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Old 12-29-2018, 05:32 AM   #1
MaryRobinson
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Exclamation Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

Hi chaps,
Its been a while since I first posted about the timid, hand-phobic hammy we rescued and she is now about 1.5 years old... and the sweetest, friendliest little girl who we could ever have wished for. She is happy and healthy and not losing weight... but recently she developed what looked like a scratch above her right leg. We left it a week, thinking it would heal- though always supervise her so were a bit perplexed. Over this week, its doubled in size and looks less like a scab and more like necrotising black tissue. We took her to the vets today and they are stumped, but noticed two smaller lesions developing on the other side under her fur. She seems completely unshaded by them and is absolutely normal. Vet said it could be mites and have us spot-on (though we freeze her aspen bedding and food first so Im skeptical) and also antibiotics. The vet said if neither works, its likely to be cancer.

What are your experiences? Shes not scratching at all, or eating or pooing less, or less active. Vet seems not to know. I really want to give her the right treatment - shes my baby!! - what do you guys think?? x
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

Sorry to hear this, it does sound worrying although it's really good that she's not showing any signs of being unwell or bothered by the lesions at this stage, I'm really not sure what it might be tbh although mites does sound unlikely, do you have a photo? That might help if anyone's experienced something similar.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

I would go and see an exotic vet - they know much more about hamsters and their conditions. If you google exotic vets in your area there is bound to be one not too far away. It’s possibly skin cancer but as you said it started with a scratch it could be a fungal infection or something. A swab needs taking for analysis.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:21 PM   #4
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

Thanks guys. We used the spot-on stuff tonight and she was sleepy but not surprising as she had a midnight adventure to the vets!
We tried squirting the antibiotics on cucumber but she wasnt having any of it. Cucumber is her favourite so she clearly didnt trust the smell of medicine on it! (Any other tricks to gets meds into hamsters??)
Thank you, I will find an exotic vet...
so worried. Poor little Dora bean.... 😥
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

Yes a number of people have done things like mixing it into a bit of porridge or baby food. I guess you're more likely to have porridge handy than baby food. You just make it in a mug - teaspoon of oats and a bit of water and microwave it - maybe 30 seconds - or a bit more if it's still runny. Then put some on a teaspoon and let it cool (I do that rather than let it cool in the mug as it cools down quicker and also can go a bit too firm in the mug). So mix the medicine into the porridge on the teaspoon - just a tiny amount of porridge on the teaspoon or she may not eat all of it.

If you can get some baby food they tend to lap that up. Age 4 months is usually ok as it has no spices, tomato or onion - but check the label. Fruity chicken used to be our hamster's favourite. Again about half a teaspoonful with the medicine mixed in.

Hope that helps. Our last Syrian was very savvy though and wouldn't touch anything that had medicine in! Most hamsters eat the baby food or porridge If not then I think there is a way of squirting it in the side of their mouths with a small syringe - but see how you get on with the other options. They like porridge and it's good for them
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

I've found my hams will usually take meds in porridge or baby food, cauliflower cheese is the favourite with mine, probably disguises it more than just putting it on something like cucumber & they find it hard to resist.
Hope you can find something that works for her & makes it easier.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:16 AM   #7
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

Thank you �� Yes, Dora LOVES porridge so will try that first. (She also loves couscous but was very savvy to that yesterday and didn’t eat the blob we mixed with medicine...) I do tend to get her baby food snacks as a treat so will see if there’s a simple paste one she’ll like... Sigh. I haven’t tried it on her as I suppose I thought of it as being for ‘elderly’ hamsters and she’s 20months. But I suppose she pretty much is, now...

I’ve read threads on scruff if them if the tricks in food fail, but isn’t there a danger of damaging their eyes by doing that?? Or is that an urban myth?
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

Opinions differ on scruffing tbh, some time ago it seemed to become less popular but as long as it's done properly it's not harmful & I've never had any problems with it.
20 months is fairly old for a ham but not really that old.
Good luck with finding something she likes enough to take her meds with!
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

I don't think you need to scruff them fully to put the medicine in - some vet info here with diagrams Wrap them up like a Burrito Note - Baytril shouldn't be mixed with milk or any other calcium - so any porridge needs to be made with just water and creamy baby foods like macaroni cheese are out.

https://laurenvet.wordpress.com/2013...-your-rodents/
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:35 AM   #10
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Weird lesions on Dora - vet unsure 😔

Thank you so much, everyone... we tried porridge and it worked! Shes a big hammy: 210g- so I guess I somehow assumed she might go on to nearer three... However I know the pet store where her first owners got her are not known for scrupulous breeding practices so I guess I knew wed be lucky if she lived to a ripe old age. Im not ready yet for her to go to sleep... 😔
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