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Old 10-27-2022, 07:46 AM   #1
RolyRocks
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Default Ear cancer?

Loki's ear is sadly getting worse. He had a course of antibiotics but they didn't help. He has also lost some more weight. The vet thinks there is most likely something else going on and the best thing is to just keep him comfortable. I know many people disagree with this, but she advised Metacam twice daily which is what I am doing as I don't want him to be on any pain.
I know he is very old and I feel so blessed to have had him for this long, but I just feel so deeply upset that our time together will shortly be coming to an end. I just love my little man SOOOO much.
I have attached some photos of his ear, they are not very good unfortunately but I just wanted to ask if anyone has seen this before and ask if there is anything else I could be doing to help him. His inner ear appears swollen with crusty discharge, or possibly they are scabs and his ear looks very flat to his head now. I am guessing this is the dreaded C word.
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Old 10-27-2022, 07:58 AM   #2
cloudy
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

I really am so sorry to hear about Loki's ear. I would also give Metacam twice a day as to me quality of life is the main thing. Sorry, I have no advice for you but just wanted to say I am thinking of you both.
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Old 10-27-2022, 08:28 AM   #3
Engel
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

From what I can see the external ear looks thickened? I don't know if this happens with hamsters but my one dog had severe allergies which would cause a yeast build up and because of was uncomfortable, he'd rub/scratch it which caused thickening of the tissue. He was prescribed prednisolone (steroid) which helped tremendously. Something to potentially ask your vet about. Keeping him comfortable is the main thing. I'd continue with metacam twice daily as rodents metabolise drugs so quickly, around 12hrs after a dose it typically wears off.
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Old 10-27-2022, 08:31 AM   #4
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudy View Post
I really am so sorry to hear about Loki's ear. I would also give Metacam twice a day as to me quality of life is the main thing. Sorry, I have no advice for you but just wanted to say I am thinking of you both.
Thank you so much X
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Old 10-27-2022, 08:51 AM   #5
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engel View Post
From what I can see the external ear looks thickened? I don't know if this happens with hamsters but my one dog had severe allergies which would cause a yeast build up and because of was uncomfortable, he'd rub/scratch it which caused thickening of the tissue. He was prescribed prednisolone (steroid) which helped tremendously. Something to potentially ask your vet about. Keeping him comfortable is the main thing. I'd continue with metacam twice daily as rodents metabolise drugs so quickly, around 12hrs after a dose it typically wears off.
My vet never even mentioned it could possibly be an allergy. The trouble is I have found it very difficult finding a vet that knows much about hamsters and all they usually say is try Metacam or Baytril. I spoke to my vet again yesterday and told her that the antibiotics didn't work and she just said that it's likely something is going on internally, such as a tumor, I guess because he has lost more weight. He is nearly 2 years and 9 months old which I know is incredible for a dwarf and I just want to keep him as comfortable as I can. He means the world to me and I just really hope he is not in any pain.

I would be very interested to hear if hamsters can take prednisolone? I forgot to mention that there is an odour from that ear, so I wonder if that does suggest a yeast buildup. Has anyone experienced this in hamsters before?
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Old 10-27-2022, 10:15 AM   #6
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

He is an amazing age at 2 years 9 months and I agree with the idea of just keeping him comfortable on Metacam. Vets do sometimes prescribe a split dose twice a day rather than a full dose once a day and there is some leeway in the dosage. As long as it's the dose the vet prescribed it's ok. Too high a dose would wreck his kidneys and that could cause suffering too.

I have been at a stage with a hamster where metacam wasn't enough and increasing it wasn't an option (and still probably wouldn't have been enough for cancer pain) and the only option then is to help them on their way.

If he seems happy enough on Metacam then just let him live his life comfortably. It's unpleasant if there's a smell or oozing but the hamster probably isn't too bothered. Metacam itself is supposed to help shrink tumours as well as give anti inflammatory pain relief. It's the equivalent of Ibuprofen for humans so not that strong for severe pain.

You'd need to ask the vet about steroids. Don't give them without vet presription though . Is there an exotic vet in your region?

It seems unlikely it's an allergic reaction or it would be more than one ear. What substrate do you use though? Paper substrate is hypoallergenic. It's usually only wood substrate that causes allergies.
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Old 10-27-2022, 10:45 AM   #7
sushi_78
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

Has the vet ruled out ear mites?
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Old 10-27-2022, 10:54 AM   #8
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

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Originally Posted by sushi_78 View Post
Has the vet ruled out ear mites?
She said if it was mites it would most likely be affecting both of his ears, so she really didn't think it was likely.
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Old 10-27-2022, 11:27 AM   #9
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
He is an amazing age at 2 years 9 months and I agree with the idea of just keeping him comfortable on Metacam. Vets do sometimes prescribe a split dose twice a day rather than a full dose once a day and there is some leeway in the dosage. As long as it's the dose the vet prescribed it's ok. Too high a dose would wreck his kidneys and that could cause suffering too.

I have been at a stage with a hamster where metacam wasn't enough and increasing it wasn't an option (and still probably wouldn't have been enough for cancer pain) and the only option then is to help them on their way.

If he seems happy enough on Metacam then just let him live his life comfortably. It's unpleasant if there's a smell or oozing but the hamster probably isn't too bothered. Metacam itself is supposed to help shrink tumours as well as give anti inflammatory pain relief. It's the equivalent of Ibuprofen for humans so not that strong for severe pain.

You'd need to ask the vet about steroids. Don't give them without vet presription though . Is there an exotic vet in your region?

It seems unlikely it's an allergic reaction or it would be more than one ear. What substrate do you use though? Paper substrate is hypoallergenic. It's usually only wood substrate that causes allergies.
Although he is looking his age bless him, he still appears quite mobile and happily munches away on his veg and loves licking his meds everyday. I do give him more treats nowadays which he enjoys and I honestly don't feel he is currently suffering. If I start to feel that way then I know I will have to make that difficult decision. However painful it is going to be, I really hope when the time comes he passes away peacefully in his own home. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

The vet I see has 'an interest' in exotic animals and she is very nice but I always feel Loki never really gets a proper diagnosis when he goes, it's always try Metacam or Baytril. I do undertstand it must be very difficult though as they are such tiny little creatures that are hard to examine.

I have always used Kaytee Clean and Cozy white bedding. Nothing has changed in his cage, except when I have to open a new bag of bedding.

He really is an fantastic age isn't he!! I thought I was going to lose him back in January when he lost some weight, so for us to still be together now is amazing! I'm so proud of my boy, I call him my little miracle!
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Old 10-27-2022, 12:01 PM   #10
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Ear cancer?

He should be fine with that bedding so it's not likely to be allergy. Good he is hamstering along.

To be honest there isn't a lot a vet can do with an older hamster other than prescribe those two meds to see if they help. Any other procedures can cause too much stress to an older hamster and not be in their interests.
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