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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22468
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have 2 rats and just before Xmas one of them developed a

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I have 2 rats and just before Xmas one of them developed a growth under her arm. After research it appears to be a mammary cyst but it's started to get bigger now. Although she seems quite happy and pain free we ourselves have started to come up in a rash when we hold her and her sister. Therein is the problem. Firstly would it be kinder to put her to sleep, secondly her sister is albino and mostly blind. They are both about two years old and it's becoming awkward to care for them correctly as I'm also assuming they can't be re homed.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.
First, I do have to note that at Cookie's age, the location of the growth, and the fact its getting bigger without leaking fluid; a cyst is not as likely as a mass here.
Now this won't have any bearing on your skin reactions to her (that could be related to her grooming less if you have a mild allergy to her), but if it is getting larger then it needs consideration. Specifically, we'd have to be thinking about removing it before it ruptures and causes her pain. Though at her age, the other consideration would be euthanasia.
With that in mind, if you are thinking about letting her and her sister go, then we would need to think about putting them down. Their ages and health complaints would exclude them from rehoming. So, that would need to be considered if you are unable to care for them as needed and to avoid future suffering for Cookie as it grows.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your answer. To be honest I kind of expected it it but needed guidance that putting them to sleep would be the fair option on them both as they seem quite healthy and happy atm but with the growth and leaving a blind rat alone was worrying us.
You are very welcome,I know, it is always unfortunate when our elderly rats grow masses like this (and it is just so very common). As well, even if she is putting on a brave face, blindness in a prey species is a serious stressor (since they cannot know/avoid potential threats and are at risk of falls/injury). At the end of the day, we just need to consider whether we can provide they care they need and if we cannot then we need to make that difficult decision to keep them from any discomfort or suffering.Please take care,Dr. B.