Wednesday, May 9, 2018

3151. A 2-year-7-month-old dwarf hamster has a lump on the lower body. To operate or not?

May 9, 2018

The young lady loved this dwarf hamster very much. She discovered a lump of 8 mm x 6 mm on the lower body on the left side of the belly.

"Last time, you said it is risky to anaesthesize the old hamster," she was very worried about the anaesthetic death.

"Anaesthesia is always risky and it is more risky now that the hamster is much older," I told her that the life span of the dwarf hamster is around 2.5 to 3 years.


May 23, 2018

"I am surprised that your hamster did not bite off the stitches," I met the young lady owner who to get the stitches removed today. "He can't bite them off," she said. Fortunately, she had come early as I noticed a big 3-mm pimple on the upper eyelid of the left eye. "This pimple will grow bigger as it is a bacterial infection and the hamster rubs it daily," I advised lancing and drainage. There was still the big worry of anaesthetic death. She gave consent. The hamster fell asleep within 30 seconds of smelling anaesthetic gas given at 5%.  This hamster is very old, but he can still climb 3-levels up to his feeding area. "His weight is now 40 g compared to 43 g when I operated to remove his tumour 15 days ago."

"He passes a lot of big-sized stools and drinks more," the lady could not explain why there is weight loss. "Can he break sunflower seeds?" I asked. "No," he can't. So she will have to crush the sunflower seeds and feed him some daily to let him gain weight.

The lady showed a video of the hamster inside a white hamster bowl throwing out the seeds. "Use a flat plate for his seeds instead of a deep bowl, as some seeds may poke his eyelids causing pimples."

The hamster took some minutes to wake up from just 30 seconds of gas anaesthesia. Younger ones wake up within a second. So the vet must be vigilant during anaesthesia. A dead hamster is not good for his reputation.


Flashback to 15 days ago, the image did show a very small pimple on the upper eyelid

 Compare to May 23, 2018

All ended well. The young lady and her boyfriend are relieved and happy.

Bigger sized stools unlike those from other dwarf hamsters
Stitches are still present 15 days post op

Right eye looks OK but there is some rubbing
Scent gland is cleared. Stitches removed.

The hamster is aged but active. He is equivalent to 90 years old in human age

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