Hi My name is Tekitah I have a Pet rat called LilyPea, she is 3 years old. She has a few mammary tumors. I have been unsure whether or not to operate due to her age. She has one very large one which is malignant and a few other smaller ones. I am concerned about doing what is best for her. I don't want to operate and loose her because she couldn't survive the anesthetic. But the Tumor is getting so large and it's slowing her down. On her good days she is still active and cheeky, but on her bad days she sleeps a lot and doesn't run around. I fear that she is loosing weight. I'm trying to vary her food as much as I can to keep her interested in her food but her appetite isn't the same as it was 6 months ago. I know this makes her sound unwell, but she is a fighter, and I fear delaying surgery has allowed the tumor to grow too large, and now it may be too late. This is such a tough decision. The vet gave me the option of surgery but didn't encourage it because of her age.
the picture is 2 weeks old since then it has grown, it is now very large and it's now quite firm.
Answer You are indeed facing a grave choice that I too had to face with my first rat. I agree with your vet on the surgery. It's too risky. I recommend letting her live until it's quite obvious that she is having a hard time being mobile or the tumor is causing discomfort. They grow very fast as you have seen. You may not have a lot of time with her so enjoy it. You can make the choice to have her euthanized when you feel her quality of life is poor.
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I currently have 4 rats, 2 females, 1 breeding male and my 5 year old male who has been retired. I have a degree in biology. I breed for feeders and pets. I have owned rats for 8 years and have bred for 6 years.