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Amateur Zookeeper
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really need some opinions here on my poor girl Marley.
Her and her sister, Lola, are 2 years old and 1 month. Several weeks ago Marlie (my little black rex rat) developed a lump on her stomach almost overnight. This wasn't the first time I've seen a lump, because when her sister Lola was a little rat she got a lump and it turned out to be an abscess which was easily drained and she was totally fine.

Marlies lump was a little different, a little more misshapen and a little bigger. It also had a gaping hole. It is low on her stomach, towards her tail. She wasn't acting different or strange or lethargic or anything. Just her same active self + a fat lump on her belly.

We took her to the vet and they told us they would try to drain it. Apparently it was hard and they couldn't get any liquid out of it so it was most likely a tumor although they weren't sure if it was malignant or not. They sent us home with antibiotics for several weeks to try to control any infection. Which leads me to one question.. She isn't a huge fan of taking her meds. Is there any tricks to get a rat to take medicine?

Now her stomach has several open holes in the lump and it looks quite gross. She has been acting herself and eating and drinking fine. Any tips so I can help keep her comfortable? The only difference I have noticed is that she might be a little thinner. But it is hard to tell because her sister has always been a bigger rat than her.

Here is my dilemma and I would really appreciate some opinions. I hope this doesn't sound selfish, but I don't want to spend a lot of money to get the tumor removed because it would be a very difficult surgery and she is already 2 years old. I am trying to think about my poor baby's quality of life over her quantity. How am I supposed to know if it is her time? I don't want her to be put down if she is not in pain. How do I deal with a single rat without her sister? Will she become depressed? Tips?
Please and Thank you everyone.
 

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Rat Rescuer and Hospice
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1,883 Posts
If the holes are small and not deep, just keep her comfortable. If the holes are bigger and deeper and keep getting bigger, her tumour is necrotic and you should just let her go, before she starts to suffer.

Post a pic if you are not sure, or if you don't want to do that PM me one.
 

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As always lilspaz gives great medical advice!


But you asked two questions I'd like to address, number one you can get a rattie to take their medicine by mixing it into more desirable things. I've found a mixture of baby rice cereal and baby food sweet potatoes to be useful. Of course this only works if you separate the rats while you're feeding her the medicated food because otherwise anyone in the cage will dive right in. Also many antibiotics can't be mixed with dairy and dairy is kinda a rattie no no anyway so don't use anything like yogurt or cheese as a treat to mix the meds in.

As far as her cage partner is concerned, she may get very depressed if her sister passes. I have certainly witnessed this with some of mine in the past. Do you have any other females you could put her in with? If not you have a couple of options. 1, you can adopt another older rattie to keep her company. If you adopt 1 younger rattie to keep her company that rattie will be alone when she dies, but you could adopt two younger ones the same age if your cage is big enough for 3 rats. That way the two younger ones would still have eachother after the older one passes. Or if you have the free time you can just try to keep her out with you and dote on her like heck as many hours per day as possible for her remaining time. But that would be a very difficult option if you work full time. Hope some of these suggestions help.
 

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Amateur Zookeeper
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3,572 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If the holes are small and not deep, just keep her comfortable. If the holes are bigger and deeper and keep getting bigger, her tumour is necrotic and you should just let her go, before she starts to suffer.

Post a pic if you are not sure, or if you don't want to do that PM me one.
I will try to get the best picture that I can. Thanks for your help.
 
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