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My Rat Has Cancer

My rat, Ratacus, who is about 2 years old has a mass growing in his right lung. I found this out when he was lifeless and weak this past Saturday. I immediately scheduled a vet appointment at a regular vet but due to my impatient nature, I ended up going to an emergency clinic that I had good experience with.

The vet x-rayed him and said there’s a tumor in his right lung that is either from another part of the body (aka the tumor is spreading) and/or it’s lung cancer. Either way, eventually his lung will fill up and/or an organ of his body will fail. We’ve established that without further treatment, it’s terminal.

With my rat being the age he is (not exactly young anymore), I decided not the go through with further treatment (chemo, surgery, etc). The vet agreed that it wouldn’t provide a better quality of life for him. Going through further treatment means that he’d spend the rest of his life trying to recover from treatments instead of being comfortable. All signs from the x-rays and symptoms points to cancer.

So he is now on prednisone twice daily for as long as he’s alive. I read a little bit about prednisone. It’s basically a steroid from what I understand. The doctor said he can live from anywhere from a few days to a week to a couple weeks. There’s no definite saying.

Ratacus has perked up a lot after coming home later Saturday night. They gave him a corticosteroid shot and offered me narcotic pain meds but I declined and said I’ll call them if he needs it later. He was running around yesterday and was up beat. He ate a bunch of Nutri-cal to re-gain the weight he lost. I don’t want to let on that I’m letting him be miserable. With medication and stuff, he’s actually eating and playing and running around. If he came to the point where he’s nothing but tired and weak, I would put him to sleep.

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