Wednesday, November 8, 2017

3182. Case study: Survival rate of hamster under anaethesia

Nov 9, 2017


AttachmentsNov 7 (2 days ago)
to judy
Hello Judy,

I was referred to your email through your website, and just heard about Toa Payoh vets through your Youtube videos. I have a male hamster who is currently 11 months old, but has a growth on his belly that has been significantly growing from slightly more than a month ago. We have gone to another vet previously, who prescribed the hamster with Meloxicam Oral Suspension (1.5mg/ml) and Enrotril Oral Solution but it did not have any effect on the growth. We did not go ahead with the surgery option as we were told that the success rate is extremely low, due to the use of anaesthesia and him still being very young. The lump also did not appear to be affecting his appetite and quality of life.

However, the lump has currently grown to quite a considerable size. My purpose for this email is to enquire on the survival rate of the hamster, if I choose to let him undergo surgery. I live pretty far away from where your clinic is located at, and is a little difficult to transport him as he has a big cage and gets stressed out easily if moved into a smaller container. It will be great if you are able to advise me on his situation, and I have attached some photos of the lump for you to get a better idea. I am acting as a caretaker for the hamster as his owner is currently living overseas. If she decides to let him undergo surgery, I will definitely make arrangements to bring him down to the clinic. 

Hope to hear from you soon, many thanks!

Name of caregiver


Thank you for email. Anaesthetic risk is very low if the hamster had been operated when the tumour was less than 5 mm in diameter over a month ago and the hamter was healthy and eating well.

All vets have to inform the owner about anaesthetic risks even if the risk is zero in practice. This is part of "informed consent" for surgery and some owners are worried and so delay surgery.
Now the hamster looks thin and the tumour is gigantic (meaning that surgery takes much longer to do, prolonging anaesthesia and increasing risks of death on the op table).

The risks are much higher. In general, the risks of anaesthetic death now may be around 50%.
As for transport of hamster to the vet, put him in a spacious big box if the carrier is too large and heavy. Many vets in practice do not do hamster anaesthesia and surgery as the risks are much higher compared to dog and cat anaesthesia. Some prescribe medication but this is not effective. Therefore, many owners have to find a "hamster" vet.

Please make appointment at 6254 3326 for surgery if the owner accepts the risks.  .
Best wishes.

Dr Sing Kong Yuen.
Toa Payoh Vets

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