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2 year old rats- sores on legs- vet or not?

(10 Posts)
lilola Fri 27-Sep-13 18:24:11

My flatmate has 2 sister rats, just turned 2- a good age for rats! They're getting a bit old and scabby and slow and sleepy (when they're up and about they're like rockets but they do spend more time asleep etc than they used to).

One of them developed a lump on her left hind..heel? I'm not sure what to call that area of the leg because so much of the leg seems to actually be a huge long foot! But the area where the foot 'joins' the leg has a lump:
-it has slowly grown over the last month (but still isn't even the size of a pea yet)
-she has started to take notice of it whereas before I never saw her lick/nibble it.
- it started as a fleshy skin coloured lump but now looks a bit like a 'sore' of some sort, red and shiny in the middle (but not bloody)
- I wouldn't say it's hard OR soft (google tells me this could indicate if it's cancerous or not) it's just sort of in between. I haven't got a really good poke at it though

Does anyone know what this is?! ALSO the other rat looks to have the beginnings of the same thing on both her legs (in exact same place) so I wondered if it was just like humans getting hard skin on their heels over time?

Flatmate is reluctant to take them to the vet as she's worried the stress combined with their age will kill them. They don't SEEM to be in any pain/out of sorts?

We (another flatmate and i) used to have a hamster who got a very similar sore on his chest- flatmate rang vet who said it's normal when they get old, it's a tumour and he'll probably die soon. He did. But again, didn't seem bothered by it.

So basically: does anyone know what these are? And if it's worth the stress of a vet trip? They're very beloved by flatmate (I've grown quite fond of them too!) but they are old for rats I guess.

RobotHamster Fri 27-Sep-13 18:26:14

I'd take them to the vet, yes.

What's their cage like? Not sure, but I think this can be caused by wire platforms and ladders.

RobotHamster Fri 27-Sep-13 18:27:38

Is it anything like this ?

lilola Fri 27-Sep-13 18:45:11

ouch that looks awful and painful! They're nowhere near that but I suppose that gpig might have had something similar to the rats that got a lot bigger/harder over time? They have a big wire cage but the base/platforms/tubes etc are solid plastic so the only time their feet come into contact with wire is when they climb up the sides- but that would rub against their toes more than heels iyswim?

I think they should see a vet too but she's really not keen

lilola Fri 27-Sep-13 18:47:28

meant to say; she cleans the cage with antibac pets at home spray weekly and the base of the cage is covered in newspaper and pellets.

lilola Fri 27-Sep-13 21:32:59


charliezack Wed 02-Oct-13 11:08:05

If you haven't already taken them to the vets rats are unfortunately very prone to cancer.
my own current girls are 8 months and covered in lumps and bumps which is mainly the fault of breeders who don't care about breeding from healthy or even non related animals my vet has said in the past to put them down but they are happy and relatively healthy with no pain so i let them enjoy their lives
Basic sores and bumps will go away in time if you use an antiseptic cream or saltwater wash it must be non-toxic, if you go to the vets just ask for a basic antiseptic without taking the animals they will charge you a fortune for consultation which may not end up with an un-happy outcome due to their ages
I know its not what you wanted to hear but your rats are a very good age for their species and have obviously been taken very good care of to have gotten to their age with no other health problems
you can also try giving them half an orange or whole satsuma cut it in half as they hate the skin in general but the Vitamin C boost will help if it is just an infection.

OrmirianResurgam Wed 02-Oct-13 11:13:51

I second what charlie said about cancer and that if they aren't suffering to leave it. One of my ladies had a lump on her back for about 6m before she actually died (of something else). A few of mine used to develop little sores sometimes though. I used to give them vitamin drops (for small animals) in their water and bath them with a few drops of tea tree in the water.

Bear in mind 2 years old is quite old for a rat. They aren't long-lived sad

had to stop keeping them and I miss them.

OrmirianResurgam Wed 02-Oct-13 11:14:43

Bumblefoot! Jsut thoght of the name. Might be that?

TheSilverySoothsayer Sun 13-Oct-13 14:14:56

I used to have rats, many made it till 3. They didn't stress about going to the vets - it was just another journey in their cage. Vets fees were v cheap compared with other species, possibly because vets liked something a bit unusual, and that reminded them of their early training!

I do hope their life span hasn't gone down in the 2 decades since I had them as pets. As it was, I gave up keeping them, because I couldn't stand the repeated grief. I now have elderly DCat

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