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Old 08-12-2021, 01:20 PM   #1
Ria P
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Default Preparing for surgery

Clarissa is going in for surgery in a week to have a large lump removed.

I've made her a hospital cage from a storage box and everything in it is clean, washable and smooth plastic.

I've booked a week off work so i can be around to keep an eye on her.

What concerns me is the hospital cage. I'd normally add a meshed window and back vent to a bin cage but i don't want her to climb in the first few days so i only meshed the lid.
I hope that's enough ventilation for a hamster who normally lives in a Hamster Heaven.
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Old 08-12-2021, 02:09 PM   #2
taco bagel
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

omg i really hope it all goes well and clarissa gets better!

p.s i think the meshed lid is fine :)
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Old 08-12-2021, 03:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

I think it's fine for a hospital cage. One thing I suggest having on hand is a heating pad or Snugglesafe. Snugglesafes just go in the microwave for a few minutes and then stay for a few hours. I put it underneath one corner of the cage, with a hide in that corner and another hide in the opposite corner in case they don't like the heat. Then I prop up the other cage corners with books.

She probably won't need it (it's more for when they're sick and can't maintain body heat well) but I find them useful to have around anyway.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SnuggleSafe...8805727&sr=8-1
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Old 08-12-2021, 05:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Agree about the snugglesafe - or you could just leave a heater on in the room. My vets post op info said they do have cold issues after anaesthetic and need to be kept warm. I did both actually - just for the first 2 or 3 nights. Hope all goes well x
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Old 08-13-2021, 01:25 AM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Thank you for the tip.

I will get a heat pad and try the shops first but order one online if i can't find one. I like to be prepared. A heater would be too hot for the other hamsters this time of the year.

I'm just wondering if i should move her into our bedroom where Betsy already lives or leave her in her familiar surroundings in a room she shares with Ozzy, Rory and Monty. They all have quiet wheels.
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Old 08-13-2021, 06:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

I think if she's in a hospital cage it won't matter if she's in a different room (and in some ways easier as she won't be frustrated by the smell of her own cage nearby). And with you in the room she should feel secure.

Amazon sells the snugglesafes. They're not cheap at 15 but I've had mine for years. They don't get that hot through the fleece and are just warm, but if placed next to the cage that warmth in that area is a place they can go if they feel cold. I just leant it against the hospital cage at the house end.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SnuggleSafe...8862002&sr=8-1

I think the room temperature is important too - it is getting chillier at night at the moment. Maybe a heater on a thermostat or somehting so it only stays on if the temperature drops below 20 degrees eg
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Old 08-15-2021, 08:07 AM   #7
Ria P
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Bought a SnuggleSafe at a petsathome, dark blue with stars on it. Funnily enough, the decorative tape on the hospital cage has a star design.

Clarissa's urine is quite dark and pungent compared to what it used to be so i'm wondering if she has a UTI.

I'll give the vet a ring tomorrow.
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Old 08-15-2021, 09:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

Oh dear. Yes they might want to start her on antibiotics before the op. When Pickle had his he had an injection of antibiotics and pain relief straight after I think.

Whereabouts is the lump?
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Old 08-15-2021, 10:44 AM   #9
Ria P
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

The lump is on her upper chest, right between her front paws.
Tbh, i'm not optimistic and tend to lean towards the vet's opinion who suspects lymphoma going by the type of blood cells she found in the fluid from the lump.

The reason i opted for the surgery is to make her more comfortable physicallly but i'm not 100% sure that it is the right decision. If its cancer then it would have spread and putting her through the discomfort of surgery may not have been wise.

To remove a sample for biopsy would involve aneasthesia so just as well remove the lot.

It must be really difficult to be a vet in situations like that trying to advice people. There are two hamster knowledgeable vets in the surgery i take our hamsters to and they both present me with the options available and the probable outcomes but in the end, the decision is down to me.
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Old 08-15-2021, 11:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Preparing for surgery

That is where Moo had a lump and it grew very quickly. My vet said they are mammary tumours and both male and female hamsters get these - with the mammary glands running the full length of their body to their neck. With Moo's it was a bit too big to operate at his age.

Sometimes it comes down to the confidence of the vet as well. My vet has no bedside manner but is very good at surgery and confident about it! She tends to leave it up to you but advises well.

I think your gut has probably told you the right decision to have it removed. It can be awful when they get worse. With our robo he could hardly walk for the size of the lumps and started chewing at them and in the end had to be pts. I kept wishing I had had them removed before they got bigger (not knowing) but too late by then. I still probably wouldn't have had them removed at the time as he was so tiny and they covered a large area of his body.

I think you're right it will make her more comfortable and could extend her life as well. It may not be malignant but they usually turn malignant if left.

Fingers crossed it's "enclosed" like Pickle's was (ie so not got into the bloodstream).

How old is she?
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