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Pet Rats/my pet rat is ill as well as has a mass on his neck


Hello,I have a pet rat named Austin,male hooded rat of about 1 and a half years old.He suddenly developed a medium sized tumor,mass,or abcess on his lower neck area.It is closed with no wounds but hard and highly moble to the touch,in other words not attatched to much if anything inside,seemingly causes no pain,but is in his way sometimes of front leg mobility. I do not know about male rats and masses or lumps,this is right on his neck higher up,not on his chest or stomach.He also has a lung infection that doesnt appear treatable,he sneezes up the red liquid,Etc.I fear no vet will see him for surgery due to this. However he acts otherwise still very active,healthy,and happy so might be worth a risk to extend his life if possible. I am also very very limited on funds right now,and vets might cost a ton around here,will any help me at a low rate if they see the circumstances? I live in twin cities MN area.Saint Paul. of any type would be greatly appreciated. I love my little guy and want to help him but I dont know how.Thank you.I am sorry no picture right now as my camera isnt working.size of lump,2 inch or less round hard bump,grew in a week to this size from a tiny bump,fast like Ive never seen,no sores no abcess liquid as of now,no noticeable pain to the rat.


Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately, I can't say for certain what this might be although it does sound like a tumor. I would highly highly highly recommend getting your rat into a vet. Between the mass on its body and the fact that he is sneezing up porphrin (that reddish liquid), it does sound like your rat is in need of medical attention.

You can find an extensive listing of rat vets on my website,
Here is the link for the Minnesota vets (I am providing the entire listing for that state as I am not familiar with where cities are located and want to be sure you have options):

Tumors, whether cancerous or benign are quick growing and I hope you will seek medical assistance for your rat before it gets too uncomfortable for him.

I hope that helps!  

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Shawna Laufer


Nutrition has always been an interest of mine as well as creating stimulating environments for rats. I conduct product reviews on my blog so I can take questions regarding products marketed or intended for rats. Other questions regarding basic husbandry, feeding, grooming, and other pet rat care will be accepted. I have very little breeding experience so I would not be able to answer much in the ways of breeding or genetics questions. I can help with some basic health care questions but am not a vet and always suggest contacting your vet for serious inquires.


I have over 13 years of experience with pet rats, having worked in several pet stores, as a veterinary tech assistant, and with my own pet rats. I run a highly regarded blog on the subject of pet rat ownership ( with a corresponding YouTube channel and Facebook page. I have been and always will be open to questions and comments.

A photograph of my lady rat's cage is being published in Worth Publishers' college textbook "How Children Develop, 4e" by Robert Siegler, Judy DeLoache and Nancy Eisenberg on the subject of how complex, stimulating environments and how they relate to the brains of rats.

I have some college experience, but not in the field of animals. I completed the majority of an at-home Veterinary Technician course which I was unable to complete due to financial reason. The majority of my knowledge on rats have come from personal experience, conducting my own research with the help of published medical studies and journal, the internet and through other knowledgeable 'rat people'.

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