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Old 09-13-2021, 05:00 AM   #21
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: dwarf with protruding eye + cancer?

So sorry to hear this. I think your gut feelings about tumours are probably right. And considering his age and general condition, I don't think there's much they can do in the way of surgery.

It is always a difficult call balancing their welfare and suffering. I think I would be reluctant to have tests too, if there's nothing to be done except keep him comfortable.

It is very difficult when they are still enjoying life and food. Logically you can't stop the eye bursting if it does - but that would be pretty unpleasant for him.

Maybe the vet would discuss it with you over the phone - if you explain you don't want to have tests as you don't think surgery would be right for him at his age, but need advice as to how to manage him meanwhile and what to look for in case the eye bursts and asks what they would do then.

Even if he's on Metacam, that isn't strong enough for severe pain (although it will help).

I suppose at the moment it's a case of monitoring him and seeing if you think it's bad enough to think about euthanasia. Do you have a photo of his eye?

One thing I will say - and this was something from my exotic vet - that eating isn't always a sign that they are still enjoying life - if they have cancer. She said the cancer growing creates (I forget the technical word) that makes them crave food but all it's doing is feeding the cancer.

So I'd look at other things re quality of life - not just eating. Is he still doing normal hamstery things? Using his wheel and cage - digging and foraging. Or literally just coming out to eat?
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:03 AM   #22
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Default Re: dwarf with protruding eye + cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by velma View Post
Hi Charlotte. I'm sorry to read about poor Ginger. I really do think you need to take him back for another vet appointment from the sound of things. They really are going to be the best ones to talk through your options with you and another look at his eye may give them more clues for what's going on. You know Ginger best and what he could tolerate and the vet is there to talk through those options with you, not decide for you. Whatever decisions you need to make, you're making them out of love & with Ginger's best interests at heart so whatever happens you'll be making the right decision for him.
Velma - so nice to see you again
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Old Yesterday, 12:51 AM   #23
charlottibiscotti
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Default Re: dwarf with protruding eye + cancer?

thanks for the helpful information! if his condition gets poor we will take him back to the vet.

no picture of his eye because he moves too much, but it's probably 30% more swollen than in the initial photos, although it does seem quite stable now, but there is a bit of reddening around the eye, presumably from irritation! I can see when light shines on his eye that there's what looks like fluid buildup going on inside the eye (vet saw this)

he gets a tablespoon of food every day, plus 2-3 mealworms which I mainly use for encouraging him to take medication.

the baytril has run out as of this morning, it's a shame it didn't help

he is active, but his sleep is definitely a lot more disturbed. he doesn't enjoy going up and down levels like he used to (it's a safe 3 levelled cage, don't worry, it meets requirements and he's never showed signs of wanting a bigger one) he likes to sleep on the top level in the sand bath with some bedding. he usually goes through cycles of waking for 30 minutes and then snoozing for about an hour or so at night, then in the daytime he sleeps lightly.

I've noticed that he's been scratching a bit, I'm not sure if I'm just examining him more, but he's targeting his upper legs & belly & the top of his head. no signs of mites or anything and no fur loss in these areas, so I'm assuming he's doing it because he's uncomfortable :/

he still wants to run around and enjoys playtime for about 30 minutes twice a week, as opposed to half an hour a day when he was younger/middle age.

thanks again, I'll consider his other behaviour besides eating from now on.
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Old Yesterday, 02:53 AM   #24
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: dwarf with protruding eye + cancer?

Hi again. He sounds fairly active and that sounds like normal grooming except the eye may be bothering him if it’s head area a lot. Can’t remember but is he on metacam? If not he probably needs to be for pain and discomfort (and can reduce swelling). Sleeping in his sand bath doesn’t sound good with a bad eye. It sounds like the rosewood pico cage? As he’s older he would be much better with a house at floor level that’s open underneath and sat on top of substrate. They like their toilet at floor level as well (maybe uses sand bath as toilet?). It would probably be best to tweak the cage so it only has the one level (ie move the shelves to one level) lower down and a house and food bowl at floor level. Something like a cardboard tissue box with a hole cut in is fine for a house- cutting one side out so it’s open underneath. Also more hygienic as it won’t sweat inside. You could save his nest and hoard and move it to the new house so he doesn’t stress. He’ll probably then use a corner of the cage as a toilet at floor level, which can just be spot cleaned (or put a litter tray there).

Sometimes they only use the ladders and levels because they have to - to get to the house etc. Plenty of substrate at floor level as well. They do much better with more floor area and less height. But in his condition probably best to make the most of the current cage. I’m sure he won’t miss sleeping in his sand bath if you give him a cosy new house at floor level. Important to move his nest into it even if a bit smelly so he uses it. And maybe put a smelly treat inside to tempt him in as well.

Maybe have a phone consultation with vet at least to ask about Metacam or what to look out for if things get worse.

I’m having a similar issue with our Syrian now. He has an eye that has started to look bigger and going to the vet. He had a small cancerous tumour removed recently so I also suspect it could be a tumour but it might be infection as they get things like that when older and more susceptible.
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