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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
Will It Ever Change?
 
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Arrow Now, THIS I haven't seen before!

Beginning 6pm this evening, I received and am now taking care of my neighbor's rats for about 10 days. They are girls, and boy does Timmy know it! They definitely smell each other even though they are across the room and out of eyesight of each other. lol! The girls are a mother and daughter, 3 and 2 years old I believe. Both are white with white bodies and black earmuffs, and a white blaze on their noses.

To get to the point....I haven't seen the rats in about 3 or 4 months. So when I saw them today, we'll I'm in shock. The daughter is fine. But the mother has a HUGE growth between her back legs, just to the right side a bit. It's under her skin, and there are two separate dime sized spots of fur missing. She doesn't seem to acknowledge it. There is also either pus from a wound (I checked and couldn't find any), or a very yellowy diarrhea stuck to her fur between the anus and growth. I then gave her a small piece of dried bread as a treat because I got her worked up while checking her over. Then 15 minutes later I checked her again (for a better look) and she had the yellowy brownish stuff (I assume poo) coming out her bum. She seems to have clear eyes. She is VERY curious, friendly, and degu-ish. She has hoarse but clear sneezies. She has porphorin (sp DOH!) OH! This is wierd....when she drinks from the water bottle (still talking about growth rat) she sits up, a lot like a penguin, and she tries to grab the bottle nozzle to hold it, but her arms seriously flap like wings really fast, then she does another hoarse-but-clear sneezie, then goes back to drinking...without using her arms. But she can walk and climb fine. Has a great appetite. And right now she's lying on a shelf, bruxing at us.

Now, THIS I haven't seen before. As my title says. This growth, underskin, with missing fur....is HUUUGE!! Like, a large sized chicken egg, AND in between the hind legs of this female rat. (I really don't remember their names ). Seriously it's got to be 30% of the rat sans growth.

They're housed on pine, in a small starter bunny/gp cage. I know. They're not mine. The "owner" is an 11 year old, but her parents are my friends. I can't afford to take her in, and I'm pretty sure they can't either. Has anyone seen this before, and how do you recommend I handle this -- with as much self control as possible? Because I blush....a lot.

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:28 PM
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Wow, the poor little thing! I would say that she needs to see a vet if at all possible. It's not your responsibility to take her in, as she's not your rat, but I would try to tell the parents that she really needs to see a vet. When they come to get them I would take her out and show them the growth, ask if they've noticed it, and let them know that it's a potentially serious problem.

As far as the bedding maybe you can give them a bag (or partial bag) of good bedding to get them started and tell them it's a much better choice. I think if you give them some of the bedding it will seem more generous and concerned...?

If they can't afford to take her in, I'm not sure what you can do. It's a real shame.

Maureen


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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Mammary gland tumors are very common in rats, sounds like it might be it by the location. Sometimes if they pick on them or scratch them they can bleed and get infected. Once at the clinic a dog arrived with the scrotum open and what looked like a big infection, and upon closer inspection he had cancer and the infection in the testicles was part of a tumor there. I agree about trying to get her to the vet.

Last edited by Padfoot; 07-09-2008 at 10:34 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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yeah I know she needs to see a vet. she has to wait at least 10 days before they get back. Before they left tonight I ran over to tell them what I'd found. They said they know and she's had it 2-3 months, which is since the last time I'd seen her. Gah!

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 01:53 AM
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awww thats really bad, I don't think it's your responsibility to have to take them to the vets and it's not nice of them to give you her like that, I think that what I'd do is half the vet bill between them and then get them to pay back the other half gradually. But I mean, it's up to you what you do and at least their in the right hands now and I'm sure they'll think their in paradise with you looking after them LOL


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 02:06 AM
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well, 3 is pretty old for a rat, and many people allow rats to live with tumors at that age until it affects their health....

my rat used to flap her arms while she drank, nothing was wrong with her she was just goofy like that.

she needs to go to a vet and at least get antibiotics if she has an infection...

good luck

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the support guys. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. She seems fine and doesn't appear to be suffering. but I'm just telling myself that so I don't go bonkers worrying about her! I can't even cover half a vet bill. My fiancee is in between jobs so money is tight. I've been taking mental notes as of last night, and tonight after work i'll be making written notes so monitor her conditions. Even if she's fine until the day they return, I want to chart it so I know what's going on. Then I can help give them advice and options. Like I said, they're my friends, but that means it should be easier for me to talk to them lol. I'll probably have them over for a drink when they return, then explain to them my concerns. I'm confident I can handle this, I just feel guilty being stuck in this position. I know they can't afford it right now. She is a nurse supporting herself, her 11 year old daughter, and her fiancee. He is awaiting health pension, as his condition is not good. I just know with at least 75% certainty that they can't financially help this rattie. I think what I'll do is tonight I will get a closer/longer look at her lump and surrounding areas. I want to know where that yellow bunk came from. Then I'll research online based on my findings. Maybe there's something that I can learn and share with them. Or maybe something will enlighten me to her condition and steps I can take to make her more comfortable until they get back.

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 05:48 AM
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Where she is an older rat,she may not respond to antibiotics well.
But why not get her into the vet and see what they say? Maybe the vet can work out a payment plan for you and you neighbours????




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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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I wish I could, but I really don't feel comfortable forcing them into paying for a vet. It feels wrong

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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