Mammary Tumor Figure 4

Figure 4: Mammary tumor removal in 2.5-year-old female rat
Case history and photos


A 2.5-year-old Doe brought into clinic with a small and large mass noted on underside of body.

Clinical Signs

Small mass 2.5 cm was seen in the left lateral thoracic area, and a larger mass 5.5 cm at the right lateral abdominal region.


Mammary tumors

Treatment and Procedure

Surgery was performed using 3% Isoflurane, and the rat was maintained on a heating pad throughout surgery to help maintain ambient temperature, and prevent hypothermia.

The smallest tumor removed first, was excised quickly, and came away from the body intact with no breaching of the fascia that surrounded it. There were no major vessels to tie off or cauterize, and very little bleeding was evident.

The largest tumor was also removed. There were no major vessels to tie off, and cauterization of small vessels at the site of the larger tumor was minimal.

Gross visual appearance of the small and large tumor was consistent with being a fibroma and adenoma respectively, but the owners declined confirmation by histopathology.

The Doe took 3 minutes to gain total consciousness from when the last suture was completed. The surgery, in its entirety, took 60 minutes including recovery to consciousness.


Following full recovery the Doe was placed with her cage mate in a small hospital cage during the healing process. The sutures were removed at day 7 post operatively, where the incisions had knitted nicely. No post operative analgesia was required, and neither the Doe nor her cage mate worried the sutures.

Follow-up note

Unfortunately two weeks after the operation another tumor was discovered adjacent to the smaller tumor that had previously been removed. The owners declined any additional surgery.


Photos of this procedure, in its entirety, can be viewed from the surgical section of the Rat Guide:
Mammary Tumor Removal (AU)

Case History, Procedure, and Photos courtesy of the following individuals:

Dr. Peter Field B.V.S.C. (Hons.) M.A.C.V.Sc.,
Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Canine Medicine
Veterinary Physician and Surgeon
Everton Hills Veterinary Surgery, Everton Hills, Brisbane Qld, Australia

Surgical Assistant:
Mrs Louise Dux, Certified Laboratory Animal Technician


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