A scrotal neuter was performed on Gambit on 20 December, when he was almost two months old. The reason the male siblings were neutered at such an early age, was to reduce the chance of hormonally-induced territorial aggression later in life and to increase their chance of being placed. The choice was influenced by their being semi-wild rats, and by an accidental tail injury in one of the males, which required surgery anyway: he was adopted as soon as it became apparent that he would be neutered at the same time.
Gambit was adopted from the rat rescue on 8 January 2011, along with another neutered semi-wild male. The small group of resident rats contained intact females, so the introduction was postponed until almost a month post-neuter.
However, after consulting the rat rescue and other rat keepers who had experienced abscesses in similar locations in their own male rats, we decided to wait a bit longer. In addition, we decided to commence with the introduction despite Gambit’s enlarging belly lump.
The next afternoon the lump had opened up and Gambit was observed cleaning it. On day 37 the hole into the lump was somewhat larger; the tissue inside seemed a healthy dark pink. By the evening the hole was closed. A tiny hard lump could still be felt underneath the skin, but a few days later it, too, was gone.
Given that Boris and Twix’s abscesses did not develop until 13 weeks respectively 6 months post-op, it is possible that they were unrelated to their castration. Twix cleaned out his own abscess; it healed well. Boris’s abscess was cleaned out by a vet and subsequently by his caretaker; it also healed well. Boris did, however, develop another abscess in the opposite location at 1 year of age.
First photo on day 26 post-neuter shows an approximately 1.5cm3 hard lump on Gambit’s belly, In the second photo on day 35 a small scab formed over the lump. In the last photo on day 37 shows the abscess is open allowing for cleaning and healing.
The photos in this row show Gambit and the area where the abscess had formed completely healed.
Case history and photos courtesy of Cyzahhe
Posted on July 24, 2013, 20:02,
Last updated on July 25, 2013, 12:37