Tuesday, January 24, 2012

841. Email advice about a fast-growing hamster leg tumour

On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM, ...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Dear Doctor,
I need your advise regarding my daughter's winter white hamster.
It is abt 2years 2mths old and had a tumour on the right leg. We
noticed this tumour last year and its about a pea size.
Had brought her to a vet in Jan 2011 and advise against surgery due to old age.Within 2 weeks in Dec 2010 the tumor had grown very fast to a walnut size. She is eating and drink fine only her movement is rather slow and she keep bitting the tumour.
Is it too late to have the tumour remove now? If surgery is possible how much does it cost?We really love her sooo much, how do we know if she is in pain?
Would really appreciate your advise.
Thank You.
Owner's name

Thank you for your email. I am Dr Sing from Toa Payoh Vets

There is only one option to prevent death by infections and great pain from the growing tumour and that is surgical excision. Pain is shown by self-biting and being not active or eating in hamsters.

There is always an anaesthetic risk of death on the operating table for the older pet. You have to decide yourself. Cost is approximately $150-$200 for surgery and anaesthesia.

Coincidentally, I just saw a case of a dwarf hamster with a big growth on the back leg near the ankle. The lady had been advised by my associate vet Dr Vanessa to do leg amputation. But she did not want to as she did not want her hamster to be 3-legged. The tumour grew fast into a fatty ball of around 1 cm in diameter. Just as she arrived in a taxi to consult me, the hamster passed away. She could have saved this 1-year-old by permitting surgery 2 weeks earlier.

Therefore, decisions are made by the owner. The vet should give the proper advice and in your case, the advice from your vet was good. Pl make appointment at 6254 3326 if you decide on surgery. Best wishes.

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