If it is a female rat, it is most likely mammary tumors. They are very prone to them when they have not had litters to raise and nurse.
There is nothing you can do and usually it is a matter of weeks. We lost our girl to the same thing. It was her upper teat that was affected so it looked as if it was on her chest.
Putting them to sleep is not an easy thing. If the vet knocks them out first it is okay. The normal manner is to jam the shot into the heart so talk to the vet carefully about it.
I just just anesthesia on a cotton ball...I held her and put the coton ball in a baby food jar and held her nose near it. Once she went to sleep, I left her with her head in the jar for about 10 minutes and that was that. They go to sleep as they would for surgery and then allow to breathe more and more and they just pass quietly and quickly. My vet recommended it as the humane way.
Females can get mammary tumors even if they have had litters before,but its more common for them to get them if they haveny had a litter before.Mammary tumors are not fatal though.
Are you sure its a tumor and not and abscess or even a cyst ? What does it look like?
You don't have to put her down, especially not immediately. Depending on the size, location, if it impedes is mobility or quality of life.. These are all factors. If she's as happy as ever, there is absolutely no reason for you to do that just yet. I've known some very lumpy girls who lived long, happy lives with large tumors.
No one but you can decide whats best for your rat.
My Angelina has a recurring mammary tumor just under her arm ..well, now it's the size of her and kind of has her little arm just sticking out of it ...but she's fine, otherwise. She eats good ..and climbs all over the Rattie Mansion ..she even squabbles about food and treats. She just has a darn tumor... that's it.
I keep an eye on her and her mass ..and I make sure the other girlies aren't too rough with her. She sits in my lap and cuddles with me and everything.
I figure she will pass in her sleep.. cuz I certainly don't see her quality of life being hindered at this point.
Her quality of life is still very good. Healthy appetiteclimbs, runs and loves her mate. She has never had babies. That may be a good thing. I am just afraid she might tear the tumor open. I think I'll wait and see how she does because I really enjoy taking care of her. My other rat goes to school everyday in a special ed class. He is wonderful. I bring him home on the weekends and holidays. He is happy to be home, but he loves the attention at school. Thanks for the comments.
Mammary tumors are most often benign. If it moves freely and doesn't feel like it's attached to the underlying tissue, it's not likely cancerous. A vet experienced with rats could remove it, if you choose. Most people think it's crazy to spend the money to have a rat operated on. I just happen to be one of the crazy ones
edited to say, some vets will give gas before the lethal injection, if you request it. That way they are already under and can't feel the shot.
Good luck with your rattie
Abscesses are very common in rats and very easy to treat. We see a few of them a month at the clinic I work at! We just drain the abscess and put them on antibiotics.
I think I'd have it checked out just to make sure it was not an abscess before opting for euthanasia.