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I have two African Soft-Furred rats that I bought from a local breeder last year (this was before I knew better about buying rodents from breeders. Rescue is the way to go!)

He bred them as reptile feeders but I bought two females to keep as pets. They are now about a year and two months old.

One day, both rats seemed fine, and the next day one of them (her name is Nimh) was covered in tumors! She has a small one under her eye, and large growths on her throat, underside, and genital area.

After researching, I disovered she has MnPV (the ASF rat form of papillomavirus), which is known to cause sponteanous tumors in ASF rats 9 months of age and older.

I talked to the breeder about my problem, and he said that if Nimh seems to be in pain that the best choice would be to have her put to sleep. He has a CO2 chamber in his home and said he would do it for me for free (this is the ONLY way I would allow her to be put to sleep - he would put her in a tank, insert a tube into the tank that would release carbon dioxide, and she would go to sleep and not wake up again.)

While the thought of losing my pet saddens me, the idea of her being in pain saddens me more. She is still eating, drinking, sleeping, snuggling with her sister, and exploring the terrarium they live in. But tonight I noticed her scratching aggressively at the tumor under her eye.

Is there anything I can do for her to help relieve the pain...or is it time to say goodbye?

Any advice is welcome and appreciated.
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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Sadly those horrible tumours will take over, but you can control the discomfort with OTC pain meds or even good pain meds from your vet (do you take them to the vet?). It sounds like she's still pretty happy. My girl Mini only had one but it distorted her tail and made it hard for her to walk, and she had to stop running on the wheel, but she lived quite a few months with her mousey friends and was fine. I was planning on getting her to the vet to be pts, but she left us quietly and quickly one night with little warning.


CO2 is not considered totally humane in my books. I would go to a proper vet and have her gassed down and given the fatal injection while unconscious. My vet charges me $15 for mice and tiny critters and I am in Canada where things cost a lot more.
 
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