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About three months ago I noticed a weird growth on the underside of my Rat, Rupert. It was in the area of his genitals. It wasn't huge, but I checked on it every week or so to make sure it wasn't hurting him. About a month later there was an open wound sort of near it. He's had a few wounds before, but they always cleared up in a matter of weeks. Now, it's much worse and doesn't seem to be getting better. It's sort of a crater now, and looks like it has hardened pus on it? I've tried to clean it multiple times, but it doesn't make a difference.

He still eats and behaves normally, and doesn't appear to be in any pain. I've been cleaning his cage more regularly, and changing out the boxes he likes sleeping in more frequently.

I don't think I can afford to bring him to a vet, money has been tight these past few months. Is there anything I can do besides that? Does anyone know how much it would cost to bring him in? I live in CA. Would putting a bandage on it help, or would he just chew it off?

I feel terrible I've let it get this bad. I'm the type of person to freak out over small stuff and worry about everything, so when I first noticed the wound I told myself it would be fine... He's had other issues that cleared up, and I figured this would too. He's over two years old, almost three. I know rats don't live very long, but I don't want him to be in pain.

Picture is attached.
 

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I will look into getting him to a vet. I knew that eventually I would have to have him put down, and I never considered any other option than a vet for that.

Do you know what's wrong? If I can't afford treatment, are you saying I should have him put down asap?
 

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It doesn't look good, at minimum there is probably infection going on there, I'm concerned there might be necrotic tissue going on and that can often spread. I would be wanting a vet to look at it at minimum. It may actually be a tumour rather than the common abcess in that location. For now I would put him on amoxicillin (can be bought online in the states) and an anti inflammatory such as metacam or infant ibuprofen. I would also wash the wound in chlorohexiden or use a chlorohexiden based spray on it twice daily. If it's not responding to that in a 3-5 days or gets worse I would be getting him to the vet asap, even if its for a put to sleep. To be honest I would be more comfortable going straight to the vet first
 

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I have to agree with Isamurat here, that is almost for sure a tumour and there's nothing you will be able to do. I think you had better try to borrow or save up money to have him humanely euthanized at this point as infection is going to get worse and worse. I am sorry.
 

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You could apply for a CareCredit credit card. You don't need a good fico score to qualify as it is only for medical expenses including vet care. If you pay your bill within a certain period (period varies depending on how much is your bill) there are NO interest rates at all. Very good card to have in case of emergency for your pets but also for you. I highly recommend that card.

No annual fee either:)
 

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Griboulli not true... I was declined for having no credit score.

Your rat is probably in pain, I would put him down... I'm sorry.
 

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Take him. To a. Vet.

Where in California are you? The Berkeley Dog and Cat hospital has reasonable rates - about $100 for an emergency visit.

If you aren't sure you can afford that, you have a couple of options. Your local animal hospital might be willing to let you defer payment or pay with some sort of plan. You could possibly fund this sort of thing through GoFundMe or IndieGoGo. If ten people chipped in ten dollars out of compassion, all you'd need to cover is the cost of the meds.
 

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Where in California are you? If you are north of SF, I might be able to help. If you are south and inland, I know a few people who may be able to help.
 

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That does not look good and looks like it might be difficult to treat at this point. If it can be treated, it might involve long-term antibiotics and/or surgery under the care of a vet. Honestly, I would consider euthanasia, and get a vet's opinion on that too. Euthanasia costs too, but maybe you can call different clinics and see if any of them offer it cheaper.
 

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Would you consider rehoming him to someone who can afford proper vet care? There are a few CA people here including me who might be able to help, and some good small animal rescues too. If you can't afford to care for a pet (thought I 100% understand having money troubles and unexpected things come up, but still..) then you should try to find someone who can help him so he isn't suffering through a constant infection or has to be put to sleep just because of money stopping treatment. The location is really worrysome too, especially near his genitals. If you live anywhere near Chico, there is a GREAT vet there that can help you. I'm happy to drive the 2 hours north to go visit this doctor. There was another doctor there who was amazing too, but she left this practice. But both are the only vets I truly trusted with rat care.

Call all the vets in your driving range. Many vets give a first vet visit free, so you can get the appointment for free, and then just pay for the medication. When money was tight for me, I called around a lot of vets and found at least 5-10 vets who agreed to giving me a free appointment since I'd be a new client. And I know that all VCA vets give new clients a free first visit. You can buy amoxcicillin capsules at fish aquarium shops too, but an infection that bad looking may need something stronger or a combination prescription.

Def call around and find a place to get at least a free consultation, or consider rehoming him maybe to someone who can take care of the his future probably pricey medical expenses to take care of his issue. If it's not a tumor, it can hopefully be cheaper and easier to treat.
 
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