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Old 09-26-2022, 03:46 AM   #1
Lemon
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Default Pyometra or something else?

Hi everyone, Iím the person who posted that my hamster Icy has some kind of abdominal swelling

I recently noticed that one side is bigger than the other, and Iím wondering if that can happen with pyometra or if both would be about the same size

Sheís been on antibiotics for 10 days now but the swelling has been getting worse anyway. Iím also afraid she might have a bad reaction to the antibiotics. Both this time and when she had antibiotics several months ago (way before the abdominal swelling started), about 10 days in, I found her with horrible walking and motor coordination and lying on the ground with her eyes closed and bending into a position I donít ever normally see her in

Otherwise she is happy and active and still isnít acting sick. Those bad symptoms were only a few hours and sheís back to being herself. I know the swelling is probably something that will eventually lead to her passing but idk if continuing the antibiotics would be better or worse now considering all thatís happened

I donít want to continue medicine if it will just give her side effects that ruin the happy quality of the life she has left. (I do have pain medicine for her if she needs it though)
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:01 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Pyometra or something else?

I think that you need to ask your vet. The swelling shouldn't be getting worse after 10 days of antibiotics unless it is not an infection in which case the antibiotics wouldn't work anyway. It could be a build up of fluid or a fluid filled cyst. Who knows. I think that your hamster would need to have a scan to give a better idea of what's going on inside her. A scan would need aneasthetic which in itself could be risky in an elderly hamster.
How long have the antibiotics been prescribed for? Personally, i'd give pain relief as well. The behaviours she's showing may not be a reaction to the medication but signs of acute pain. Would i stop the antibiotics? Probably yes but i'm no vet and it may be the wrong advice.
I think the most important thing to do is for you to contact your vet and ask for advice.
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Old 09-26-2022, 06:25 AM   #3
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Agree. I would also be giving Metacam so maybe ask your vet about that. Sometimes they say continue the antibiotics for two weeks in case itís a particularly tough infection to shift - so I wouldnít stop them yet if the vet has prescribed them for two weeks for example.

Any kind of swelling in an older hamster is usually something serious unfortunately- whether itís fluid or infection. And the best thing is to keep her comfortable which Metacam will do hopefully. She is bound to be in pain or discomfort- they hide it very well. You can usually see them perk up a bit more once the Metacam is started.

Are you due to take her back to the vet for a check up after the antibiotics? I suspect they would give you options

Either investigate or keep her comfortable or, if they think she is really suffering or to avoid a traumatic worsening they may suggest pts .

Agree. I would also be giving Metacam so maybe ask your vet about that. Sometimes they say continue the antibiotics for two weeks in case itís a particularly tough infection to shift - so I wouldnít stop them yet if the vet has prescribed them for two weeks for example.

Any kind of swelling in an older hamster is usually something serious unfortunately- whether itís fluid or infection. And the best thing is to keep her comfortable which Metacam will do hopefully. She is bound to be in pain or discomfort- they hide it very well. You can usually see them perk up a bit more once the Metacam is started.

Are you due to take her back to the vet for a check up after the antibiotics? I suspect they would give you options

Either investigate or keep her comfortable or, if they think she is really suffering or to avoid a traumatic worsening they may suggest pts .

If it is pyometra it would probably need a long course of antibiotics - at least two weeks I think. I donít know if one sided swelling is a sign of that or not - off the top of my head I would think not. But it could be an abscess or tumour. If itís an abscess it could be drained but chances are that would go down with the antibiotics. Have a chat with the vet - sometimes theyíll do a phone consultation- and ask how long you should continue with the antibiotics. I think you need to give them a chance for a few more days.

Last edited by souffle; 09-27-2022 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 09-26-2022, 10:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pyometra or something else?

A one-sided swelling could be a tumour or an ovarian issue although I suppose Pyometra is still possible if the infection is only in one half of the womb (a hamster womb is a very different shape to a human one).

Unfortunately sometimes pyometra still gets worse even with extended antibiotic treatment because either the bacteria become resistant or the antibiotics just aren't enough for a very stubborn internal infection.
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Old 09-26-2022, 10:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pyometra or something else?

Which is why you don't want to be stopping the antibiotics just yet. Surely there is some way a vet can tell if it's an infection or not. It's just occurred to me they don't seem to take temperatures with hamsters! Maybe it's not possible or just not a sign of infection with them.
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Old 09-26-2022, 11:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pyometra or something else?

A vet took one of my gerbils' temperature once. He used one of the infrared things that you hold near the animal. In humans you hold them near the forehead. I don't know how accurate they are for small animals really. But in general vets seem not to take small animal temperatures. Maybe most vets don't have the equipment.
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Old 09-26-2022, 01:16 PM   #7
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Pyometra or something else?

I couldn't find anything on google except for guinea pigs and other pets, on a vet website where it said it's rectal thermometer usually. I guess that would be too distressing for a hamster. I suppose they go with behaviour to see if the hamster is unwell and if they are, and have a swelling eg, they probably have an infection.

I found those forehead infra red ones extremely unreliable on humans but I guess it gives an indicator.
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Old 09-26-2022, 11:03 PM   #8
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Iíve continued the antibiotics (although she refused most of them during the hours she was feeling bad)

I canít find another vet to see her and her vet didnít even think her case was worthy of doing tests. Iím going to call again tomorrow and tell them the swelling is worse and ask for other treatment options or non-invasive tests for infection

They didnít even notice the swelling when i brought her in 2 weeks ago. But it was obvious to me and now itís gotten significantly worse

Iím afraid they just might not have enough experience with hamsters to be able to diagnose her

Iím going to start her on the metacam soon (even though she isnít acting sick yet, only that one brief time) but I feel like bringing her in to the vet again wouldnít be worth it because of how upset she gets and that it hasnít ever resulted in a diagnosis

Itís so hard to make choices when I canít be sure if theyíre the right choices or not, but I love her a lot and Iím trying so hard to consider every factor of her quality of life and what would make her the happiest and most comfortable

Also, if she does have pyometra, she has closed pyometra because she has absolutely no discharge

But she isnít showing behavioral symptoms of other causes of swelling either so I donít know for sure

Last edited by souffle; 09-27-2022 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 09-26-2022, 11:47 PM   #9
Ria P
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Default Re: Pyometra or something else?

I doubt that a vet could diagnose without getting an idea of what's inside.
When my dwarf Romy took ill the vet said that pyometra was a possibility but Romy didn't respond to antibiotics.
An ultrasound scan gave the vet a better idea.
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Old 09-27-2022, 04:03 AM   #10
souffle
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Default Re: Pyometra or something else?

It does sound more like a tumour on ovary or kidneys or possibly a cyst somewhere which at this stage would not be operable. They should be able to tell with an ultrasound scan but would still likely need to give her some gas to knock her out for this. If she's going downhill it will be affecting other organs and you will have to assess her life quality after having this checked out at the vets.
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