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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-14-2011, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question Lump under neck/throat

Tonight I discovered a lump under Stanley's throat. It's the size of a bean (bigger than a pea), and it moves around when I touch it. It doesn't seem to hurt him, but I'm wondering what kind of lump it might be given its position? I will be calling the vet tomorrow morning to take him in for an examination. Stanley has always been really healthy and hardy, so I'm pretty surprised to find something like this. He is overweight, so maybe that could be part of the problem? (He has been on a diet for more than two months and has lost some weight, but he's still chunky.)

Just wondering what everyone might think...


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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 04:54 AM
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Wow, yes, I am surprised too at the lump, as I always think of Stan as the hardy and healthy boy too. I hope it is not a big thing and that the vet tells you it is something not scary. I wish I was a ratty lump expert, but I am not.
Just wanted to post a supportive comment for you to let you know I hope all goes well at the vet's office. Let me know what the vet says?

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 08:10 AM
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sounds like what louna had!
Let us know about what the vet says!!
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Vlad. I have an appointment for 4:20 this afternoon. The regular vet isn't in today, so it will be with a new one, but hopefully that will be fine!

I checked the lump this morning and I can get my fingers all the way around it. I was reading last night about rat lumps on the throat, and it seems there are a few possibilities: abscess, swollen thyroid, or fatty lump/tumor. Cancer in male rats is extremely rare, so I'm thinking/hoping it isn't that. Best case scenario would be an abscess, because they could drain it. Worst case is that he'll have to have a lumpectomy...


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 09:33 AM
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it's probably a fatty lump or benign tumor, he'll be ok
I'm sending good vibes for the vet appointment!
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Dustette.

We just got back from the vet. He put Stanley under a light general anesthetic to draw some blood and examine the lump closely. Unfortunately, the blood draw was not successful--he said Stanley's veins are quite stubborn. He said that it is not connected to anything, and he tried to insert the syringe into the lump itself, but it is very hard. So, this makes him think it is a growth inside the skin, but definitely not an abscess. He wanted to do the blood draw to test for possible cancer cells, but since there wasn't any luck with that, he said we should monitor him over the next month or so and see if it grows, and how quickly it does. Right now, there is plenty of room for it to grow and expand outward, which will not affect his breathing at all. If the lump should grow very quickly, then we will need to have it removed.

He is a bit worried about the possibility for Stanley having trouble with the anesthesia for a real surgery, though, because of Stanley's weight and age. We've decided to monitor the lump for growth, and if and when it becomes a problem, we will do the surgery then and hope for the best. Stanley will be 2 years old next month, and he's never had any health problems except for mites when he was a baby, so we're hoping he will be with us for a long time yet.


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 06:26 PM
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I am with Dustette... Stanley is going to be just fine, I know it! Thanks so much for the update Breyer, it was good to hear how things went. I bet it is just one of the things you described and not a big deal at all. Stanley is a big healthy boy so I know he will be just fine. I hope he gets some extra spoiling from being such a brave boy at the vets!

Going to the vet is just no fun for the little critters, is it.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Vlad! Keep your fingers crossed for us. Now we have to play the watching/waiting game. Stanley was a bit groggy after his anesthetic, understandably. As he was coming to, apparently he started gnawing on the oxygen tubes on the mask they had on him, so they had to stop a bit early with the oxygen! The vet said he'd be back to normal before we even got him home, and boy was he right: as soon as we were in the car and started going, I offered Stanley a bit of food, and he grabbed it right out of my hand and chowed down! As soon as I got him back in his playpen, the first thing he did was march up to his food bowl in his cage and have a good meal! So, he's back to normal for now, anyway.


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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 10:15 PM
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Hooray! That is the Stanley I like to see. Raring to go, straight for his food yummies! That is the sign of a hungry and happy ratty.
Super!

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 08:26 AM
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sounds like it did go well Louna had the same very hard lump, on her leg though, and it grew very slowly and I never had to remove it, she passed because of her respiratory problems, not the lump and unless they get in the way of walking, breathing etc... they are no problem at all
Give Stanley some big kisses for me, even though it seems like he's already fine haha
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 06:03 AM
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Older rats get those lumpy bumpies all the time. Hopefully the tumor grows slowly (its the first thing I think of when I find a lump IN the neck), and as you said doesn't affect his breathing. Male rats are very prone to malignant cancers and only rarely to mammary (benign) tumors.

I have added a gentle feel of the throat and neck area to my "feel-over" exam with my rats, especially the older ones.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, lilspaz. So, do you recommend waiting for it to grow until it gets in the way of his breathing, and then doing the surgery?

ETA: I should add that luckily the tumor isn't IN his neck--it is just in the skin near the spot where an adam's apple would be in a human. I can get my fingers all the way around it. So far it hasn't grown any more, but it's only been a couple of days...


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Last edited by breyer08; 06-17-2011 at 09:00 AM.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 11:46 AM
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If its small now, it may stay small. I wouldn't remove it unless you feel its going to affect his natural lifespan. If it grows slowly don't put him through a painful surgery at his age. Older rats don't heal as well. Truffle is getting a HUGE mammary tumour removed tonight, and she's 29 months old. I am hoping her health and young demeanour also means she will heal fast

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, that's good to know. Hopefully it doesn't grow too fast, then. He turns 23 months next week, so he's no spring chicken, but he has been very healthy his whole life. I'm hoping that buys us some more time, too.


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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 06:46 PM
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Btw Truffle stopped breathing at the end of her surgery, so its another thing to consider.

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