Small Animal Facts, Questions and Medical Tips: Pet Owner Blog
About Me
Small Animal Facts, Questions and Medical Tips: Pet Owner Blog

Hi, my name is Darma. I love rodents. I have a ferret, two guinea pigs, several rescued feeder rats and a hedgehog. I am an extremely conscientious pet owner, and I know how hard it can be to find medical tips on small animals. In some cases, it can even be challenging to find vet care for them. In this blog, I am going to write about everything I have learned in my decades of being a small pet owner. I am going to write about cleaning, nursing, feeding and taking care of small pets. I am also going to write about finding the right medical treatment for them and knowing when to seek help. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy my blog.

Small Animal Facts, Questions and Medical Tips: Pet Owner Blog

What You Need to Know about Tumors in Rats

Timmothy Ortiz

Rats are intelligent, affectionate animals that many people come to love as pets. However, rats are susceptible to the formation of tumors. Knowing what to expect if this happens to your rat will help you take the best care of your rat possible.

Types Of Tumors Found In Rats

The most common form of tumor found in rats are mammary tumors. Mammary tumors typically grow rapidly and are found around your rat's abdomen or near its armpits. Mammary tumors typically afflict female rats due to the hormones in their bodies.

Pituitary tumors are the second most common tumor found in rats. Pituitary tumors grow beneath the brain which makes them difficult to surgically remove. The fatality rate for the rats afflicted with pituitary tumors is high.

Malignant Or Benign?

When a tumor forms on your rat, it could be either malignant or benign. Malignant tumors are typically stationary and are difficult to move if you palpate them with your fingers. Another sign a tumor may be malignant is if the tumor itself is black or dark in color. Malignant tumors are cancerous and could be fatal to your rat.

Benign tumors on the other hand are fairly mobile. If you were to feel a tumor on your rat's body, a benign tumor would easily shift as if the tumor were floating under your rat's skin. Benign tumors are also fairly slow to form, though if left untreated they can form ulcers and become painful to your rat.

Prevention Of Tumors

Some breeds of rats are more predisposed to having tumors than others. However, there are ways to lower the risk that your pet will develop a tumor. If you've yet to pick out a rat to be your companion, note that male rats have a lower incidence of developing a tumor. If you have a female rat, you should have her spayed. Having a female rat spayed will limit the amount of hormones in her body that could trigger a tumor to develop.

Tumor Removal

If your rat has a benign mammary tumor, it can be removed with a simple surgical procedure. The sooner you have your rat in to your vet, the smaller the tumor will be and the easier it can be removed. Due to mammary tumors being hormonal in nature, your rat is at a higher risk of developing more after the development of a first tumor. If your rat is female and it has had a mammary tumor, the best course of action is to have the rat spayed. Having your rat spayed will prevent you from having to pay for numerous tumor removal surgeries and will keep your furry friend comfortable. 

If you have additional questions about your rat's health, visit a veterinary hospital such as Chapel Hill Veterinary Clinic.