Saturday, August 6, 2011

532. My 3 dwarf hamster post-operation follow up

Surprisingly, I got two phone calls regarding 3 dwarf hamsters this Monday morning Jul 25, 2011 after the hamsters had survived a high-risk surgery and had gone home for over 2 days.

1. Hamster 1 and 2, Female, 2 years old. The lady owner phoned up. Day 3 of surgery. Hamster 2 (amputee) attempted to bite stitches. What to do? Plaster? Not practical.
Hamster 1 - Ear canal ablation. Hamster eating. Objected strongly to cleaning off blood from ear. So done once only. Advised to do more cleaning. Isoflurane gas anaesthesia only but very stressful ear canal removal. Took 2 days to recover.

The ear canal was full of white "sand" particles as well as tumours (irritation due to sand?), pus and dead cells

Hamster 1. A rare ear canal ablation surgery completed in this dwarf hamster. This surgery is common in the dog. See: The "reasonable" man test in a court of law
Hamster 2 (amputee). The lady owner confirmed that the leg tumour was only 5 mm diameter 6 weeks ago. "Like a face pimple," she said. But it grew furiously big to 1.5 cm. I had to amputate the leg above the knee. The hamster started exercise wheeling. 30 g before surgery. After surgery, her weight was 19 g. There was a lot of blood loss

Hamster 2 - The leg had to be amputated as the tumour involved the bone below the knee and above the hock.

Feedback from owner who noted the following.
1. Lowered water bottle. Can't drink as only one hind leg.
2. Food bowl too high now. Hard to climb out. Use bowl from those used in Chinese household for chilli and soya sauce. A bit of spillage but hamster could eat.
3. Tempted with favourite bean sprouts. Then give baytril oral.
This hamster needed sedation IM. First day, one drop Zoletil 50 IM. No effect. Just looked at me. So, suspend all operation till 24 hours later. 2nd day, 3 drops OK. Leg bone tumour extended to inguinal. Amputated. Quite active within 1 hour.

No exercise wheel. Stitches quite many. Blue nylon 5/0
Continue on paper litter. Not so rough. But hamsters loved to shred them.

2. Hamster 3 - 81 g. Operated to remove two large breast tumours.
She loves bread and so the wife fed her more bread. She put on lots of weight. An average dwarf hamster weighs around 30-40 g. I doubt she could survive the anaesthesia and surgery. But she proved me wrong.

spleen seen

4326 - 4336. Surgery itself does have complications sometimes. The spleen pops out unexpectedly!  
Hamster 3. The two large breast tumours were excised. The spleen came out from the abdomen but was put back. The abdominal defect was stitched. The hamster survived as at Day 14 after surgery.
The husband rushed down to the Surgery. Two 5/0 nylon stitches bitten off today on Day 8. Bleeding. Wife phoned. OK at clinic. No bleeding. Cut off two entangled nylon stitches. 1 remaining. The husband did not want it cut off. To observe. To reduce weight further. 79 g now. The tangled transparent 5/0 nylon stitches were taken out

Feedback, fully active and normal on Day 3 but would eat after operation. Daily exercise on wheel. Owner quite happy.

Pictures and details are at:

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