Sunday, May 6, 2012

976.  Hamster's neck swelling may or may not be cancerous - E-mail query from Malaysia 
E-MAIL TO DR SING DATED MAY 4, 2012
Dear doctor,
My sister's Syrian hamster (about 2 yr old) is having a neck tumour and both the vets that we consulted advised that it is cancer, and there is nothing that they can do about it. Is there anything that we can do to reduce her suffering to the minimal? For example special diet or anything to watch out. I saw from your blog that you had performed surgery for similar cases too, unfortunately my sister and the hamster reside in Malaysia so we are unable (prohibited) to bring the hamster oversea for your consultation.

Thank you very much
Regards,
X

Sent from my iPad
E-MAIL FROM R SING DATED MAY 4, 2012
If possible, send 2 images if possible. There are no drugs that are effective...

May 5 (2 days ago)

If possible, send 2 images if possible. There are no drugs that are effective against tumours.
E-MAIL TO DR SING DATED MAY 6, 2012
On Sat, May 5, 2012 at 12:22 PM, ...@hotmail.com> wrote:
Dear doc,
I'm X's sister, the owner of the hamster. Attached herewith the pictures of my hamster who suffers from cancer
E-MAIL REPLY FROM DR SING DATED MAY 6, 2012
Thank you for 3 images. Neck swelling is large. Is it hard and firm or soft and cystic? Have you got the vet's report.
It may or may not be cancerous as it is hard to diagnose just by size. In some cases, it may be a haematoma, an abscess or soft tissue growth under the skin. As the hamster is old, cancer is likely but not definitely.

To confirm whether it is cancerous, the swelling has to be sent to the lab for histopathology. Therefore, the diagnosis is based on FNA (fine needle aspiration) of the swelling to be sent to the lab for histopathology.

Surgery by excision is the only option but the anaesthetic risk is much higher. Any medication like pain-killers and antibiotics from your vet can be given but will not resolve the problem.

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