What Causes Tumors In Rats And Whats The Best Way To Prevent Them From Occurring?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 18, 2009 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

A few years ago when I was a freshmen in High School I had a siamese rat which got 2 tumors under her front legs and a large one on the side of her face. Now I’m in college and just yesterday I brought a female fancy rat (named Macie) which is about 3 months old.
What could I do to prevent Macie from getting tumors?
What causes tumors in rats?

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  • Mal S. says:

    Thank you so much. Next time I get another rat, I’ll buy in pairs. Now let me check out that web site…rat owner’s bible, hmm.

  • Mal S. says:

    My rat, Cutie, got a brain tumor and died on Wednesday. I got her on Saturday. How on earth can I prevent her from having these?

  • esuomom says:

    Congratulations on your new rat.
    Most tumors that rats get (both female and male) are mammary tumors, even though they aren’t all actually located on the chest. Many people very effectively prevent their development in females rats by spaying the rat. That is one option if you are really concerned about tumors.
    Other people (including myself) do not choose to spay because even though there is a risk that our rats will get mammary tumors, most mammary tumors are benign and a good, reasonable vet will remove them for a relatively small cost. This is a less serious operation than a spay and can extend a rat’s life up to a year in many cases!
    Many people don’t realize that it is cheap and easy and relatively safe to take most tumors off of rats (as long as you have good rat friendly and experienced vet), so this is something you should keep in mind. There is no reason to live in fear of tumors.
    The other really important thing to keep in mind is diet and exercise. This article is a very good introduction to rat dietary needs and has a list of foods that cause and prevent cancer in rats: http://www.ratfanclub.org/diet.html
    Exerisise may lower the risk of cancer and other diseases.
    Believe it or not things have changed rapidly in the rat world during the last ten years and cancer is no longer the number one threat to pet rats’ health. Mycoplasmosis, a bacterial infection which all rats have and have had for decades, now kills more rats because it leaves them vulnerable to infections by secondary bacteria which humans have made stronger by over using antibiotics!
    To learn about this and anything else you want to know about your rat’s health I suggest this website: http://ratguide.com/health/ It is the rat keeper’s bible.
    Finally, I would like to encourage you to get a same sex companion for your single rat as rats lead much heathier lives and are much friendlier pets if they can live in pairs. I suggest you read this article: http://www.nfrs.org/company.html

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