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rat abscess?
rat abscess?  
our rat had a litter of 12 2 weeks ago. She sustained some kind of eye injury a week before. It was a few small scabs/scratches around the left eye. It became swollen and wet looking for a few days and then improved. Last week she began to develop a lump above and below her eye. There's no scabs on the lumps.  I read about tumors and abscesses and I am unsure which one we are dealing with. I am leaning towards abscess though. I wonder if you can tell by looking at a picture? I am afraid taking her to the vet and possibly having to have it lanced may be too stressful for the new mom. I am terribly worried though.  Can you see if you can tell what it is and how I should go about getting it taken care of? If I have to visit the vet right away should I bring the babies along too?

Answer
From the looks of the lumps and your description, it's likely an infection of some sort.  Because she is a nursing mama, the safest antibiotic to give would be amoxicillin, so I definitely recommend a vet visit as soon as possible.  

Being that her babies are just over 2 weeks old, they are likely able to eat a little on their own in addition to nursing.  If you haven't offered foods to the babies yet, try offering Ensure and plain Cheerios at this time.  Even if they are still exclusively nursing, the babies at this age will do fine without mama for a couple of hours.  

I hope your girl recovers quickly.  Please let me know if I can help you with anything else.  

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Irene Murphy

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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.

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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.

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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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