The 3-legged hamster has itchy ears
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
07 April, 2012
Be Kind To Pets
"Her sibling died from ear tumours," the lady owner said to me. "This is why I am most concerned about Bean who had been scratching both her ears recently."
I had recorded this hamster's fascinating history in the following webpages:
HISTORY - FIRST CONSULTATION JULY 31, 2011
Hamster 2- A fast-growing bony leg tumour is being removed to save her life
Hamster 2 - The leg had to be amputated as the tumour involved the bone below the knee and above the hock. Surgical outcome was excellent.
This hamster's life was extended and as at 2 years 8 months of age, he looks normal (see pictures below) and weighs 26 grams (with careful management and feeding by her lady owner).
PRESENT DAY APRIL 4, 2012
The hamster is 2 years 8 months old, 26 grams, scratches both ears. Eyelid area bare due to rubbing. Ear edges a bit blackish due to rubbing.
"See, she is scratching her ears now," the lady said. The hamster used her front paws to rub vigorously. Before I could whip up my camera to take an image, she had stopped.
PROCEDURE ON APRIL 4, 2012
A very old dwarf hamster at 2 years 8 months. High anaesthetic risk. But no choice as the hamster did not like handling. Anaesthesia was required to examine the ears as the owner was worried about the hamster dying from restraint by the vet.
Wax nodule seen in each ear. This nodule was deep inside the ear canal and would not be visible on general examination. I showed the nodule to the owner.
Forceps picked up nodule. Use appropriate-sized forceps.
Ear irrigation done on both ears
Ear drops to be used when necessary. The owner knows how to do it.
No medication given
Itchiness problem over the past 8 months was hard to resolve. Could it be from the nuts, the environment, dust mites, mites, fungal infections or others? Even ear wax nodule too?
"She is not as itchy as before. No more nuts eaten now," the lady said to me. There was prolonged skin itchiness some weeks ago and I had advised not feeding nuts at all and applied a spot-on insecticide on the body.
"The spot-on insecticide had worked," Dr Daniel said. Now only the ears are itchy, but this hamster could have been suffering from other allergies such as nuts. Since no nuts are fed, it is assumed that this hamster did suffer from at least, nut allergy. Bedding also had been changed to paper towels, exercise wheel had been elevated higher to prevent friction when the hamster hides under it. No sand bath anymore to prevent sand particles entering the ears and causing itchiness and infection. Yet ear wax formed in a clump in both ears and irritates the hamster.
This is a strange case of excessive ear wax in an old hamster.
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