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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a month ago, my girl Boba has surgery to remove a tumor. She already has another one, and it is huge, about the size of a marble. We only first noticed it a few days ago and it has grown to be quite large. We took her to the vet two days ago but for some reason the vet didn't seem to notice it. Is it worth it to get her a third surgery? The vet said it wouldn't be likely for her to survive another one after her first surgery, but she did well after the second. He said that he wouldn't want to risk it again. Is it common for a rat to get three or more surgeries and survive?
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I am also very skeptical about the growth rate of the tumor. Tumors usually take several weeks to grow, but this one has grown very quickly. The tumor is hard and round. It doesn't seem very squishy, but I think I imagined that it is because I tend to hope for the best. Is there any possibility that this isn't a tumor? Boba has only had mammary tumors so far, can this one be benign? It is on her neck, above her arm.
 

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It's possible it could be an abscess. If you haven't already, I'd read up on abscesses to kind of learn the difference between tumors and abscesses. I believe in a tumor, the skin will slightly move around the tumor, but in abscesses, because they are in the skin, the skin does not move around the growth--it all moves together, if that makes sense. If it's an abscess, they usually clear up within 2-4 weeks. Perhaps you could treat as an abscess to see if it helps it move along to healing?

I've been through a couple tumor removal surgeries, and honestly I don't think I'd put any of my rats through a third surgery. While I think rats are great at surviving surgeries and healing very quickly, there comes a time when you must stop putting the rat through the surgeries and just let them live out their life. However in the end, it's your personal judgement call, because you're the only one who knows your rat as well as you do. Everyone is different in what they're willing to put their ratties through. When it comes to the time to make the decision, you'll know in your gut which road to take!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. As it turns out, the lump is a malignant tumor. Boba is getting surgery for it tomorrow. I don't agree with the surgery, but my parents wanted her to get it so I can't really argue with that. If she didn't get it, she would probably live for a few more days to a couple weeks, but with the surgery she'll either get another tumor soon after or not make it through the anesthesia. She had a hard time waking up last time, so I worry she won't wake up this time.
 

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Yeah all the things you mentioned are making me think that a third surgery is not a good idea. I'm surprised the vets have agreed to do it. When tumors start popping up at this rate, the whole condition needs to be assessed, not just the tumors themselves. Have you discussed with your parents what you will do if she survives, and develops a new tumor? They probably think they're doing the best they can for the ratty, but at some point you have to think about all the stress they're putting on this little animal. Wishing your ratty a strong recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you. I asked them today if they were sure the surgery was a good idea, and they said that they wanted her to have a surgery. If she survives and develops a new tumor, we won't get her another surgery. If she doesn't make it through, at least she would have died peacefully in her sleep. Even if we don't get her surgery, at the rate the tumor is growing, within a week she will probably not be able to eat and we would have to put her down. Now I think my parents made a good decision, and I'm praying that Boba will wake up from the anesthesia tomorrow.
I wasn't there at the meeting with the vet but my dad said he said there was a 50/50 chance of her surviving, and he didn't seem to object to the surgery. He doesn't exactly specialize in small pets, however he did the last two surgeries on Boba and probably knows what's good for her.
I am mostly worried about her sister, Mochi: in case Boba doesn't make it, would we need to take Mochi to the vet to sniff Boba or something? Would getting her another cage mate be a good idea?
Thanks for all your help, and please send your prayers to Boba tomorrow. <3
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After talking it over with my parents, we are thinking of canceling the surgery. Now, I feel like she wouldn't have survived anyway, it's too much for a little rat. At least now she can spend more time with Mochi, and she can get used to the fact that Boba has a tumor. Thank you both for your help, you made our decision a lot easier. :) I hope that Boba's tumor will grow slowly and that she can live the rest of her life comfortably.
 
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