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Too old for an op?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:24 am
by Purepsycho
Yesterday I found a mammary lump on Tifa, my oldest girl. She's just over 3 now which is amazing.

I'm in a bit of a dilemma about whether to chance an op or not. I know the risks of any op and being older the risks will be higher.
Tifa is the healthiest rat I have ever owned. She has never once shown any signs of a illness or even a sniffle and to this day insists on bounding around the cage and free range like a cheeky little 6 month old. She really is amazing and has way out lived her original cagemates.

I really don't want a lump to take away her quality of life as it gets bigger but I have no idea how long it would be before the lump became too much for her. But if I put her in for an op, which I'd want to do soon while the lump is relatively small making the op as quick as it could be, and she doesn't make it I know I'd be devastated that I'd ended her life early even if it was done for the best intentions.

I trust my vets completely and know they'd do their absolute best for us - in Jan this year we took in one of our rescue girls Boo, who was about 2 and had very bad myco, to have an extremely aggressive lump removed - we knew that she wasn't likely to survive but her lump was growing at such an alarming rate that it seemed the only chance we could give her. The vets and nurses were amazing and she pulled through and lived another 6 months before her myco finally got the better of her.
Another one of our girls Tiny had multiple lump removals while she was still relatively young and healthy (aside from the lumps) but she had a funny turn during one op and the vet even gave mouth to mouth to her to try and save her, but unfortunately she didn't make it. :(

Its such a hard decision to make, has anyone else had experience putting an older rat in for an op?
What would you do?

My beautiful girl :love:
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Re: Too old for an op?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:58 am
by Mulberry Jane
I think I'd wait a week or two to see how quickly it grows, sometimes with older animals inc humans, cell growth slows down, in which case her lump may not be life-shortening. If the lump does grow rapidly then you'll know you're giving her the best chance by operating. Fingers crossed for dear old Tifa.

Re: Too old for an op?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:32 am
by cyber ratty
I've had 3 year olds operated on and they've sailed through - if she is fit and well otherwise (and she looks it :) ), then her age shouldn't be a problem (so long as you have a good vet).

If it's a case of balancing the op risk against time left, I generally wait until just before the lump is going to cause a problem either for the rat or for the op, and then take the view that it's worth trying an op rather than going for pts.

I hope Tifa's with you for a good while yet. :love:

Re: Too old for an op?

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:19 am
by Purepsycho
Just to update, Tifa went in for her Op last week, her lump got rather large quite quickly and she sailed through, there were 2 lumps growing next to each other apparently!
Shes absolutely fine now and back to her cheeky old self again. Altho she really hates having her meds and squeals at us, but bruxes 30 seconds after when shes got a choccie and a fuss! Bless her. :hearts:

Re: Too old for an op?

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:14 am
by cyber ratty
Great news :D

Re: Too old for an op?

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:24 pm
by daffee
That's good to hear :)

We've got an oldie going in for a lumpectomy next week (and she might need another one soon after :( ) so it's nice to hear a positive story just beforehand :olddoe:

Re: Too old for an op?

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:42 pm
by Purepsycho
Thanks all, and fingers crossed for your oldie Daffee :luck: