Saturday, June 22, 2013

1471. HAMSTER;S HEALTH VIDEOS - A boxing gloved hand - Case Jun 22, 2013

tpvets_logo.jpg (2726 bytes)TOA PAYOH VETS
toapayohvets.com

Date:   23 June, 2013  
 
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles & rabbits
A boxing gloved left hand   
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
Date:   23 June, 2013  
toapayohvets.com 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129

Saturday, June 22, 2013

1471. HAMSTER HEALTH VIDEOS - A boxing-gloved hand - Case Jun 22, 2013

 
A "Be Kind To Pets" Video Production". Script is as follows:


TUMOURS IN DWARF HAMSTERS -
A BOXING-GLOVED LEFT HAND


HOOK
What will you do if you need to have your left hand cut off to save your life?
(Video of a person with two hands holding things and eating).

What will you do if your older dwarf hamster need to have her left hand cut off?
(Video of patient: 2-year-old female dwarf hamster with a massive left hand tumour. Weight 22 g. Active and eating when hand-fed. )

INTRODUCTION
HAMSTER HEALTH CLINICAL RESEARCH
Saturday, Jun 22, 2013. Toa Payoh Vets, Singapore
  BE KIND TO PETS IMAGE

Singapore suffers from haze since 4 days ago (video of haze affecting the morning sun at Toa Payoh area). Most pet owners prefer not to visit the vets to vaccinate their pets. The haze was due to the burning of forests in Sumatra. 

Flames and smoke are fanned by winds from the province of Riau in Sumatra to Singapore. Some burning plantations are vast and larger than a few towns. Hot spots in Sumatra and Kalimantan are numerous and the fires cannot be easily doused by water. A spike in respiratory illnesses, sore eyes and throat are present in the residents of Singapore.  The air pollutants increased in the last 2 days such that the outlines of buildings could not be seen clearly. (video).

All face masks at pharmacies were sold out. Face masks retail from $1.80 to $3.60/mask but online sites are selling at $25.00. (Video of Singaporeans wearing masks).   

So, on this hazy Saturday morning (video of haze), I expected no clientele.

However, a mother and daughter from Woodlands brought in a female dwarf hamster to Toa Payoh Vets. She has a large firm globular growth on her left fore paw or left hand (images). As if she is wearing a boxing glove.

MIDDLE
"How long has the growth been present?" I asked the teenaged girl.
"Around a week," she said.
"It feels hard and is likely to be a fast-growing tumour rather than an infected abscess," I held the hamster by the scruff of her neck and felt this lump. "The only treatment is surgery to remove this lump. Since it has spread into 100% of the left fore paw, I will need to amputate the paw before the tumour spreads further to the forearm."

INFORMED CONSENT

1. NO OPERATION. WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

Amputation saves the hamster's life. Without amputation, the hamster keeps gnawing her swollen left fore paw which is burdensome and painful. Soon infection sets in and the bacteria will spread to other parts of the body. The hamster becomes ill and toxic and will not eat. She will then die a painful death. Amputation saves her life.
2.  OPERATION - ANAESTHETIC RISKS, BLEEDING & INFECTION
The anaesthetic risk of dying on the operating table is higher in old hamsters. However, this hamster is active and eating and therefore, I assess that the risk is minimal.

Bleeding after amputation can be controlled by bandaging. Infection can be prevented by antibiotics. 
"Take some time to think whether you want surgery or not." I asked the mother and daughter to wait at the waiting room while I handled another case.


IMPACT OF SURGERY
"Your hamster will not be able to hold seeds with both paws to eat if the left front paw is amputated," I said. "Will this be OK with you. In any case, she is not able to grasp the seeds. How does she eat?"
"I feed her by hand nowadays," the slim teenaged girl said.

POST-OP POSSIBILITIES
With the removal of the tumour, the gentle small-sized dwarf hamster may adapt and be able to grasp smaller seeds and feed herself.

The mother and daughter accepted my advice to perform surgery. 

CONCLUSION
Surgery was done under isoflurane gas anaesthesia. The fore paw with the massive tumour was amputated. Video of hamster after surgery. The hamster goes home (Video and images). It is kind of the owners to take action to get the dwarf hamster treated. In the past, baby-boomer generation owners will let the hamsters die as the cost of a new hamster is much lower than veterinary fees for an operation.

P.S
As I record this case at home on Sunday June 23, 2013, 8 am,  the 3-hour PSI (Pollutants Standard Index)  is 106 while the 24-hour PSI is 120 - 136. The air is much fresher now. Just 2 days ago, the PSI was over 400 and the outlines of buildings could not be seen clearly. The plantation fires are said to be due to large commercial companies burning forests to get the cleared land for their oil palm business.      

CREDITS & MUSIC & SINGAPORE DOWNTOWN SCENE



 
Updates will be on this webpage:
www.sinpets.com/F5/20130623hand_tumour_
dwarf_hamster.htm

More info at: Dogs or Cats
To make an appointment:
e-mail judy@toapayohvets.com
tel: +65 9668-6469, 6254-3326
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Clinical Research
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All rights reserved. Revised: June 23, 2013

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