Pet Rats/Facial tumor actually falling off?
QUESTION: About a week and a half ago, I noticed a large, pink swelling on my 1 year, 3 month old rat cinnamon. I kept an eye on it, and in a few days it turned black. It stayed the same size, but seems to have gotten firmer. I'ts not bothering her and she eats fine, but I'm really worried about her. I scraped some cash together and took her to the vet to get it checked out. the vet said it could either be an abcess or a tumor, and that he couldn't tell without opening it up. I didn't have the money, so He didn't open it. I did some research and found the Zymbals gland tumor. It looked just like it at first, but now it's kind of... falling off. I know it doesn't make sense, but the mass is falling off somewhat "cleanly" and whole. It is now hanging on by a piece of skin. Here is a picture of it today. Please Help!
ANSWER: Dear Monica
I am really, really not a vet. However, if it is falling off that is awesome! You don't have to worry at all unless it comes back.
These two links tell you about tumors:
And abscesses and cysts:
But I do not believe they describe anything that falls off.
Let me know what happens. If it recurs, or does not fall off, write back and I will speak to some of my rat expert and bet tech friends. You can also write directly to Debbie on this site-- she knows a lot more than I do. She is one of my mentors. Write back if it does come off too. I am fascinated. I really hope this is just going to take care of itself. You might take another photo showing how it is hanging, if you can get a better angle.
Best of luck and health to Cinnamon.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: With my dad's help i was able to dold her still long enough to take these pictures. The skin on her head seems very healthy, but inside the lump seems to be a thick yellow puss.
That is really interesting. I have a rat emergency right now but even though it seems the danger is over for your girl, I will show the photos to some people more expert than I am later today or tomorrow, I hope.
You can do two things. 1. Gently express as much of the pus out as you can without hurting her. It might smell awful. And 2. Treat the area with (if not wet, then at least not dry) heat several times a day for about ten minutes a day. When I did it recently I used a ziplock bag, and I had a washcloth in it but filled it with hot water. Rats can take as much heat as you, but no more. I had the foil top of my rat's favorite food, soy blueberry yogurt, which I put in front of his face and he licked It happily. The warmth was not uncomfortable; just undesirable, so he was fine when distracted.
Once enough pus has been expressed that she has a hole, you should also keep it clean with a Q tip and saline.
Sorry not to give you 100% of my attention; I have a very, very sick rat. But as long as no infection spreads- and it looks "healthy" in that regard- you are very likely in the clear, at least for the moment.
PS if you come back and I am "on vacation" you know why and please understand; however, Irene is my friend and can get any message or even photo to me through Facebook. And as I said, Debbie knows more than I do- especially about tumors. She removes some tumors herself.