Tumor Figure 9

Figure 9: Tumor removal on toe of 18-month-old male rat (Gooby).
Case history and photos


Gooby is an 18-month-old male rat.

Clinical Signs

Gooby’s owner noticed that he had chewed one of the nails on his left hind foot down to the toe, and another toe on the same foot looked like it had a nail bed injury.

The initial treatment advised by Gooby’s veterinarian was to bathe the affected foot with a hibiscrub solution (1 part hibiscrub to 10 parts water). Unfortunately, there was no improvement after a week and instead a more rounded lump was developing on the toe of which the nail had been chewed. Over a few days this lump gradually increased in size towards the base of the toe.

As there was no sign of infection throughout this time, Gooby’s keeper suspected something else might be the matter and took him to see the exotics veterinarian on Friday 23rd April. The vet agreed that the lump felt and looked like tumor tissue and advised that the toe be amputated as soon as possible, before the tumor spread to the foot.


Toe mass/tumor


On the morning of the surgery (Monday 26th April) Gooby’s whole foot and ankle were swollen and the lump had spread a little higher up the toe towards the foot, so he was first reassessed by the veterinarian to make sure the foot hadn’t been compromised, yet. Luckily, the swelling was thought to be caused by the tumor affecting the blood/fluid circulation in the foot and toe, and there was no sign that the tumor had spread to the foot. The toe amputation surgery went ahead as planned.

Gooby was prescribed Metacam and Gabapentin post-op against (nerve) pain and inflammation.

(*Note: this case is as yet unverified histologically.)


The day after the surgery the swelling of the foot and ankle had gone down almost entirely and the surgery site looked nice and clean.


Gooby continued to heal well and was already climbing around as normal a few days later. It did take him about a week to get fully used to balancing with one toe missing.


Gooby toe tumor

Row:  The first photo shows the toe tumor the day before Gooby’s veterinary appointment. The second photo shows Gooby having just arrived home from the toe amputation surgery, chewing on his yellow bandage. The third photo was taken the following day; the swelling had already noticeably reduced by then. The final photo was taken three weeks after the surgery; the site has healed well and only a tiny scab is visible from where Gooby chewed and pulled out the last of the undissolved stitches..

Case history and photos courtesy of Tyler Gaymer
Photo compilation by Cyzahhe
Case compilation and editing courtesy of Karen Grant RN and Cyzahhe


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