Fancy rats have an average life expectancy of 2 to 3 years, so by the time they are nearly two years old, getting extensive medical care for them may just be too much for them to handle. Female rats that have been spayed have a significantly lower chance of getting tumors. But, without spaying, almost half of all female rats will end up developing benign mammary tumors at some point in their life. If your rat has started developing a visible tumor in the past month or two, you may notice it continuing to grow. Eventually, if it becomes problematic for your rat, you should consider having her euthanized.
Excessive Tumor Size
Where the tumor is located will determine how large it has to be to prevent your rat from getting around okay. A common spot is on their chest, which will eventually keep their feet from touching the ground. If it is on their side, they could be getting around for months by dragging the tumor along. Once you notice that they are having a tough time moving, you should make a call about euthanasia.
Tumors can end up growing to nearly the size of the rat itself. So, it makes sense for rats to get skinnier and feel slightly frail while it is continuously getting larger. As long as they are doing their normal activities, they should be fine, but watch out for when they are no longer active in their enclosure.
While tumors can continue to grow outward, not causing any internal harm until they pass away on their own, this is not always the case. If your rat is past its average lifespan and their tumor has reached a notable size, you may be debating whether you should wait until euthanasia becomes a necessity. The choice is yours to make, but you may want to give your rat a peaceful passing. This will allow you to spend a final day with them, full of quality time and tasty treats, instead of having to rush to an emergency vet.
Having rats is an extremely rewarding, but often short-lived experience. When you have a senior female rat with a tumor, the best thing you can do is spend time with them while they are still healthy. Knowing when to consider euthanasia services will prevent your rat from having to experience any suffering. Talk to a vet, like Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic, for more help.