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Old 08-24-2019, 02:29 PM   #1
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Vierville's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 891
Default Eye infection/mouth abscess misdiagnosis dwarf hamster

Hi everyone. I just wanted to tell you about a pretty scary experience we've just had with our winter white dwarf hamster and a very poor misdiagnosis that must have been agony for the little one in the hope that others whose hamsters have a similar problem will learn from our experience and hopefully avoid it.

We got our little one as a rescue and from day one her one eye was swollen and a bit weepy. I immediately took her to a vet that advertises as an exotic and small animal vet and she was diagnosed as having conjunctivitis (pink eye). The vet gave us antibacterial eye drops and we gave our little one the entire course of drops but saw no improvement. We took her back and the vet gave us a second course of the drops. Still no improvement.

After about two weeks with no further improvement, we took her for a second opinion to the same practice and another veterinarian saw her, examined the eye and concluded that the swollen, weepy eye was the result of a previous long-term infection that had caused damage to the surrounding tissue of the eye. The vet said that no treatment was necessary and that the eye itself was healthy and we'd just have to wipe the eye regularly as it was not something that would get better or go away.

All the while the little hamster showed no signs of discomfort or pain and carried on eating and happily running on her wheel, darting around her cage and running in her ball.

I just wasn't happy though as the eye had become more and more 'mucky' and was almost closed so I took her to a totally different veterinary practice. The vet took about 10 seconds to look at her, opened her mouth (which we've never done) and discovered a huge abscesss inside her mouth that was causing the massive eye infection.

She had the abscess cleaned out under an anaesthetic and is now on a course of metacam and antibiotics.

I shudder to think of what would have happened if I'd just have accepted the diagnosis that it was 'just tissue damage'...the poor little thing had no way of telling me that it hurts or what she's feeling.

I just thought I'd share this experience as our little ones have no way of telling us what's wrong with them and we shouldn't just accept what we are told blindly.

Last edited by Vierville; 08-24-2019 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 78
Default Re: Eye infection/mouth abscess misdiagnosis dwarf hamster

WOW! I am glad it finally got discovered. Thanks for telling us.
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:39 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 913
Default Re: Eye infection/mouth abscess misdiagnosis dwarf hamster

Glad it got noticed in the end. I'm surprised that the original vets did not give your hamster a thorough check. When I have taken my hamster to the vets they check everything, like a general m.o.t as it where. Sad/scary to think this is not the norm, but worth remembering. Thank you.
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