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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girl Maisie is almost 2. About 7 weeks ago she quickly developed a small lump on her throat. The vet said it was a swollen lymph node and prescribed 2 weeks of baytril. After 2 weeks the lump was almost gone so vet said keep her on it for another 2. I this time it came back much bigger.

The vet was still certain it was just an infection since it had gone down so said another 4 weeks of Baytril and this time metacam (just to see if it helped tackle the tough infection).

It's been 3 weeks and the lump is huge. I mean snooker ball size, if not bigger. She is still eating and playing and destroying everything. Her breathing sounds fine (done rat phone) and I've not noticed anything at all different.

When the lump first started getting much bigger I called and asked for a fine needle aspiration. The vet said they'd rather do the full course of antibiotics first so I'm getting her in next week.

I'm pretty certain its lymphomas. If it is can anything be done? I'd rather her not have surgery as she is almost 2 and honestly I don't trust my vet that much. I don't drive and I live in a small town so finding another vet is an option but not an easy one. If nothing can be done do I just keep her as she is until I notice her start to deteriorate?

I feel like the worst rat parent ever for not being able to just take it all away, so please don't make me feel worse. I know I should find a new vet but it's not that easy. I know I should have had a fine needle aspiration already but wouldn't my vet know best?

Thanks
 

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I definitely think getting a second opinion from an experienced rat vet would be a good idea.

Without a fine needle aspirate, I wonder how your vet knows this is some sort of infection? Also, Metacam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, not an antibiotic. (So it won't work to combat infection but it will reduce inflammation.)

Debbie Ducommon in The Rat Report says this about lumps on the throat:

A lump on the throat can be an abscess, an inflamed salivary gland, a swollen lymph node, or a tumor.

Salivary glands can enlarge as an inflammatory response to the SDA virus or a bacterial infection. A lymph node can enlarge in response to a bacterial infection or cancer. These structures are paired on either side of the throat.

A gland or lymph node can swell up overnight, and an abscess can also appear quickly. Tumors tend to grow more slowly. For a sudden lump, try an anti-inflammatory first as this will usually cause a swollen gland or lymph node to shrink within 12-24 hours. You can also wait to see if it is an abscess (See Abscesses and Cysts, next article). See Abscesses.
[source: http://www.ratfanclub.org/tumors.html]
For how long has Maisie been on the Metacam? From what Debbie writes above, if it's a swollen gland or lymph node it should shrink within 12-24 hours.

I feel for you and understand how difficult this is. The good news is that Maisie seems healthy otherwise. I still just think it would be great to get a second opinion from a well-qualified rat vet.

Keep us posted and I'm thinking of you and Maisie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry I hadn't replied.

Maisie was put on steroids after it was confirmed to be cancer but unfortunately when I got home from work yesterday she had deteriorated very quickly and I knew it was time. Maisie crossed the bridge last night with help from the vet.

I'll be posting in over the bridge when I can do so without crying in work.

Thank you so much for your advice and support x
 

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Oh, paigebrittain. I'm so sorry to hear about Maisie. She was truly fortunate to have such a wonderful home and rat mom. I hope you can find comfort in many warm memories and in knowing she'll live on in your heart. Thinking of you and sending compassion and support.
 
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