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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a problem. I've got a 3-year-old female rat who has developed her first mammary tumor. It started out very small, less than pea-sized, in October. It was slow-growing, and she was very old, so I decided not to have it removed. Well, now it's January, and it hasn't gotten huge, but it has reached about an inch in diameter, and its location under her right armpit is becoming a problem.

This is Gracie, by the way, who some of you know from her hernia debacle last summer.

She's had three total surgeries in her lifetime, does very well under anesthesia, and is in good health. In fact, other than the fact that she sleeps a bit more, I'd say her behavior and activity level are pretty much unchanged even at her advanced age.

I really don't want to unnecessarily risk her life, but at the same time she gives all signs of living another couple months, at least. And the tumor will only get bigger. It doesn't hinder her now, but it will soon. So I dunno. Surgery, or no? Any of you have rats that have had surgery at this age?
 

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My old Rat Waffle had that.... We had it removed when he was three. He made it through the surgery but had a 50/50 chance. It might not be a good idea to put her through surgery at this age. Waffle had it in the same place. I don't think mammary tumors affect them that much. It never affected Waffle. He was still his same self. In my opinion you shouldn't do it. My vet told me its not good to have them go through surgery at this age unless it has to be done. My vet does very good surgeries on rats so I trusted him and Waffle made it. I don't know if this helps.... If it doesn't.. Sorry
 

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at that age, i would wait until it started actually affecting her movement. it is easier to get off the smaller it is but she's 3 which is well over 100 in human years. even a normally healthy person at that age who undergoes surgery is at an increased risk. if its not bothering her i wouldn't want to risk it. however, i've never had a rat that lived that long either though. the oldest rat i had was 30 months when she died and had a tumor removal at 25 months. this is something you will have to decide for yourself but if i were you i would wait. i'd be worried that the surgery would weaken her old system and allow for an opportunistic infection or illness to crop up and those are very hard on old bodies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I know. Her last surgery resulted in a huge abscess, so I'm reluctant to put her under the knife again. But I'm also reluctant to wait until it gets even bigger, and she's even older, y'know? I already tried that route back in October, thinking: "Oh, she's so old, she'll probably die before it begins to bother her."

Wrong-O!
 
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