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Pet Rats/Massive growth on hairless rat's chest


Remy\'s Lump
Remy's Lump  

My name is Amy and my daughter has a hairless rat.  Remy is about 3 years old and the sweetest, most gentle rat I've ever known.  He has had a growth forming and getting larger in his chest.  We took him to a vet when it was about the size of a small gum ball and they put him on something to help make it smaller.  They weren't sure it would work and it didn't.  Finally we just let it be as it didn't seem to be causing him pain.  This was about 9 months ago.  Since then, the growth has grown to a huge size and as you can see, it is about the size of a small clementine.  It is getting difficult for him to walk and I think he is getting skinnier due to difficulty holding food.  Other than that, he doesn't seem to be in pain but he does sleep a lot.  At this point, do you think it is too late to do anything for him?  Thank you for your time.

Hi Amy,
He looks in good shape for a 3-year-old rat. If money is not a problem, then it is worth it to have the tumor removed. If you don't, he will have trouble walking pretty soon and may need to be euthanized. So if he doesn't survive the surgery, he won't have lost that much time. What does your vet say about removing the tumor?  Do you live near northern CA?

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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