Tumors are another problem that frequently plagues rats, with does much more likely to get them than bucks.
By far the most common type are tumors around the mammary glands that start as tiny little bumps which quickly grow and get bigger. Other spots they occur are in the armpit, groin, sides and back. Rats can live with tumors for a long time without any issues and it’s only when they get big enough to slow them down or cause pain that they becomes a problem.
Obviously it’s important to take care of these tumors as soon as they are discovered. The later they are left, the more dangerous they become. There are two main options when it comes to tumors in rats. Either you can have them surgically removed, or, if it’s too late for that you can have the rat put down. Rats can have a very high quality of life living with tumors so the decision about which direction to take is important.
The questions to ask yourself is: “Is my rat having a good or bad life right now?” If the rat is clearly suffering immensely and the tumors are too large to remove, it’s time to put it down, as keeping it alive is just plain cruel. Removing a benign tumor is a relatively simple operation and isn’t too stressful for the rat. The cost of the operation can vary widely depending on the complexity of the procedure, who the surgeon is and how much experience they have. Obviously the more experience they have the better.
The only problem is, rats that get tumors are often prone to getting them again and again. However, each tumor you remove may just extend it’s life for another few months so it can be well worth it.