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Real Life Case: Cancerous Tumour (Lymphoma) in a Young Mouse
Sufferer: Reidun, 2.5 months, doe

I had left most of my mice (the ones not needing special care) with my housemate while I went on holiday for a week. On my return I discovered that two of my mice had serious conditions requiring veterinary attention. Unfortunately for them, all my housemate had done was to occasionally top up food and water, and not check on the mice like I asked: I had even left the vet’s numbers and address.

The mouse that we are concerned with here is called Reidun. On my first sight of her I could not help but exclaim out loud. She had a large lump on one side of her body of which there was no hint when we left to catch our flight. Now, tumours on mice come up literally overnight in many cases, so I cannot estimate precisely how long she had had the lump. I do know that it was 6 days or less, since my housemate had seen her the day after we left and there was no lump then.

I immediately called the vet and got an appointment in under two hours’ time! We rushed over to the vet’s and were told that it looked like a tumour that would have to be examined under anaesthetic and removed. Reidun was taken in overnight and operated on the next morning. There were no complications and the little minx even managed to pull her stitches out before we had left the surgery. I kept her out of the huge tank she had been living in before and placed her in with an old motherly doe and two submissive does so that she could rest and would not rush about climbing all the toys in the big tank. It worked to some extent, but I did catch her several times trying to climb things – and she would give me this guilty look as if to say sweetly 'What? I wasn’t doing anything' …

Reidun after the operation, you can see the wound had already begun to heal

After the surgery she was left with a large gaping wound (probably due partly to the fact that she lost her stitches!) and a bald patch where she was shaved for the operation. Within weeks she had healed so well and was so healthy it was almost impossible to tell she had had a lump removed. In what seemed like no time at all she was completely healed and does not even have a scar, although the fur is still a bit thin where it was removed.

I am of the opinion that her recovery was due to her age and of course the quick admission to surgery once I returned. It can be the case that tumours regrow and sometimes several tumours grow in the place of the one that was removed. Reidun has been lucky, in that she has had no regrowths at all and is now 16 months old.

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