Sunday, July 21, 2013

1040. Sunday's interesting cases - A whimpering old dwarf hamster

Sun Jul 21, 2013

A bright and sunny haze-free Sunday. I thought this would be a relaxing Sunday but it was the busiest of all Sundays requiring two vets to prevent long waiting times of more than 10 minutes per client. Dr Daniel would be operating (dwarf hamster with ear tumour, dental scaling of one Bengal cat and one old Schnauzer with back pain) or doing blood collection on two aggressive dogs and clipping by the groomer. All these take time. The groomer had 4 dogs with skin diseases and one with tick infestation to clip bald and bathe.

So I was busy attending to consultations, phone queries and discharge of the cases to be completed before 5 pm. We all skipped lunch.

Today I had planned to visit my first nephew who would be nearing one month of age. So there was a bit of a rush. 

The outstanding case was that of a 2-year-old dwarf hamster. She just fell asleep in the weighing bowl after examination. As if she had a very late night. "In my 40 years of practice, I have yet to see a dwarf hamster falling asleep at 10 am in a new surrounding! Your hamster must be sick. She would freeze up when I held her for examination." 

The large ear tumour kept growing bigger and bigger and the hamster started making squeaky noises. "She has been whimpering for the past week and scratching her left ear lump," the young lady finally brought her to me for treatment.  Some time ago, she had another hamster with a larger lump but the vet said he would not operate. So she did not seek any vet with this hamster's tumour.
 If you have got the tumour excised when it is smaller," I said. "There is very little chance of this hamster dying during anaesthesia."

Such a gigantic lump. Such a weak old hamster. The owner consented to the surgery.
"No injection," I said to Dr Daniel. "Just isofurane gas. She may not survive."
In the midst of surgery, the hamster stopped breathing.


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