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Old 10-15-2016, 12:45 PM   #1
SwaggySyrians
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Default Very concerned. Advice?

My Syrian Buzz is a little over two years old now, and he's already showing it. His hair is very thin and missing in some places. He keeps one eye permanently closed (although I think he can see out of it when he opens it) and is virtually deaf. His skin looks almost dry. He's obviously old now and can no longer climb up to the places that he used to. I weighed him only an hour ago - he's gone from 150g to 111g in three weeks. He's always gotten a lot of treats and other things to keep him occupied, and I've actually increased the quantity of food in his bowl over the past few months. Over the past couple of days I've noticed some sort of lump on his chest - it only has a small amount of fur on it and looks almost like a bloated stomach, but in front and between his front legs instead. It's not at all hard and he doesn't seem bothered by me touching it. I've been told to take him to the vet, but since he has so many other problems and is quite elderly I'm worried that they'll just have him euthanised. He doesn't seem to be in any pain or discomfort apart from the occasional difficulty in climbing, so I don't think it's necessary to have him put down. He's quite fragile now, so any sort of vet trip or treatment could really harm him. I know that he's old and in his last few months/weeks now, so I don't know whether it's best to just leave him.

The lump on his chest gets bigger everyday and I don't want to see it kill him. I'm not sure what I expect people to say, I'm just upset to see him with these problems. Does anyone know if there's anything that I can do to help him out?
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:28 PM   #2
velma
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Default Re: Very concerned. Advice?

It's always so sad to see them age and know we won't have them around with us for as long as we like. I'm sure you'll get some good advice about diet and so on that can help an elderly ham with his fur and skin.
However, I really do think you should take to the vet for his lump. If it's growing daily it could, at the very least, start causing him some real discomfort and hams are pretty good at hiding their pain until it's really serious. I know that you are worried about taking him because of what you think might happen but nobody is going to make you do something that you don't feel is right for Buzz. But they wil advise you about what they think is going on and what would be an appropriate course of action. It may be something treatable, it may not but I personally feel that having all the facts means you can make an informed decision about Buzz and give him the best life possible, however long that may be.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Very concerned. Advice?

It is always hard to see hams age & Buzz really is quite an old man now so some problems like weight loss & drying of the skin with possibly some fur loss are to be expected.
You can try things like flax seed & evening primrose oil to help with his skin & fur, add in extra high fat foods like seeds & nuts more frequently can help maintain weight, a little baby food, porridge or mashed veg is often appreciated by elderly hams too.
I do think the lump is your biggest concern & I agree that it would be best to take him to the vet, anything growing that fast does need attention & as velma said could quickly begin to cause him discomfort or pain.
Discuss your concerns with the vet, most good vets will only see having any animal PTS as something to be done only when there are no other options & quality of life is too poor , they won't normally suggest that just because Buzz is old without good reason.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Very concerned. Advice?

Thank you for your responses! I'm going to take him to the vet tomorrow evening and see what they say. I don't know what they'll suggest but it's worth a shot to make sure that's he's okay. If they decide that it's not a big issue, would it be worth just bringing him home again? The lump is soft rather than hard so I doubt it's at all cancerous. I'd much rather he passed away peacefully in his bed rather than being put to sleep, but that may be a selfish decision if he's suffering. I'll post again after the vet visit. Thank you for your advice on his skin also, I'll try that.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Very concerned. Advice?

It's hard to make this kind of decision in advance when you really don't know what the problem is so I think all you can do is discuss it with the vet while you're there, if it's at all possible for him to remain comfortable at home for some time yet then the vet should be able to tell you that as well as advising on any treatment that may be necessary, we can never really prepare ourselves for the worst outcome but I'm sure you'll know what's best for him & be able to make the right choices however things turn out.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Very concerned. Advice?

Got my fingers crossed for Buzz's vet appointment.
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Very concerned. Advice?

Thanks for all of your help everyone! The vet watched his behaviour and had a feel of the lump for a little while and doesn't think it's bothering him at all. She said it's very likely fluid filled and gave us the option of putting him under and taking a sample from it. He's older now and not as a strong as he once was so I decided it would be a better decision not to do that incase it stressed him out too much. She asked us to keep an eye on him to make sure that he's okay and doesn't seem to be in any pain or discomfort. So I think he's alright

An operation to remove it is the only other thing she suggested, although there's the worry that it could be connected to a blood vessel and cause more issues. As he seems okay it doesn't seem like it would be necessary anyways. Thanks for your advice everyone, Buzz had a vegetable toothbrush chew after his vet visit and a few extra sunflower seeds. So he's very content.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Very concerned. Advice?

Glad the vet visit went well. Wishing Buzz many more days/weeks/months ahead
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Very concerned. Advice?

It sounds like Buzz isn't letting it stop him, great advice from your vet.
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