a rat, how many rats have you had go through surgery, and what kind of surgeries were they?
I have to agree with Night, expect to lose many rats fairly young if you are going to put girls down the moment a tumor pops up. Tumors are extremely common in unspayed females and most people opt to have them removed so that the rat may live and enjoy life a bit longer. Their lifespans are short enough, why not let them hang around a bit longer? I've seen many people who have had tumor removals done and the rats seem to bounce back VERY quickly from the surgery most of the time.
I have never had a rat through surgery, as I said I don't want to put one through that. My dog gets his shots yearly and that is it. Other than that he doesn't see a vet unless it's an emergency. I never said I was just going to put her down cause she had a tumor either. I am planning on letting her enjoy the rest of her life and when the quality of life is no longer good then I will have her put down. I don't plan on killing her just because she is sick.
Yes, I have heard of rats bouncing right back after surgery, but I have also heard of them not making it through either.
That logic is faulty in my mind. I've heard of people dying in car crashes, but that certainly doesn't make me refuse to drive. With basically any scenario you come up with in life, there's a possible good and a possible bad coming out of it - surgery is no different.
My rats, both past and present, have had numerous surgeries - namely neuters, spays, and tumor removals. All have gone swimmingly and I've never had an issue. The rats come home and are just as they were before the surgery; happy and bouncing around.
i had my girl put down when she had a tumour as one poped up and we booked her for surgery the next day but the next day she had 2 more and the vet said it was to much stress for a small animal plus there was a large chance of the tumours coming back and it was more humain to have her put to sleep so she didnt suffer any more it was a hard desicion. i tottally agree with hjkaga.
daisy was one month off being 2 it was a very hard discion to make it still upsets me now, i just have to remind my self it was for the best i still miss her every day. people are tellin me to get my rats spayed and im worryed that they wont pull thu but they seem to think they will but in my experence most rats dont pull thu so i think its not worth the risk! i love my rats and dont want to put them thu any unnessasery pain! which ever option you chocie i will support you, also as you rat is around 2 years old they are known not to live much longer than 2 to 2 1/2 years and its just upsetting to know you are causing unnessesery pain!
It's not unnecessary, though, fallinstar. In my opinion, it's completely necessary. I would rather my girls go through ONE surgery during their lifetime (the spay), than go through numerous tumor removals OR have to endure being uncomfortable and in pain for however long they choose to stay alive because I refuse to take them to get the tumors removed. My girls have always come home bouncy and happy after their spays, not to mention practically pain free because of the Buprenex shot and Metacam.