Figure 1: Soft tissue sarcoma in adult male rat (Neo).
Case history and photos
Neo, an adult male rescue rat of undetermined age. No history of illness.
First noticed a lump on the upper right leg that appeared to be an abscess. Within a week the lump had doubled in size and the rat was taken to the veterinarian. Upon examination it was determined that the hard lump was not an abscess and the vet took a core biopsy of the mass.
Soft tissue sarcoma.
Pain medication and environmental changes to ensure the rat’s comfort. Pain medication was children’s Tylenol with low dosages of butorphanol used as the rat’s condition worsened. The environment was changed to a flat surface with no ramps.
Within a month of the veterinarian visit the rat had worsened. The sarcoma grew rapidly and hindered his movement. He became lethargic and showed a greatly diminished appetite. The biopsy area never healed (not surprising since the cells were cancerous at the point of biopsy and therefore not capable of normal healing). Throughout the last weeks of his life he was on Baytril in an attempt to diminish abscessing from the wound. He was humanely euthanized to prevent further suffering.
The photos show the area with the soft tissue sarcoma. You can see the site where the biopsy was performed. These photos were taken a few weeks before he was euthanized.