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I currently have a girl rat, T-Baby, that's quite obviously on her way to the happy hunting grounds.

5 months ago, she was misdiagnosed by (Ms Evil as we call the lady vet at our practice) a vet as having an inoperable bladder tumor (she was basically haemorraging from 'down there' and it was quite obviously not coming from the pee pee area). We took her back to the vet after the nice vet was back from his holiday, around 2 weeks later, to find out that what I'd assumed was an interuterine tumor was correct! However, by this point, it was too late to operate.

Since then, she's been quite content running around, eating, drinking, climbing. Her sister, Lou-Lou, has been a very good nurse for her - making sure that any heavy nest building is done for T-Baby etc. Bearing in mind that Ms Evil told us at the time of the original diagnosis we should put her down, thanks to her sister, she's managed to last this long and maintain a good quality of life.

Now, of course, the tumor has taken its toll. It's been growing a lot in the last month and is now the size of a flattened tennis ball. She's lost most of her body fat (and fur on her back) and only now is she starting to act 'ill'.

Up until this weekend she's been perfectly happy to run around, and even now, although she's not able to keep herself warm or move around much, she's still eager to eat when I hold babyfood and water up to her (even more so with cheese and chocolate!) She's kept her T-Baby-ness even now, her spirit it still there in her eyes, but her body is giving up on her.

My question is this; as the end is so close now, is it best (in your opinion) to put her down, or to let her go in her own time? I'm perfectly happy to hand-feed, clean her up and water her. She's happy for me to do this too. I would hate to take her knowing that she wasn't yet ready to go (she's a very stubborn rat - you just need to look at her and despite seeing she's ill, you can see she's still very much alive from her eyes).

I don't think she's in any pain either, she's never shown any indication of being unwell until this weekend, and now I think it's more a case of the tumor taking all the goodness from her body, not it attacking anything.
 

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i say just keep monitoring T-Baby, and if she seems to be in pain/depressed, you'll know its time to let her go.
i wish you the best in your decision, i can see how difficult it must be for you.
 
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