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Pet Rats/scabby looking bump


A young rat has a bump where his whiskers are on the right side, it looks scabby (a bump that is scabby basically) and is growing day after day. i thought it was from play fighting with the other rats and would heal itself. it keeps getting worse...its been a few weeks. what can i do to heal him? what is it the bump?

The bump could be any of several things, from minor, such as an abscess, to more serious.  It would be helpful if you could forward a close-up and clear photo of the bump to me.  You can attach the photo file in a reply to me.

Without seeing a photo I can still provide you with some information.  If this bump is just below your rat's ear, there is a good chance it may be a Zymbals Gland tumor (ZGT).  This tumor will grow and grow, may open up and become scabby, then not close up properly and continue to ulcerate.  There is no cure for this tumor.  Here is an article which contains detailed information ZGT as well as graphic photos.

I hope that your rat does not have this serious condition, but should it be the case, you can only do supportive measures at home, including pain medication, and a comfortable environment.  To confirm a ZGT, your best bet would be to take him to an experienced exotic animal vet.  A photo might help me to confirm it however, and save you the expense of a vet visit.  Strong pain medication, such as Metacam (pain and anti-inflammatory), would likely need to be prescribed by a vet.

I look forward to hearing back from you, hopefully with a photo.

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Irene Murphy


I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.


I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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