Mammary tumours are incredibly common in rats and most owners are very familiar with encountering these growths on their pets. However, many owners are not aware of the different options that are available for the treatment of mammary tumours in rats.
Why are mammary tumours so common in rats?Mammary tumours grow in rats due to the presence of a hormone called Prolactin. This hormone is secreted during the normal oestrus cycle of the rat. It can also be secreted by the mammary tumour itself and by tumours of the pituitary gland. Secretion of Prolactin increases as rats age. Factors which affect the development of mammary tumours in rats include the genetic strain of the rat, the diet, the hormonal status and the age of the rat. Mammary tumours may affect up to 90% of intact female rats and 16% of intact males over one year of age. Approximately 80% of mammary tumours in rats are benign but 20% are malignant.
How can mammary tumours be treated?All mammary tumours should be surgically removed as early as possible. Benign tumours can usually be completely removed at the time of surgery but this is difficult to achieve with malignant tumours. Alongside surgical removal of the tumour, we can now offer some other options to reduce the likelihood of any future mammary tumour growth. These are:
- Placing a hormone implant under the skin. The implant prevents the secretion of Prolactin, which means that mammary tumours are unable to develop. This can be placed at the time of surgery. Alternatively, this can be placed in young female rats to prevent development of mammary tissue.
- Neutering. Females can be spayed and males castrated. This removes the influence of Prolactin. NB: These methods are not effective if a pituitary tumour is the source of the prolactin. Also, this will not prevent regrowth or spread of malignant mammary tumour.
- Medication to reduce the secretion of Prolactin. This will remove the influence of Prolactin on mammary tissue. This can be effective even if a pituitary tumour is present.
- Diet and environment. Reducing the calorie content of the diet and environmental enrichment will reduce the likelihood of mammary tumours recurring.
It is a requirement for all puppies to have a microchip and information recorded on government compliant database in the breeder’s name by the time the puppy is 8 weeks old.
When the puppy goes to their new owner, the new keeper must transfer the keepership into their name.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP MICROCHIP DETAILS UP TO DATE e.g. when you move house, change your phone number or rehome a pet.
They are looking for puppy socialisers within the Milton Keynes area.
For more information about Medical Detection Dogs or how to become a puppy socialiser, please visit www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk.
Due to the success and popularity of our cat clinics on Tuesdays at our Stoke Road branch, we are adding an additional cat clinic day every THURSDAY.
Introducing AMANDA ROSS, our new Thursday Cat Clinic VetAmanda qualified from Edinburgh University in 2001 and joined us in June 2017. She began her career in a practice in her hometown of Leeds before joining a mixed practice in Bedford in 2002. Initially, she worked with large animals as well as small but gradually moved towards concentrating solely on small animals. She holds an ESVPS Certificate in Small Animal Medicine. She has become particularly interested in feline medicine and is very much looking forward to running the Cat Clinic at the Stoke Road branch on Thursdays. Outside work, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband and two small children, as well as their cat Jamie and their newest addition to the family, a rehomed tortoise called Margo.
The clinic is open for:
- Vaccinations, Consultations, Repeat Prescription Checks, General Health Checks, Surgery, Dentistry
And also nurse clinics including:
- Nail clipping, Minor dematts, Blood Pressure Checks, Diabetic Clinics, Weight Clinics, Microchipping, Second Vaccinations, Behaviour clinics and many more