Less than two weeks after her death, Bertie (yes, she's named after Bert McCracken from The Used) had surgery to remove a cancerous breast tumor.
We found another one.
And it's not as good as we thought. After x-rays, we found not one, but two tumors. One's pretty close to her lungs - close enough to put pressure on them and make breathing a little difficult - but the vet couldn't see anything in the lungs. She's doing laser surgery to remove the tumors; she said if it is in the lungs, we should know within the next six months. If it is in the lungs, there's not much we can do except put her to sleep to make it easier on Bertie. She also warned us that rats don't do so well with second procedures but she did comment on Bertie's activity levels - Bertie's still very playful and active and was having a heyday building a new nest at the vet's office. The vet said that is always a good sign when we're dealing with cancer. So keep wishing us luck.
We just got the call from the vet - Bertie's surgery went very well, no complications, and her breathing has already improved from having the lump removed. The vet said the lump near her lungs came out clean and easily - she's pretty sure she got it all. The one in her breast...well, the vet said she got everything she could see under the microscope but she's not sure it won't come back. So we have to keep an eye on her.
I love my ratties to death, but this is the part that sucks (short life spans and they develop cancer like humans do). Wish us luck.