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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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. :rolleyes:
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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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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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! :thumbsup:

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

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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! :lol: 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. :D
 

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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. :D
Super!
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
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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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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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh, lilspaz, I'm so sorry to hear that. :(:( Thanks for your advice, and as always, I'll be keeping you and your special ratty clan in my thoughts. :hugg2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, Stanley's lump is growing pretty quickly. :( He is still acting fine, eating and drinking normally, too. It scares me, though, because it has nearly doubled in size in just two weeks. It is a very hard lump, still completely disconnected from the throat. It's obviously not a fatty lump, so I'm thinking it's probably a tumor. The vet said to leave it until it gets in the way of his breathing/eating, so there is still time, but if it continues to grow at this pace, I'm not sure how much time that will be. At this point I'm kind of preparing myself emotionally, because I don't know if he'll make it through surgery. His age and weight will make it harder for him to recover... :(
 

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Breyer, I am so sorry. I am glad that Stan is his normal self and playing and eating and being the big squishy Stan that we know and love, so that is always good. I just don't know what to say. He could be just fine for a long time to come so we will see what happens, yes? At least you know he is happy and loved and having a great life. He is a tough bear too, right? And he and Russ are having a big birthday on July 22nd, as we both remember they have the same birthday as Klausse and Wolfie. I will look forward to seeing more upcoming pictures and video of Russ and Stan's big 2 year birthday bash. Much love to Stan and also of course to Russ-Russ, from their adopted Auntie Vlad. Keep us posted. :sneakyhug
 

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My mouse Tempo had that same problem. It seemed like all of the sudden she had a big lump on her throat to where it looked like she swallowed a marble. Turned out her enlarged ovaries where causing cancer. I had to euthanize her a few months back.
I hope your rat is fine he sounds like a strong one.
 
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