Blanche's results - Need advice

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Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by GillianK on Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:43 am

Just looking for some advice. Blanche's test results from the biopsy of the lump came back. They were inconclusive. There was no evidence in the biopsy of any cancer cells or of it being an abscess. The vet still says it could be a tumour but the next step would be surgery to remove the lump and then send it off for tests. However, he said because of her age (she'll be 2 in 11 days) surgery isn't a good idea especially as in his opinion it probably is a tumour anyway.

Blanche's lump is causing bleeding from ear and a little from eye on side of face lump is on. I have not really been cleaning at it as I don't want to hurt her, but I might try with some baby wipes later as it's building up a bit. You can see that from the attached pic. On the plus side, she is still in fairly good form, eating, drinking, grooming, climbing and exploring. So I am reluctant to euthanise at this stage. I feel it's in her best interests not to go for surgery and to go for palliative care in form of metacam, antibiotics (just incase it is just a load of infection and not a tumour) and the vet is thinking of steroids too. I'm to take in her at 6:30 this evening so vet can see her.

Can anyone give their advice on what they think I should do? I'm very confused as I had assumed we would definitely see cancer cells from the biopsy or to find out it is a chronic abscess which could be lanced. Now I don't know what is best, although given her age I don't think surgery is the way forward. I don't want to put her through unnecessary suffering. :-(

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by redrach on Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:48 am

I'm sorry that the biopsy didn't provide clear answers for you.
If it was me, personally, I think I'd do exactly as you have suggested and not operate. In terms of cleaning you could try saline solution or warm salt water on cotton balls. If she's still happy enough looking I'd just make sure she's comfortable and eating well and then if it comes to the point when she's suffering or not herself anymore I'd PTS. If it comes to that you'll know when it's time.
Thinking of you both.
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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by katherine on Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:51 am

Oh God, I'm so sorry. I can't really advise because I was in the same situation with Forz when I *knew* it was an abcess - you feel you're damned either way Sad If it were me though I would ask the vet to see if it was possible to stick a needle in and see if he can draw out any pus, which might be one way of finding out if it's worth lancing.

As you say she's on good form I agree that euthanasia isn't the right option for her. I would probably do as you're doing tbh and looking at keeping her spirits up with palliative care. Good luck whatever you do though. Keep us updated. Kiss

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by Zoundz on Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:04 am

I would avoid surgery too, as far as I'm aware, if it is a ZGT (which I fear it is), then it's not really removable anyway - so it would be costly, probably not work, and may actually shorten her life trying.

I would keep her happy, comfy and let her carry on as long as she's is able and happy to. Has this affected her eating at all? Normal facial abscesses usually seem to, so if she's eating very well, it's probably not rooted in the jaw, which makes ZGT more likely.

xx

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by GillianK on Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:31 am

Just back from vet. He showed me xray and how her bone has restructured and altered around the lump which he says proves to him it has to be a tumour. He said surgery isn't an option with this kind of tumour anyway. On the positive front, he also told me he had another rat a few months back which lived 6 months with a tumour so as she's in good spirits she could well carry on for a while longer. In the meantime TLC is the way to go. I'm gonna wash her ears and eyes this evening, and continue with antibiotics and with metacam. What amazed the vet is how when he squeezed the lump a bit Blanche didn't even flinch. He said he's surprised it isn't hurting her when he does that, and that its a sign she's coping well with it. From xray he could also tell that the tumour hasn't spread to any other part of her body.

She does struggle to eat some foods she needs to open her mouth wide to eat like corn on the cob etc. So I've been giving her lasagnes, soups, stews, yoghurts, stews etc to help.

I am heartbroken she has this ZGT, which Laura, I think thats what it is too. But just gonna give lots of TLC and pain relieving meds for whatever time she has left. She has had 2 very happy years so far with me, and hopefully a while longer and thats better than most rats who are born into this world get.

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by Zoundz on Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:45 am

((((((((hug)))))))))

I would try looking for friends for Dorothy sooner though, just in case Sad I'm so sorry Gillian. Hopefully she'll have a good few months yet.


xx

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by GillianK on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:40 am

Thanks Laura. Not worried about Dorothy being on her own for a couple of weeks if needs be though. She is a loner anyway. She sleeps mainly on platform in cage instead of in the bed. Sometimes she goes into the bed to say hello to Blanche but mainly she likes to sleep on her own. They don't really play much either as the age difference between them is a year. They get along, don't get me wrong, but don't seem to depend on each other as Stella and Blanche had done. She'd be ok on her own for a while. But will prob get a pair after Blanche passes instead of one so don't have to immediately look for new rat when one passes. :-(
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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by GillianK on Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:44 am

Today Blanche's tumour so big the hairs have all fallen away from it and it looks dreadful. It looks like tomorrow I'll have to take her to vets to be put to sleep. :-(
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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by smokierat on Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:58 am

I'm sorry to hear this Cry you are doing the best for her xx she has known such love in her life Love

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by GillianK on Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:05 am

Thank you. I'm still not totally decided as just watched her drink from her water bottle and then spend a good length of time grooming. I'll see how she is tomorrow but the fact that the tumour is getting bigger so quickly makes me think it might be for the best to pts. :-(
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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by katherine on Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:59 am

Oh Gillian I'm so very sorry to hear this *hug* I know how much she means to you Sad

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by GillianK on Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:59 am

Blanche is gone.

As I mentioned earlier the lump grew so huge today on Blanche that it was completely bald, raw red, bleeding and just horrific looking but I thought I'd wait till morning. Tonight I was giving Blanche her metacam and she was complaining much more than she had been before, squealing and trying to get away. White fluid was flowing out of her ear but the lump remained huge and hard. I couldn't bear it any more and took her to the emergency vet, who said an abscess had grown over the tumour, and that this would only get worse over the next week or so. Euthanasia was recommended and Blanche was put to sleep.

I am very upset as she was still eating, drinking and grooming, but it was just so awful to see that lump grow so huge, bigger and bigger every day, more raw and more painful and it was smelling so bad too, like it was rotting or something and she was so upset any time I gave her her antibiotics. I will never know if I did the right thing, but I know I would never have parted with my darling Blanche unless I felt it was in her best interest. Still, I feel so confused. When Stella was put to sleep, she was weak and couldn't even lift her head but Blanche was still in fairly good form, but the vet said it would only get worse now and if he were put in the spot and asked what he would do, he'd euthanise.

Very distressed and very confused. Guilt is settling in and I'm wondering did I do the right thing? Maybe I could have let her live till she stopped grooming, eating etc but I dunno. I just couldn't bear to see her suffer.
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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by smokierat on Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:02 am

For what its worth,I think you did the right thing,and would've done the same in your position (((((hug)))))))) I felt the very same mix of emotions with my gorgeous Tuffy in April,she had a tumour too and it was such a different decision than I had to make with my girls before who had been completely incapacitated...if we can free them from unnecessary suffering,we should x its never ever going to be easy but your little one didnt deserve to suffer,lingering on in pain xxx ((((hug)))) it just hurts because we love them so very much

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by katherine on Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:41 am

*HUG* It is so hard when they are alright otherwise but for what it's worth I agree with Grace, I think you did the right thing by Blanche and I would have done the same. It isn't as if she would have improved and we love them too much to let them suffer on needlessly for the sake of a few more days with them.

I am genuinely so so very sorry to hear that you've lost your special girl Cry

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by Simba on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:02 am

I definitely think you did the right thing. You put her feelings ahead of yours, which is a hard thing to do in those circumstances. Yes, you'll never know how long she could have coped with increasing sickness- but neither will she, which is important. Better like this than too late.

Well done, and I'm very sorry for your loss. She's lucky to have had you.

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Re: Blanche's results - Need advice

Post by Zoundz on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:19 am

It's also what I would have done, ZGTs are evil (((((((hug))))))))

xx

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