Zymbal's gland or something else? (pics attached)

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deansfreckles
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Zymbal's gland or something else? (pics attached)

Post by deansfreckles » Tue Nov 17, 2020 3:12 am

Hi all,

Been a few years since I've visited this lovely site... I've been continuing to raise rats and have had almost 15 of them since my first few posts!

Unfortunately one of my current boys has me outrageously worried right now with something I've only heard second hand nightmares about, and never had to deal with myself until now.

On 10/22 I noticed a smaller than a pea sized growth between Zepher's jawline and his ear. My first thought was Zymbal's gland tumor, but I tried my best not to panic and brought him to the vet the following day. He was provided with a week's worth of baytril with no change and it continued to grow.

After another few days, we opted for removal as it was growing rapidly. And was around the size of a dime after only 2 weeks since first observation. His teeth became misaligned and eating became difficult for him. Unfortunately after only 2 or 3 days, I noticed the growth once again became aggressive as it grew back post-surgery.

I was continuously told it was just "scar tissue" and "swelling" for over two more weeks, and now it is the size of a quarter and his jaw is permanently displaced. He is on a liquid food only diet and losing weight rapidly. He was on omnivore care for a bit, which was helping him keep weight on him, but I ran out and did not have access to more. He's continued to lose over 250g over the past two weeks... He has an appetite, and is very hungry but can't eat and he gets very frustrated and then gives up because he can't chew. He drinks ensure with a steady supply of baby food, but both are hit and miss. He doesn't eat on his own, only when my boyfriend or myself hand feeds him with a finger or a syringe. He did have his teeth trimmed not too long ago but the experience was very traumatic for him and they've outgrown his mouth already.

I believe his quality of life is beginning to become affected. He is isolated from his brothers and only gets limited supervised visits because he still has metal sutures hanging out of his face from the initial removal 2 weeks ago. The vet left them in because they were worried that the new growth may rip the incision back open. I don't know what to do. I'm trying to spoil him as much as I can to keep him happy but I can tell he is absolutely miserable. The weight of the tumor is causing a head tilt and his teeth to outgrow his mouth.

I'm still strongly suspecting ZGT as the growth seems to be primarily focused on his jawline through to his ear canal. It is now larger than it was when it was initially removed and it has outgrown the original incision line, continuing to grow through his ear. It has not yet ruptured or ulcerated, but I did see him scratching heavily at his inner ear.

Is there any advice from anyone that has dealt with this before? This is the most aggressive tumor I've ever seen and I don't know how feasible second removal is with how quickly it grew back. And it's in such a sensitive area on his face making eating and drinking very difficult. He has been seeing the vet 1-2 times per week and they haven't been able to do much for him.

As of today he can no longer close the eye on the affected side of his face. He also had a penis plug on him earlier too because he can no longer groom himself. I just don't want my boy to suffer, he is one of my sweetest and doesn't deserve this whole ordeal. I want to know based on other people's experiences how much longer he can reasonably go on for.

(Non Graphic Pictures below)

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Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.
:hearts: Pumpkin, Ghostie, Zepher & Xander :hearts:
:hearts: RIP Tyler, Jimmy, Ozzy, Isaiah, Rocky, Natalia, Isabella, Judah, Eli & Esau :hearts:

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cyber ratty
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Re: Zymbal's gland or something else? (pics attached)

Post by cyber ratty » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:41 am

I'm sorry to say I think his quality of life is so low that pts asap is the best course of action. :(

Yes that looks exactly like a ZGT, and these are not operable - the vet may have just removed the abscess that forms on top of the tumour, but it's continued growing in any case.

Little_Lovelies
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Re: Zymbal's gland or something else? (pics attached)

Post by Little_Lovelies » Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:01 pm

Hi deansfreckles,

Welcome back to the forum. I've also returned after a very long break (but with a new account as I couldn't find my old one). 15 ratties since your first post, that's really cool.

I'm so sorry to read about little Zepher, it's horrible when you take them to the vets over and over, follow all their advice and still nothing's getting better. And I know it's especially sad when you're fighting a constant battle just to get enough food and drink into them. I don't know enough about this so I won't weigh in, but I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you all, and it sounds like you and your boyfriend have worked extremely hard to try and help your little guy.

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deansfreckles
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Re: Zymbal's gland or something else? (pics attached)

Post by deansfreckles » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:59 pm

cyber ratty wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:41 am
I'm sorry to say I think his quality of life is so low that pts asap is the best course of action. :(

Yes that looks exactly like a ZGT, and these are not operable - the vet may have just removed the abscess that forms on top of the tumour, but it's continued growing in any case.
Thank you so much for taking the time to weigh in. I hate to agree with you, but I did speak with my vet and my boyfriend and we agreed to have this little one put to sleep this afternoon to spare him of the suffering.

We are heartbroken to lose him, but we know he doesn't deserve to live like this.
Little_Lovelies wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:01 pm
Hi deansfreckles,

Welcome back to the forum. I've also returned after a very long break (but with a new account as I couldn't find my old one). 15 ratties since your first post, that's really cool.

I'm so sorry to read about little Zepher, it's horrible when you take them to the vets over and over, follow all their advice and still nothing's getting better. And I know it's especially sad when you're fighting a constant battle just to get enough food and drink into them. I don't know enough about this so I won't weigh in, but I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you all, and it sounds like you and your boyfriend have worked extremely hard to try and help your little guy.
Thank you so much, I really appreciate the sympathy. We really did all we could for him... Multiple trips to the vet, warm compresses, surgery, meds... I still can't believe how fast it all happened. Thank you for the kind thoughts and words, his brothers are going to be extra spoiled tonight 😢
:hearts: Pumpkin, Ghostie, Zepher & Xander :hearts:
:hearts: RIP Tyler, Jimmy, Ozzy, Isaiah, Rocky, Natalia, Isabella, Judah, Eli & Esau :hearts:

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cyber ratty
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Re: Zymbal's gland or something else? (pics attached)

Post by cyber ratty » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:05 am

It's never easy losing a pet, so sorry. :(
Little_Lovelies wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:01 pm
Welcome back to the forum. I've also returned after a very long break (but with a new account as I couldn't find my old one).
I can help you find and access your old account - message me with some details such as your previous email address or names of rats etc. :luck:

Feolthanos
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Re: Zymbal's gland or something else? (pics attached)

Post by Feolthanos » Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:10 pm

So sorry to hear about your boy. It sounds like you did everything you could for him x

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