Rat Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone I'm charlotte and I'm 14. One of my rats has a small lump on her side, im not going to include a picture because the lump is not visible.
Cinder (my rat) is just over a year old and she is a doe. This is my first time owning rats so im not sure what to do.

I looked it up on the internet of what the lump might be and I came to this website: http://www.ratz.co.uk/ailments.html

The lump feels detatched under the skin so it is probably a tumor or mammary lump. I havent taken her to the vets yet because the lump is quite small.

Does anyone have any tips on what I should do? Or what else it could be?

Thanks =]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Also Ciner had a scratch on her hand and arm and was limping a few days ago but she is fine now. Could this have anything to do with it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
i doubt the scratch had anything to do with a lump if the scratch was on her arm and the lump is on her side. to prevent further leg injuries, what kind of a cage floor is she on? wire floors can cause legs to get stuck on accident sometimes.

the lump, no one can really be sure, but the safest thing is to take it to a vet. for pretty cheap, you can call ahead and get a quote, you can have someone aspirate the lump. usually right away they can tell if they think it's a tumor or an abcess, but sending the sample off to lab is the best way to tell, although that's an additional fee on top of the aspiration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Well if it feels like its attached under the skin them your talking serious but if its not then its nothing too serious but i still think you should go to the vet as its always better to be certain!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,409 Posts
Hello Charlotte, welcome to the forums.

How old is your girl?

As I understand it, there are 3 "choices" with lumps - abscesses, benign tumours and malignant tumours. An abscess would be my first guess, going by the fact that you said she had an injury recently, but the book I have says that an abscess is attached to the skin, so I guess that's not what it is if you say it feels detached.

With girls, you can have mammary tumours, which often come up under the arm and can grow to be quite big. These are harmless, but I can't imagine too comfortable for the rat.

Whatever the lump is, I really recommend you take her to the vet for a check up. Random lumps can grow very fast and if it has to be removed by a vet, a vet can do this easier (and cheaper!) while it is smaller. The best we can do is guess at what it is, and if it's serious you don't want to be relying on our guesses.

Good luck with it, whatever it is, and I hope it's nothing serious. Keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
An abcess would indeed be attatched to the skin. They can also sometimes increase and decrease in size if left alone (which isn't really recommended). One of my girls had one under her chin. Every time I would decide I was going to take her to the vet it would just disappear (which wouldn't give the vet much to go one). Then one day it got bigger than usual and she lanced it with her paw while scrating it. Afterwards I just kept the area clean for a few days and have not had any issues with her since (its been almost 8 months I believe). That said, had I known better I would have taken her to the vet rather than waiting like I did.

A little over three weeks ago I took my oldest PEW to the vet for a lump between her front paws that felt detatched from the skin. They took a small sample, said it didn't look cancerous (malignant) but possibly infected and gave me some antibiotics and sent us home. The meds made the swelling go down a little in the mass and she started to perk up a bit but it didn't go away. Two weeks ago today we had the mass removed for a number of reasons. First, it was starting to affect her ability to walk by getting in the way (it was almost directly in the middle of her front paws). Second, once its growth started to accelerate her energy level went WAAAY down. She was always sluggish and tired. She waited until she was SURE that everyone else had eating before even looking in the direction of the food dishes (which wasn't normal for her) and over the course of a few weeks lost an INCREDIBLE ammount of weight. She was a REALLY fat rat. She's probably 1/2 the size now just eyeballing it. She was fat mostly due to the fact she didn't run around much unless it was pitch black and even the she prefered to chill in bed, unlike the others who run around all day long on their wheel and in the cage. Thats part of why the drop in energy was so disturbing. She also developed some balance issues but I'm not totally convinced that that is a related issue.

Anyway, the reason I mention this is that while benign tumors may not be cancerous, they aren't harmless. They still consume the body's resources (nutrients and such). In some cases, especially if the mass starts to become more aggressive, it can become all your poor ratties body can do just to feed the mass and the rest of the rat sufferes (this happens in people too btw).

Now Siberia is doing pretty well. Poor thing has to wear an e-collar right now though so she doesn't chew at her sutchers. She hates it. Comes off soon hopefully. We tried to get the sutchers out today but it didn't look like it was quite done healing (the wound started to open when the started removing them).

I suppose the point I was trying to make in this long, round-about way is that while benign tumors are less bad they can be far from harmless and can become severe health problems if not treated. Further, catching it early can give you time to a) plan your finances (Siberia's surgury was about $300 plus another $100 to send the mass to the lab to make sure we got it all and that it wasn't malignant) and b) if/when you go to have it removed, the less that needs to come out the better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all your comments =]

My rats cage has a plastic floor both on the base and the shelves, so im not sure what caused the scratch. It might have been when they were fighting! Btw both my rats are about 15 months old.

The lump is quite close to her front leg, so it could be a mammary lump (thanks DonnaK)

Also after reading secondshadow's story I have decided that I will take her to the vets tomorrow to see what the vet says about it and I hope Siberia gets fully better soon! =D

I'll keeps everyone posted about what happens with Cinder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,640 Posts
Abscesses can fool even the smartest vets. Did the lump pop up overnight or is it growing slowly. Abscesses usually form very quickly, and you can start treating them at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
yay cozmonkey! glad to hear you're going to stop by the vets. the scratch could very well have come from fighting and i wouldn't worry about it, but keep an eye on your rats when they are playing together and maybe make a mention of it to your vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,095 Posts
Just so you know, when you find a lump, you should act immediately. Many newbie owners think it's best just to "watch" it and see what happens. If it's a tumor, then it'll just grow larger and take up more blood supply, making it harder to remove and worse on the rat recovery-wise. If it's an abscess, the vet can aspirate it and drain it, then send you home with antibiotics, which would speed the recovery up ten-fold.

Female rats are extremely prone to mammary tumors. Personally, I spay all of my girls because of that fact. Spaying greatly reduces a female's chances for getting mammary tumors, and also eliminates the possibility of pyometra (also very, VERY common in intact girls).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Unfortunately the vets were shut yesterday and today, so i have made an appointment for tuesday.

Thanks Night for the information also could I ask you a question?
If the lump on Cinder is a mammary lump, if i spayed her after it was removed and had healed would the spaying prevent any more from growing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I took Cinder to the vets, the vet said that because Cinder wasnt using her right arm a few days ago (due to a scratch) she thinks that the lump is because she tore a muscle in her left arm because she was putting more weight on that arm.

The vet thinks that the lump is the muscle repairing itself, she says she knows this because it feels like the lump is attached to the muscle.

Also I was told to wait a few days and check if the lump had got any bigger.

The vet we saw seemed to know quite a lot about rats.
She confirmed what you lot said, that with rats it is quite probable that a lump is a tumor, but she thinks it is just scar tissue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
i am so glad that the lump is nothing serious! and it's great to took her to the vet and you got a vet who was sympathetic!

good luck with her recovery! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Pomperella! :D

And everyone else who has given me advice on what I should do
its good that i can come on this forum and everyone is helpful and nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Well I'm glad to hear that it may well just be a torn muscle. Thats painful but definately preferable to the alternatives. As for Siberia she's doing pretty well (climbing the cage bars as we speak with the collar [email protected][email protected]!), though shes a little wheezy today... I wish both you and Cinder the best and hope that it is just a torn muscle and nothing more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thankoo SecondShadow

And now I have an image in my head of Siberia climbing the bars with the collar on!

Is that even possible?! Hmm I suppose rats can do anything :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I assue you they can. She was going nuts trying to find a way out earlier today. It was quite ammusing. I'll try and get a picture if at all possible.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top