Pet Rats/pet rat


picture of swollen area
picture of swollen are  

picture 2 of swollen area
picture 2 of swollen a  
I have a 1.5 yr old female rat. She has had respiratory problems which are now under control with a twice daily dose of baytril for her and her female roommate. A couple months ago I noticed a growth on her side which has grown to about twice as big as it started (now the size of a walnut). It does not affect her at all so I have decided to not get it removed (at least not yet) because the surgery is 200 dollars. I noticed she was swollen under her tail about 7 days ago. It wasn't super swollen and I didn't notice until I did my check over of her. She has been acting normal and eating and drinking and playing normal. She does not have any discharge. But now it seems like the swelling is located around her vagina. This does not seem to affect her at all but after reading online I have made myself nervous that it is pyometria or a tumor. I also noticed 3 days ago that she has another small tumor about the size of a jelly bean under her back leg seperate from the vagina swelling. I am most concerned about the vagina swelling but I wanted to give a full history in case there is anything there. Should I be worried if she has had it 7 days and it doesn't seem to bother her? It isn't even red in the area just very slightly swollen. What could this be? And do I need to take her to a vet? What could the vet do? I have left over doxycycline from a respiratory flare up she had in jan. Would it be a good idea to give her that along with the baytril I give her every day? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time

Hi Rachel,
The lump near her vagina is most likely a small mammary tumor. It is definitely not pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus.

As long as the Baytril is keeping her respiratory symptoms away, it's fine to stick with just that. You could also try the doxy instead.  Do you have my Rat Health Care booklet?  If not, I highly recommmend it. You can read about it on my website at on the Books page. You'll also find articles about Respiratory Disease and Tumors on my website on the Rat Info page.

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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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