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Old 08-15-2021, 12:08 PM   #11
Ria P
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

A mammary tumor was ruled out because of its high up position.

I had the same concerns with Clarissa being such a tiny hamster and the mass covering a relatively large area of her body. The vet thought that surgery is possible but asked the other vet for his opinion. He agreed and will be the one to operate. They both felt confident to perform the surgery.
It appears to be enclosed because the vet can get her fingers underneath it.

Clarissa is 10 months old and hasn't slowed down as noticably as Edwina did but her lump was different. More of a swelling and she had other symptoms as well. No doubt, it had already spread. I made the decision not to investigate further and to keep her on daily Metacam which turned out to be the right decision for Edwina who hamstered about until the day she died in my hands.

Like you, i'm a great believer in this "gut feeling".
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Old 08-15-2021, 02:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

I didn't realise she was only 10 months old - its worth doing then and good to hear it seems enclosed. I remember saying Moo's felt like testicles on his chest Like a lump in a moveable sac. I'm sure she'll be fine. I was amazed how active Pickle was straight after. Mind you he'd had 24 hours worth of Metacam injected.
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Old 08-15-2021, 02:40 PM   #13
Ria P
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Post Re: Preparing for surgery

Metacam is amazing stuff. It gave Edwina another lease of life. 17 months old Ozzy is on it now. The recluse who used to disappear down the nearest hole when i looked at him for too long. He now comes when called to get his paws on the stuff, grabs the syringe with both paws and guzzles it up.
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Last edited by Ria P; 08-15-2021 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 08-15-2021, 03:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
Metacam is amazing stuff. It gave Edwina another lease of life. 17 months old Ozzy is on it now. The recluse who used to disappear down the nearest whole when i looked at him for too long. He now comes when called to get his paws on the stuff, grabs the syringe with both paws and guzzles it up.
That is quite an image
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Old 08-16-2021, 10:53 AM   #15
Ria P
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Saw a vet today but couldn't get to see the hamster ones. I explained about my worry of a possible UTI.
His conclusion was that Clarissa is a spirited hamster and going by her behaviour and appearance, fit for surgery.

Clarissa was absolutely furious at the vet trying to chat and examine her. She hissed and screeched at him but once back home calmly climbed onto my hand to get put back into her home.
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Old 08-17-2021, 06:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Goodness she sounds like a character! I've never had a hamster hiss or screech! Maybe just the girls?!
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Old 09-02-2021, 06:55 AM   #17
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Ria P, sorry for your loss of Clarissa.

My 21 month old Syrian has been struggling with a large lump on her chest/throat area just in front of her front paws also. She was diagnosed with Lymphoma and daily steroids and supplements where keeping it at bay for a while. But over this past month it’s gotten considerably worse. The vet said she can try to do a surgery but considering her age, she said it’s a 50/50 chance my little Choochoo would survive the surgery. I’m trying to figure out if I should just let her live out her remaining days without an invasive surgery or take the risk and try to improve her chances of being active again?

She’s eating, pooping and peeing normally but the growth is too large and getting in the way so she can’t clean her bum properly anymore. If I wanna do the surgery, she’s still got some energy left and condition seems relatively good to be able to handle the stress of surgery? Maybe.

I’m really torn on what to do for her. Any advice?
I will try to post an updated photo of her in the gallery.
Choo choo lump update - Hamster Central Photo Gallery

Last edited by Earthy1; 09-02-2021 at 07:19 AM. Reason: Added photo
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:37 AM   #18
Ria P
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

I totally understand your dilemma because my Clarissa had the same condition. I opted for the surgery for the very same reason, to make her more comfortable. The vet advised that it was a high risk procedure. Unfortunately, Clarissa's large lump was attached to her thyroid which had to be removed as well and the vet found another small mass that was too risky to remove. Clarissa survived the surgery but didn't fully recover and died after 9 days at only 10 months old.

The surgery is tricky because of the location of the lump. Maybe they could do a scan to see how difficult it is to remove?
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Old 09-02-2021, 08:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

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Originally Posted by Earthy1 View Post
Ria P, sorry for your loss of Clarissa.

My 21 month old Syrian has been struggling with a large lump on her chest/throat area just in front of her front paws also. She was diagnosed with Lymphoma and daily steroids and supplements where keeping it at bay for a while. But over this past month itís gotten considerably worse. The vet said she can try to do a surgery but considering her age, she said itís a 50/50 chance my little Choochoo would survive the surgery. Iím trying to figure out if I should just let her live out her remaining days without an invasive surgery or take the risk and try to improve her chances of being active again?

Sheís eating, pooping and peeing normally but the growth is too large and getting in the way so she canít clean her bum properly anymore. If I wanna do the surgery, sheís still got some energy left and condition seems relatively good to be able to handle the stress of surgery? Maybe.

Iím really torn on what to do for her. Any advice?
I will try to post an updated photo of her in the gallery.
Choo choo lump update - Hamster Central Photo Gallery
Hi there. I had surgery done on our Syrian when he was 21 months old and all very successful and he bounced back straight away. But every situation is different. Firstly it was a very small lump - so not major surgery. Secondly - my vet said assessment for surgery is about condition not just age. ie how good condition and how healthy the hamster is. Even if healthy some are in better condition for their age than others. So she assessed him as fine for surgery.

The hardest decisions are like yours (and Ria's). When the lump is larger, the surgery would be greater and more of a risk. Yet not doing it leaves them struggling to walk and with discomfort.

To compare - I also had a Syrian with a chest tumour which seemed to just appear from nowhere and get large very quickly. It didn't seem to bother him and as he was nearly 2 and the lump so large I decided against surgery (vet agreed). He was treated with metacam - in case it helped shrink the tumour and for pain relief. Thankfully he just passed in his sleep and his mobility wasn't hugely affected.

I also had a robo who developed a lump underneath - actually 2 or 3 small lumps. As he was so tiny and the body area so large I decided against surgery then. The vet was happy to operate but did warn it was a large area of his body. I later then regretted not having the surgery as one of the lumps grew so large he could hardly walk (although in hindsight I still think it was the right decision not to operate as it would have been massive surgery on such a tiny hamster and he was 18 months old).

Again it was just a case of letting him carry on, on metacam - adjusted cage so he could walk easier. He seemed to be happy enough and eating and drinking well - but eventually had to have him pts as he started to look terrible and chewing at the lump. He was still eating but vet said he was only "feeding the cancer" - it was an instinct they have - and that his condition was by then a welfare issue.

My vet said these are usually mammary tumours on the chest area. Depending on how fixed or mobile is depends on how easy or minimal the surgery is.

A Syrian is a larger hamster and IMHO surgery is perhaps better to recover from if not too large an area. If your hamster is in good condition and the lump is removable then I would think surgery is a reasonable option - except - you said it had been diagnosed as a lymphoma - so if the cancer has spread then the surgery may weaken her if she already has cancer spread - ie to cope with the decline due to the spreading cancer.

But if she seems well and healthy at the moment, maybe the cancer hasn't spread and the tumour is "enclosed". How about getting a second opinion on the tumour. Go to an exotic vet if you can - they know more about hamsters and may also be better at surgery on small animals.
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Old 09-02-2021, 09:22 AM   #20
Earthy1
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Ria P, I’m so sorry Clarissa that she didn’t get a chance to fully recover. I love the care you put into giving her your hospital box. I have removed some things from her cage, to make walking around easier.
Thanks for the thoughts and considerations.

Serendipity, my vet is an exotic pet vet but they probably haven’t had many people who opted to do surgery on a hamster. I didn’t ask specifically, but she is willing to do it and to take a closer look to see how difficult it might be.

Considering that Choo Choo might have cancer and that the surgery might weaken her further or even cause it to spread, isn’t something I really considered, so that is also another thought. I will ask them to do another scan on her to check what’s maybe happening internally with her organs and stuff. Last time the heart and other organs were not looking enlarged or abnormal.

She seems to be keeping her weight up, she’s always been a big girl over 200g, so that’s one good thing going for her, but the lump has gotten heavier, so it’s possible we are just feeding it, as you said. I figure as long as things are coming out the other end, she’s processing the food she’s eating so I was feeling hopeful.

I’ll inquire about metacam. We were giving a steroid that isn’t too strong…so maybe we can just switch the medication instead of surgery, and just let her live out the rest of her time?

Another question: How do you prevent them from scratching their scars after the surgery? Just giving antibiotics and crossing your fingers?
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