Mammary tumors in rats are a common health issue, especially in females that have not been spayed. These tumors can range in size from small to large and can be either benign or malignant. While most are benign, it is important to have the tumor surgically removed and submitted for biopsy (histopathology) due to the 5-10% chance of fibroadenocarcinoma (cancer). If left untreated, mammary tumors can grow and spread, leading to discomfort, pain, and even death.
If you suspect that your rat has a mammary tumor, it is important to bring them to a veterinarian experienced in rat care, such as the team at Priest Lake Vet. Our veterinarians, including Dr. Kopp, have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating mammary tumors in rats.
When you bring your rat to us, we will perform a thorough physical examination and may recommend diagnostic tests such as imaging to determine the size and location of the tumor. If the tumor is small and has not spread, we may recommend surgical removal. In some cases, if the tumor is large or has spread to other areas, we may recommend other forms of treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
In addition to surgery and other treatments, there is also medical management available for mammary tumors in rats. Cabergoline is a medication that has been shown to be effective in treating mammary tumors in rats anecdotally. This medication works by decreasing the levels of prolactin in the body, which is a hormone that can stimulate tumor growth. Cabergoline is typically given orally, and your veterinarian will determine the appropriate dosage for your rat.
At Priest Lake Vet, we are committed to providing the highest level of care for your rat. If you suspect that your rat may have a mammary tumor or any other health issue, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced veterinarians, including Dr. Kopp. We are here to help your rat feel better and live a happy, healthy life.