Sunday, July 8, 2012

1067. The 3-legged dwarf hamster lived to a ripe old age


Hi Dr Sing,
Poppy didn't wake up this morning.

She will be missed.

Thank you for all your help.

Name of owner


Poppy, the dwarf hamster would never have survived without the kindness and loving care of the slim lady with black frame glasses. I guess it was the internet who introduced her to me as she had consulted Vet 1.

By then, Poppy had a rock-hard 10-cent coin tumour in her left hind leg. It started as a small lump and the owner had gone to consult Vet 1. For some reasons, Vet 1 did not operate. The lump grew and grew to a 10-cent coin.

"Amputation of the leg is the only option to save her," I advised. There was the risk of the hamster dying under general anaesthesia. But she pulled through. This case is described somewhere in

Only 2 weeks before she passed away, I removed a small fatty tumour. The owner was very careful and observant and would take the hamster to see me whenever there was a slight medical problem. The hamster lived past 2 years 11 months. It still maintained 24 g as the owner had also got a weighing machine.


On Oct 13, 2011, at 7:27, Dr Sing wrote:
Thank you for video. Despite left hind leg amputation, the hamster is active. Twitching seen by you may be similar and due to the "phantom pains" that occur in a person that has his leg amputated.Is she putting on weight?

On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 12:42 PM, owner wrote:
No, still 28g.
On Fri, 14/10/11, Dr Sing wrote:
How about the itchiness? Try to hand feed and a drop of pred per day. May be experiencing pain of the amputated leg.

On Mon, 17/10/11, owner wrote:
Subject: Re: Poppy
To: "Kong Yuen Sing"
With the Pred, she is more active and also eats more. Seems to like pumpkin seed puree. This morning, she weighed 30g. Scratching right ear again -- have re-started the ear drops. May also need to re-start the skin wash.

On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM, owner wrote:
She's active and still on Pred, 0.01/day. But her weight is down to 27g again. Now she won’t eat pumpkin seed puree. Doesn’t eat much of the sunflower seeds, pellets etc either. Seems to eat only tiny bits of veggie (kai lan, carrots, corn, bean sprouts, French beans). What can be used to supplement her diet? Boiled potatoes? rice? egg? Thanks.

E-mail from Dr Sing Sunday, 23 October 2011, 0:56
Subject: Re: Poppy
Could be some internal organ failure due to old age, pain or infections. Please give baytril antibiotics and do hand feeding the mash pelleted hamster feed and seeds 6 times a day in small amounts.

With excellent loving nursing care and with trial and errors for feeding, the owner changed diet from processed seeds and pellet to leafy vegetables and maize (see image) over the months. We gave anti-inflam drops. She switched to a less irritating brown paper bedding, the dwarf hamster survived to a ripe old age, weighing 24 grams, losing all hair but was not intensely itchy. The stool pellet was large and good consistency indicating that this hamster ate and passed away peacefully.


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