Author Topic: Tumor chewed open? Please help  (Read 19741 times)

Offline mustang480

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Tumor chewed open? Please help
« on: January 02, 2012, 12:13:47 AM »
Last night when I picked up Sonic I felt a hard lump on his stomach, between his rear legs, maybe an inch away from his penis. I checked it out and it wasn't huge, maybe about 0.5 inch x 0.5 inch round. It was under his skin and I didn't notice any hair loss over it. What I did notice was that it felt hard, whereas the tumors on my other boys feel very soft and squishy.

Fast forward to tonight....I was trying to take Sonic out for play time and he didn't want to come out. He hid in his igloo and I saw him chewing at the lump like it was itchy. Finally got him out and when I looked, the tumor thing was split open and bloody.  He was very squirmy and didn't want me looking, I'm guessing it hurts.  But looks like his skin is split open, like I can see up inside him or something. I don't know how to describe it.  I am freaked out and I don't know what to do.

I can't afford to remove the tumors on my guys, all 3 of them have tumors.  I think I am going to have to take Sonic in to PTS because I don't want him to suffer.  I don't even know if the vet is open tomorrow.  Do you think he can stay like this until Tuesday?  Does anyone have any suggestions about how to handle this, what I should do for him?  All 3 of my boys are 31 months old by the way.  He also has HED, so the bloody tumor thing is basically dragging on the ground because he can't hold his hind end up very well. I am very sad. This is not a good way to start the New Year.  Please help.  :'(

Offline maesie

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 12:16:07 AM »
Sorry to hear this, but it sounds like he need to see a vet now...

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 12:17:23 AM »
Can you get a photo?

To me, it sounds like an abscess if he's chewed it open. Can you get him some pain meds? Preferably some children's motrin or something?

I also think it might be an e-vet sort of thing. But if you can get us a photo, that'll help. If it IS just a bursted abscess, he can wait until morning. But I would get him onto some clean towels or paper towels or fleece. Something that won't get into the wound if it's dragging.

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 12:27:27 AM »
Can you get a photo?

To me, it sounds like an abscess if he's chewed it open. Can you get him some pain meds? Preferably some children's motrin or something?

I also think it might be an e-vet sort of thing. But if you can get us a photo, that'll help. If it IS just a bursted abscess, he can wait until morning. But I would get him onto some clean towels or paper towels or fleece. Something that won't get into the wound if it's dragging.

Wish I could get a photo, but don't think that's going to happen.  I would need someone else to help me either hold him or take the picture. He is on clean towels in the Critter Nation, so that should be fine. I don't think his brothers will bother him because, well, they are old and really don't do much of anything except sit around or sleep. So that's good.  As for the pain meds, I don't have liquid but I do have Children's Advil chewable tablets. They are ibuprofen 100 mg each.  Could I use that?  Like break it into half or something?  How much would he need?  He is huge.  like maybe 800+ grams.  A pound and a half or so.

I was wondering if it is an abscess, but he is on chronic antibiotics.  He gets Zithromax and Cipro once a day every day for respiratory issues.  So wouldn't that prevent abscesses?  Thanks for your help and quick reply.

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 12:44:00 AM »
Dosage is: 15 mg/lb to 60 mg/lb

So, really, you could probably given him nearly a whole tablet.  :yelcutelaugh: I would go with a half tablet at first. If he's seeming uncomfortable, you could give him another 1/4 of a tab. They have a high OD rate, so even if the dosage isn't perfect, he'll be fine.

I'm not 100% positive, but I would think the abs would help prevent abscesses, but maybe not entirely if they're chronic abs. He could be a bit resistent, or it could be a persistent abscess.

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 12:52:59 AM »
Dosage is: 15 mg/lb to 60 mg/lb

So, really, you could probably given him nearly a whole tablet.  :yelcutelaugh: I would go with a half tablet at first. If he's seeming uncomfortable, you could give him another 1/4 of a tab. They have a high OD rate, so even if the dosage isn't perfect, he'll be fine.

I'm not 100% positive, but I would think the abs would help prevent abscesses, but maybe not entirely if they're chronic abs. He could be a bit resistent, or it could be a persistent abscess.

Thank you SO much!  I am going to give him the pill now so hopefully he can be comfortable through the night. I was just reading on Rat Guide that if it is an abscess and it pops open it can heal on its own.  Should I just keep an eye on it to see if it is healing?  Or do you think I should take him in to the vet? THANKS AGAIN!

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 12:59:54 AM »
Depends on if it's an abscess or not. I usually treat them at home. I've only had two that needed surgery of any sort. What you do is flush it a few times each day with saline (1tbsp salt + 8oz warm water usually works.), to keep it sterile. Change liners daily, etc. Make sure it heals from the inside out.

Does it look like just red flesh? Or does it have any sort of pus? Can you lift him up to sniff it (Gross, but very good way to tell if it's an abscess. Any sort of sickly sweet, or putrid smell means infection, which means abscess.)

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 01:39:06 AM »
Depends on if it's an abscess or not. I usually treat them at home. I've only had two that needed surgery of any sort. What you do is flush it a few times each day with saline (1tbsp salt + 8oz warm water usually works.), to keep it sterile. Change liners daily, etc. Make sure it heals from the inside out.

Does it look like just red flesh? Or does it have any sort of pus? Can you lift him up to sniff it (Gross, but very good way to tell if it's an abscess. Any sort of sickly sweet, or putrid smell means infection, which means abscess.)

Ok I will try the saline flushes tomorrow.  Playtime was over and I just put him back in his cage and gave him his antibiotics and the children's Advil. He seemed a bit better than earlier when he wouldn't come out of the cage. He is moving around a lot more now. It is really hard to get a good look at it.  He is soooo big and sooo squirmy :-\  From what I saw, I didn't really notice any pus, but then he was licking at it forever right before I took him out of the cage, so maybe he licked off all the pus?  It just looked like a red open wound. There is not much blood, like it isn't dripping blood.  When he walks there is no blood on the towel, even though his belly is dragging on the floor. I will try to take a sniff tomorrow, but when I held him up to get a closer look at it, he was pretty close to my face and I really didn't smell anything at all.

One more question....When rats have HED, can they have tumor removals if the tumor is on their belly? Because then the wound/stitches would be dragging on the floor. Even if he had to get stitches for an abscess, I wonder if the stitches would bust open because they are dragging on the floor when he walks?  He has pretty advanced HED and he is really fat  :-\

Thanks again so much!

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 01:58:58 AM »
Hmm, well he COULD have cleaned it up himself. Does it look like a hole? Here's a photo that shoes a groin abscess pretty well: http://ratguide.com/health/figures/abscess_figure_13.php


Definitely try the flushes. If he's verrry squirmy, try filling a shallow bakeware dish with saline and letting him walk through it a bit to get it flushed, but don't submerge it for long. In my experience, abscesses do not really bleed very much, more leak pus and look disgusting.  :confused:

If your vet finds him a good candidate for surgery, I don't see why he couldn't. You would jsut have to be extra vigilant about cleaning his area. They generally do not stitch abscesses. Unless they are very large, but even then, I think they leave a hole for flushing and draining. The thing with abscesses is they have to heal from the inside out. So sealing them can cause lots of trouble. That's why you flush multiple times a day to keep them sterile and let them clean. They shouldn't be allowed to scab over completely. They're quite a pain, but if they're small, they're not something to panic about.

I would definitely give your vet a call in the morning, and have it looked at to confirm it's an abscess. If so, you could see if he'd give you a stronger ab and do the flushings. I've never had a rat rip open a tumour, so if that's what it is, I'm afraid I don't have much advice.

Good luck!

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 02:18:02 AM »
Yeap...that picture looks exactly like what Sonic has.  Same size and same location.  And yes, it looks like a hole, just like in the picture.

I will def try the saline flushes and, if the vet is open tomorrow, maybe take him there. As for the AB, I'm not sure which AB is stronger than Zithromax and Cipro, but Sonic has tried a bunch of different AB in the past due to his respiratory issues and really Zithro/Cipro is the only combo that worked for him and that I could get him to take. I think the strongest one we were prescribed was Chloramphenicol, which I could not get him to take no matter what I tried. What I will do is give him AB twice a day instead of once a day like he has been getting.  That should be better.

Thanks again, I will update on how he is doing. You're a life saver!!  :heart:

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2012, 02:22:31 AM »
Let us know how he does! I usually do the flushes morning, afternoon, evening. And I usually try to give a yummy treat after.  :yelcutelaugh: Good luck!

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 09:10:53 PM »
Ok, well, I had something unexpected come up today so I haven't been home until now, 9pm.  I just took Sonic out of his cage and got a better look at the wound.  It looks really deep  :-\  I am not sure if I should squirt saline solution on that.  It really looks deep.  And it does have an odor to it.  He is moving around, but he still keeps licking at it and it is obviously bothering him.  Not sure if he is in a lot of pain or not  ???  Vet was closed today. Guess I will have to take him in tomorrow.

Offline BigBen

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2012, 10:12:05 PM »
The saline solution won't worsen the situation, and it's too mild to sting or anything, either.  It can definitely help by flushing out whatever remains of the pus, so that the wound can begin to heal.
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Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2012, 10:37:30 PM »
Yes, squirt the saline into it. You'll want to rinse as much of it as possible. If you see any yellow/white/green pus, you'll want to try to flush that out, as well. I use a curved syringe for small abscesses, and a larger one for the bigger ones.

You can give him the pain meds every 4-6 hours for pain.

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2012, 11:27:16 PM »
I am going to try the saline flush in about an hour. I don't know whether or not he needs to be taken to the vet. Is this just something I should keep flushing and keep an eye on it?  If so, for how many days?  When should I see an improvement? Or at what point should I take him to the vet?

Thanks so much.

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2012, 12:19:53 AM »
Ok, I got another look at it....I can't see where it ends, it goes up inside him and looks like pink muscle or something and then off to the side on the pink muscle is a little round hole like a sinus tract or something.  No clue what that is.  There is very little pus and really no blood. I'm going to do the saline flush.  But I am just scared because it looks so deep and I can't see the end of it, it just goes up, up inside him  ???  ???

Offline maesie

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2012, 12:26:34 AM »
He is moving around, but he still keeps licking at it and it is obviously bothering him.  Not sure if he is in a lot of pain or not  ??? 

Are you giving him enough pain meds? He may still be in pain if it's bothering him, maybe try upping the dose?

But still stand by what I said in the first post. If he were mine I'd have taken him to the vet. Everyone here is awesome with advice and help, but I'd freak if I didn't get him seen by someone... but that's just me. Good luck  ;)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 12:28:43 AM by maesie »

Offline Grimm

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2012, 12:32:48 AM »
I definitely think if it's that deep, it's time for him to see a vet/see an e-vet.
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Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2012, 01:13:02 AM »
Ok, well I did the saline flush and that went well. I am amazed because he shows no signs of pain, which kind of freaks me out.  He had no problem with me handling him and turning him every which way to flush out the wound.  He doesn't "eep" or anything when I pick him up and handle him.  And his fur is not puffed up like when they feel really sick or in pain. He is acting pretty normal, except for licking it every now and then.

I definitely would have taken him to the e-vet yesterday, but he really isn't showing any signs of pain or real distress, so that is why I held off on it. I can't imagine how it is not hurting him, but he honestly looks pretty fine.

As for the pain meds, I gave him 50 mg of ibuprofen last night and this morning.  Right now he really doesn't seem to be in pain, so not sure if I should give him more tonight. Thanks for everyone's help.

Offline AlexP

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2012, 03:40:43 AM »
I would still give him some more; like you said, I can't imagine it's not hurting him and they're really good at hiding their pain. I'd also definitely take him in tomorrow-today, I guess lol-which shouldn't be an issue in terms of your vet being closed (which you mentioned earlier and which I'm assuming is because today was a federal holiday and all that jazz).

Offline lilspaz68

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2012, 07:42:53 AM »
The licking sounds like he is just cleaning it out, like he should :)  Abscesses look very frightening but they usually heal up well if flushed and cared for properly.

Offline Addicted2Rats

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2012, 11:31:34 AM »
It really would be best to get him to the vet so that he can assess it and possibly give antibiotics to help clear up any possible infection.  Also, as has been mentioned, pain meds would be helpful too.  With abscesses in that area, if they aren't cleared up properly, you may have to worry about sepsis and peritonitis setting in.  Both are serious and potentially fatal problems.

Deb

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2012, 03:21:54 PM »
It really would be best to get him to the vet so that he can assess it and possibly give antibiotics to help clear up any possible infection.  Also, as has been mentioned, pain meds would be helpful too.  With abscesses in that area, if they aren't cleared up properly, you may have to worry about sepsis and peritonitis setting in.  Both are serious and potentially fatal problems.
Deb

Deb, he is already on chronic Zithromax/Cipro, which he usually gets once a day. So I am now giving it to him twice a day to help the abscess.  :)

Offline Addicted2Rats

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2012, 03:28:37 PM »
OK... yeah, twice a day dose would be best.  With abscesses though, Baytril is the antibiotic of choice because it can penetrate into the abscess.  It is one of very few antibiotics that can do that.  Amoxicillin is the other antibiotic.  Zithro and Cipro can't do that.  So you may want to think about switching to Baytril temporarily to treat the abscess.

Deb

Offline mustang480

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Re: Tumor chewed open? Please help
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2012, 03:35:06 PM »
Update... Saline flushes are going well. I've been squirting 8oz of saline solution right into the wound. Today the wound looks improved, looks like some actual healing took place!  I can now see where the abscess ends, whereas yesterday it looked like it just went up, up, up into his body. I would say it is about 1/4 inch deep, maybe slightly more. Before the flush, there was no pus actively oozing out of it. After I flushed it, I looked and just saw a small amount of pus still on the abscess. Not sure how to get that off because I flushed it really well with the saline, squired it right in there. Is it okay for some pus to stay on there? I am also giving him close to 100 mg of ibuprofen for pain.

I know several of you have said I should take him to the vet, and I hope you don't think I am a bad rattie mommy for not doing so yet. I am really trying to do what is best for him. I have only $100 to deal with this abscess situation, so if I take him to the vet right now and then, God forbid, he takes a turn for the worse later this week or next week, I will have no money to take him to the vet to be PTS/put out of his pain or for further treatment. So I am trying to treat this the very best I can at home first, and then if I absolutely HAVE to and no other option remains and he is suffering, then I will take him to the vet with the $100 that I have at that point. I hope that makes sense.

I just wanted to explain so you all can understand I'm not just trying to be stubborn about not taking him to the vet right away. Yes, I know I am supposed to have a vet fund. I had one previously and it was exhausted on respiratory issues. Also lost my job last year and it has just been very rough, so I'm not trying to be irresponsible on purpose. Just trying to do what is best and what I can do. I would never let one of my boys suffer. Thanks so much again to all of you who have helped and offered me information the past few days.

Anyway, I'm going to continue the flushes, twice daily antibiotics, and pain medicine, and keep an eye on it today and tomorrow and see if there is more healing taking place. Sonic is still not showing any signs of distress or pain and he is eating, drinking, and moving around as usual. If he should take a turn for the worse, or if there is no more healing, I have my $100 so I will see what the vet can do for that price. Thanks again everybody  :)