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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The two boys are 2 years and 4 months old which makes them little old men. One is having issues with his teeth and needs them clipped, has a small cyst on his back, a large tumor on his left armpit and a very small one on his right armpit that is just starting to form. His brother has a medium sized flat hard tumor under his right armpit that we just noticed, and a small pea sized cyst? tumor? behind his left ear. We're doing multiple warm compresses everyday to see if it's a cyst or abscess maybe.

Two rats having surgery at once and with two tumors each, that will be pretty expensive. Of course we will pay it if needed, but we're worried about the risks of operating on two old men.

We're considering having them both neutered at the time of tumor removal. There is a wonderful rat surgeon who is affordable and careful and has lots of experience with spay/neuters for rats. But she only works at a spay and neuter clinic, and they will not remove lumps unless they are also neutering or the animal has already been neutered there. Since tumors feed off of hormones, we think this might be a good idea health-wise and cost-wise. Do males who are prone to tumors benefit from the lack of hormones after a neuter the same way that females benefit after a spay?

Opinions would be appreciated. With the holidays coming up, they most likely will not be able to get surgery until middle or end of January since vets all go on holiday for a long time.
 

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To be honest the type of tumours these probably are i dont believe they will benefit from neutering. Tumours in males are not that common but when they do occur they are useually fatty lumps or mammary tumours. Whilst mammary tumours are hormonally driven neutering removes testosterone not the oestrogen that fuels mammary tumours. If it is this then neutering may enourage the growth, though as you'd be removing the lumps too and mammary tumours in males are pretty uncommon the chances of reoccurance is slim. In terms of other benefits of neutering, it tends to be more benefiical the eralier its done. It will remove the chance of testicular cancer and reduce the chance of other issues boys are prone too but surgery itself can be hard on an old man (the anesthetic can but strain on the heart).

If your boys are still fit and well and seem realtively young then it may well be worth the risk, especially if the lumps are fast growing. If not i would probably monitor it and then make a judgement based on how they are and there quality of life. You could ask the vet for a check up to see what she thinks risk wise
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hm I see... Would it matter much if they were under anesthesia for about 20 mins longer during the surgery to get the additional neuter? I trust this vet, but like I said, she will only do surgery if it includes the neuter or if the animal is already neutered . The vet that did his examination said the first boy had a fatty tumor, but the second boy hasn't been given an exam yet since we just noticed it a few days ago. The first boy's large armpit tumor is almost the size of a chicken egg. I wonder sometimes if it's "worth it" to put him through surgery since he's pretty old, but if he still has 6 months or more to live, it might be worth the risk of surgery to keep his quality of life as he ages. If he's old and has a large tumor that just keeps growing, I can't understand NOT removing it unless there's a big risk for surgery. I feel distressed when I read about people who don't get their rat's lumps removed, and the poor rat is meant to just drag around the ever growing tumors until their death or until their life is so negatively impacted they need to be put to sleep, all the while the tumors are sapping life and nutrients and happiness from them. Unless there is a BIG risk where the rat is most likely to not survive surgery or the tumor is inoperable, I feel it's cruel to make them live with that.

But I'm conflicted if I should try a surgery. Thank goodness I've yet to have a rat die during surgery (knock on wood) but I know the risk is higher for older rats. These two were my boyfriend's first rats and his introduction to the rat world, so they're special to him. I would feel guilty if anything happened.

These two brothers don't yet act like old men, or really look it when I look in their faces, so I hope they would be able to survive surgery. But I've also read of people with seemingly healthy young boys going in for a simple neuter, and they had died from complications afterwards or during.
 

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If they are otherwise healthy, I would do the surgeries for the tumors but I would not neuter them at their ages, there's really no point to that, it won't help with the tumors (unlike spaying), and it means more time under anesthesia, more surgical sites to monitor, more potential post-surgery complications, etc. Can you sit down and talk with that vet about making an exception? Call around and see if there are any other affordable options?
 

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How about you make an agreement with the vet that she removes the tumour and if the rats are doing well under anaesthetic she neuters then too. If not she stops surgery there and then. That's how e work woth the vet overt here with lumpectomy abs spay ops. In most cases both are doable but not always
 

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If you have the money , I would: biopsy to see if they are benign or malignant, and then if they are malignant, do not operate. If not, if thy are in good health, I'd operate!


My girl was 2.5 yrs old and in great health wen she was diagnosed with mammary tumors... She lived for a few months (7?) with her tumors before passing, and if I could do it again, I'd have had them removed ! She was in really good health and honestly she could have lived longer... So...

It's up to you! The only issue is cost.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cost isn't an issue. I've made sure that most of my savings are available for my pets when needed, and if I don't have enough, I have family I can borrow from. I of course would like to save money, but I wouldn't ever withhold care just because something costs a few hundred dollars. I would just have to cut it out of my budget for something else. We're just worried about the actual anesthesia now... We've talked to a few vets and I think we've decided on one. One boy definitely is just a fatty tumor, most likely benign. He's also lost a lot of weight due to his malocclusion, but is gaining it back now. But the other boy's tumor is kind of flat and very hard, we might like to sent that one in for testing to make sure it isn't cancer. That boy with the hard tumor also has a tumor or maybe abscess on the back of his head behind his left ear that we're concerned about. We're REALLY hoping it's just a deep abscess, but there's always a chance it's a tumor or cancer as well.

Thank you everyone for your input! Has anyone here ever operated on a rat that's about 2.5 years or older? How did it go? Did they make it though the surgery?
 

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Iris was around two, two and a half when she was spayed and had lumps in her abdomen removed. She was fine, it was a rougher recovery though from my understanding - she wasn't spry enough to just bounce back from the op. However, the hormonal damage was done and Iris now has two lumps impeding her legs.
 
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