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Old 11-21-2019, 08:12 PM   #1
Ammeh234
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Default Benign tumours in hamsters

Hello, I'm sorry if this has been posted before but I'm not sure if I can find it,

But my hamster Chippy has recently developed a benign tumour, I have taken him to the vet as as he's acting his normal self, moving around okay, eating and drinking and it doesn't cause any pain to touch (he didn't even bite or yell at the vet when she was poking him around) she says it's most likely benign, and to take him back if anything changes. He's nearly 2 now I just want to know if anyone has has experience with this as I know they're fairly common. But I haven't had a hamster with one before and wondered if there's anything I should look out for with him other than the obvious warning signs. But also how long he may live for as I want to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Also he lives with his brother who's perfectly healthy but I'm worried what will happen when chippy goes... Anyone got any insight? Thank you
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:44 AM   #2
Charlie Dunn
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Default Re: Benign tumours in hamsters

I am so sorry to hear that Chippy has a tumour. It is always such upsetting news to get. Our last ham, bojo, had several tumours. We decided given his age that it was not right for him to have any stressful and invasive procedures so worked with the vet on keeping him happy, pain free and with the best quality of life he could have.
We gave him metacam for pain relief which he would take sometimes but not others! Over time he also lost some of his appetite after so we got some medicine to stop him feeling nauseous. That worked very well and he ate more after that. Towards the end, we fed him baby food and things like scrambled egg in addition to his usual muesli and treats.
We were very thankful that his quality of life was never impacted to the point that we felt the need to take him to the vet to be put to sleep. He ended his days at home and seemed to want contact with us as much as he could. He was so content snoozing in our hands or with us just being near him.
He did so well and managed quite happily for a few months, longer than the vet expected. Each ham will be different and it is important to have a good vet to speak to and get advice from. I also got such a lot of good advice and information from various threads on this forum. We did not have to make many adjustments to his cage until quite near the end. We just took it one day a time. I hope chippy continues on the same form as he is now for a while to come yet. X
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:10 PM   #3
Vierville
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Default Re: Benign tumours in hamsters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Dunn View Post
I am so sorry to hear that Chippy has a tumour. It is always such upsetting news to get. Our last ham, bojo, had several tumours. We decided given his age that it was not right for him to have any stressful and invasive procedures so worked with the vet on keeping him happy, pain free and with the best quality of life he could have.
We gave him metacam for pain relief which he would take sometimes but not others! Over time he also lost some of his appetite after so we got some medicine to stop him feeling nauseous. That worked very well and he ate more after that. Towards the end, we fed him baby food and things like scrambled egg in addition to his usual muesli and treats.
We were very thankful that his quality of life was never impacted to the point that we felt the need to take him to the vet to be put to sleep. He ended his days at home and seemed to want contact with us as much as he could. He was so content snoozing in our hands or with us just being near him.
He did so well and managed quite happily for a few months, longer than the vet expected. Each ham will be different and it is important to have a good vet to speak to and get advice from. I also got such a lot of good advice and information from various threads on this forum. We did not have to make many adjustments to his cage until quite near the end. We just took it one day a time. I hope chippy continues on the same form as he is now for a while to come yet. X
Hello. I'm really sorry to hear your little one has a tumour. It is such distressing news and I know that I felt really bewildered and helpless when my little Admiral Nelson was diagnosed with a tumour.

He was already two years old and one day I just noticed his fur was parted in an unusual way. I checked him closely and my heart sank when I realised he had a soft but firm mass on his one side. I immediately took him to the vet who didn't seem to know very much about hamsters but she took a cell sample and the result was that she said it may or may not be malignant.

Unsatisfied with her answer I booked him in at a specialist vet who kept him for a whole day and examined him thoroughly. Much like your hamster, Admiral Nelson didn't seem to mind at all that the mass was being felt or touched and the vet said that the tumour was most likely a benign fatty tissue tumour. He did advise that more might develop and he advised against surgery at his age as his exact words were that Nelson would probably pass away from old age before anything related to the tumours would affect him.

Little Admiral Nelson remained very active throughout and retained his good apetite. About two months later, I discovered a second tumour on his belly and shortly after that a third on his chest. By this stage he was very old and had become a lot less active but still ate well.

Four weeks ago, he took a turn for the worse over a 24hr period which was really to be expected at his age and we decided it may be time to help him along but while waiting for the vets to open he passed away quietly at home in his cage.

I don't believe that his tumours were the cause but rather his age. He remained alert, ate well and seemed his normal self right to the end.

If your hamster's tumour is benign, it may very well not be the reason for his demise. Sadly, older hamsters are prone to these things but he can live quite normally if given lots of love, care and good nutrition.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:26 PM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Benign tumours in hamsters

Hello. Sorry to hear about the tumour. Your hammy is a grand age at two years old and it is likely he could die from natural causes as he ages regardless of the tumour. It is all uncertain but by the age of two it is very common for a hamster to develop something - it’s the equivalent of 80 ish in human years.

You mention he lives with his brother so I am assuming he is a Russian dwarf hamster (or a Robo?) Is that right? As those are the only two species who can live in sibling pairs.

I think the situation is tricky as it sounds great they have lived together so long - many pairs fight and have to be separated. My feeling is it could be a good idea to separate them now. Not just so one can get used to being alone before the other dies, but also because the one with the tumour will now be vulnerable and possibly in a weakened state and they have animal instincts. I would be concerned he may be attacked.

As for the benign tumour. If he is carrying on as normal and doesn’t seem to be suffering he can probably live out it his life comfortably. It is uncertain as it may get no worse or it may get bigger and cause other issues. Our Robo had a lump. He lived with it for quite a long time and seemed fine, active and eating well. It got bigger and started to cause mobility issues so I changed his cage set up so he could still nip about. We didn’t know if it was benign or not but I could tell the lump hurt when he tried to climb so he was on a Metacam for pain which seemed to keep him comfortable. He then started losing a lot of weight even though he was still eating well and had skin nodules and sadly had to be helped on his way.

Every case is different. A hamster can live with a lump. If you think he has any pain then do ask the vet for pain relief medicine. Hamsters are good at hiding pain, as prey animals, but if they seem hunched it is a sign. Or any sign of flinching when rubbing against something with his lump. Ears flat all the time can be another sign. Or just being less active. My vet said appetite isn’t always a sign. Our Robo still seemed to be enjoying his food but was losing weight. Vet said he had cancer at that point and that was causing him to be hungry but not enjoying the food. So a big loss of weight is a sign that something is not right too.

Just keep an eye on him and he’ll probably live happily with his lump. If he starts to chew at it then it could be hurting so watch for that.

I would suggest separating them now though - that is just my opinion though. They will have the benefit of getting used to living alone while still not “losing” each other as such as they will smell each other etc. If one starts to fail they can be cared for in their own cage.
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:17 PM   #5
Ammeh234
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Default Re: Benign tumours in hamsters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Hello. Sorry to hear about the tumour. Your hammy is a grand age at two years old and it is likely he could die from natural causes as he ages regardless of the tumour. It is all uncertain but by the age of two it is very common for a hamster to develop something - itís the equivalent of 80 ish in human years.

You mention he lives with his brother so I am assuming he is a Russian dwarf hamster (or a Robo?) Is that right? As those are the only two species who can live in sibling pairs.

I think the situation is tricky as it sounds great they have lived together so long - many pairs fight and have to be separated. My feeling is it could be a good idea to separate them now. Not just so one can get used to being alone before the other dies, but also because the one with the tumour will now be vulnerable and possibly in a weakened state and they have animal instincts. I would be concerned he may be attacked.

As for the benign tumour. If he is carrying on as normal and doesnít seem to be suffering he can probably live out it his life comfortably. It is uncertain as it may get no worse or it may get bigger and cause other issues. Our Robo had a lump. He lived with it for quite a long time and seemed fine, active and eating well. It got bigger and started to cause mobility issues so I changed his cage set up so he could still nip about. We didnít know if it was benign or not but I could tell the lump hurt when he tried to climb so he was on a Metacam for pain which seemed to keep him comfortable. He then started losing a lot of weight even though he was still eating well and had skin nodules and sadly had to be helped on his way.

Every case is different. A hamster can live with a lump. If you think he has any pain then do ask the vet for pain relief medicine. Hamsters are good at hiding pain, as prey animals, but if they seem hunched it is a sign. Or any sign of flinching when rubbing against something with his lump. Ears flat all the time can be another sign. Or just being less active. My vet said appetite isnít always a sign. Our Robo still seemed to be enjoying his food but was losing weight. Vet said he had cancer at that point and that was causing him to be hungry but not enjoying the food. So a big loss of weight is a sign that something is not right too.

Just keep an eye on him and heíll probably live happily with his lump. If he starts to chew at it then it could be hurting so watch for that.

I would suggest separating them now though - that is just my opinion though. They will have the benefit of getting used to living alone while still not ďlosingĒ each other as such as they will smell each other etc. If one starts to fail they can be cared for in their own cage.


Yes they're both Russian dwarfs. They love each other very much basically inseparable, when we took chippy to the vet drake his brother as soon as he got home he nuzzled him and wouldn't leave him alone for a good hour. I notice chip is sleeping more. And drinking a bit more but nothing especially concerning. But separating them is definitely worth a thought if chippy starts to get worse. Thank you and everyone else for their imput so far anything else anyone can think of will be helpful too. If Chippy sadly passes away suddenly before they're separated, how will Drake deal with it? I know he will go through mourning but I haven't had two together before so I'm unsure what to expect
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:44 PM   #6
Ammeh234
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Default Re: Benign tumours in hamsters

Hi everyone, just to update, chippy sadly passed away this evening peacefully in his sleep. Thank you for all your help
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:35 PM   #7
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Benign tumours in hamsters

I am so sorry. It sounds like it was peaceful and in his home. It will be strange for Drake now. You might need to do a full cage clean and remove some familiar things and add some new ones. Or even move him to a different cage. So he isn't bothered by the scent of Chip. Chip was a grand age for a russian dwarf hamster, and was clearly loved and lucky to have a happy home. He is playing free over the rainbow bridge now xxx
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:19 PM   #8
Josie
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Default Re: Benign tumours in hamsters

So sorry to hear of Chippy's passing, play well at the bridge Chippy
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:10 PM   #9
Ammeh234
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Default Re: Benign tumours in hamsters

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Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
I am so sorry. It sounds like it was peaceful and in his home. It will be strange for Drake now. You might need to do a full cage clean and remove some familiar things and add some new ones. Or even move him to a different cage. So he isn't bothered by the scent of Chip. Chip was a grand age for a russian dwarf hamster, and was clearly loved and lucky to have a happy home. He is playing free over the rainbow bridge now xxx

They ended up fighting a couple weeks ago so they were separated so he's okay. It was very sad that he passed but I'm glad he was peaceful and just fell asleep. Thank you for your condolences x
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