Tuesday, August 16, 2011

546. Sunday's interesting case: A 3-legged dwarf hamster with 3 warts

Tuesday Aug 16, 2011, 9.16pm typed at Toa Payoh Vets

As the owner's "hamster" vet was not free to operate on the hamster till 2 weeks later, the practice's other vet asked the owner to bring the hamster to Toa Payoh Vets. Some vets would just give oral medication but it would not work to get rid of the 3 warts.

I answered the phone and took over the case when the two ladies came. The hamster looked thin. "Very itchy, esp. the left hind thigh; it is just a stump; there is no leg."

WARTS. As the hamster disliked being handled and protested vigorously by squeaking, we could not examine her in detail. Two warts were seen. One on the front right fore leg and another one on the left thigh area. Actually there was a 3rd one seen later under anaesthesia

ANAESTHETIC RISKS. As the female, over 1-year-old hamster eats "very well," pees a lot and poops a lot, the hamster was deemed to be healthy. I warded her overnight for observation and gave oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory. I gave a 60% chance of survival.

RECURRENCE OF WARTS. If sufficient normal skin is excised with the big wart, it is unlikely to get recurrence. But there may be a large skin wound which would expose muscles and bones, causing infections. This was communicated to the owner.

EXPOSURE OF BONE AND MUSCLES. If the wart has no stalk, it would be a bigger skin incision exposing the bone and muscles. There could be infections and gangrene. The owner was informed.


Monday Aug 15, 2011. Heavy rain. The hamster cleaned up its food bowl. Actually she stored all seeds inside the cheek pouch. However she was active and stool pellets were seen.

10.38 am Zoletil 50 x 2 drops IM, right hind muscle (left hind has wart). Usually I do it on the left. 54 g bodyweight. 1 drop would be insufficient. 2 drops would be just right. Two drops equal to 0.001 ml as the drug did not even reach the 0.01 ml mark in the 1 ml syringe. I pull in 0.08 ml of normal saline, making it total 0.01 ml and this amount was injected IM in the right thigh muscle.

Within 1 minute, the hamster was drowsy but awake.

10.44 am Electro-incision x 3 warts. Large blood vessel ruptured when left thigh wart was excised with more skin. Blood flooded lower half of the hamster. Imagine a dog with half the body with blood. It was not possible to ligate the big vein supplying this wart as in the dog. Electro-incision hopefully would cut and coagulate the vessel. But it could not as it would be a big vessel. A big wart grows big and the blood vessel also grows big too to supply more blood.
10.50 am End of surgery. Wakes up. Gave isoflurane gas to stitch up.

10.54am suture 4/0 dexon

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