Sunday, April 8, 2012

935. A hamster from Ireland - vaginal bleeding


Hello Dear Dr. Sing Kong Yuen,

I wish you were in Ireland, my hamster Gordita needs you. Please help me with an advice, we ll be grateful and pleased forever.

My hamster Gordita started bleeding from her vagina about a month ago. We didn't know what to do so we took her to the vet who said she had an infection and gave her an antibiotic. Since then she has had 11 injections of antibiotics, including a period of seven in seven days. She's also occasionally been given fluids.

The hamster's condition seems very up and down. Twice she has seemed to have recovered, on other days she has seemed very lethargic and in a lot of pain. She was very lively today, but she is still bleeding occasionally.

What should I do? She is very tough but we really think that she's had enough of injections (we've insisted on giving her the new dose with a dropper.) The vet seems very nervous at the idea of an operation. He's a bit more used to bigger animals we think.

Gorda walked into our lives when we lived in a basement flat in England. She walked into the bathroom and after the initial shock, we caught her and gave her a home when we couldn't find her owner. We only actually knew it was a she when this illness started. Because of the strange way we found her we're very attached and we want to do what's best.

Please tell us if it is worth continuing with the shots, should we ask for an operation or are we really on a hiding to nothing? Will the bleeding stop during treatment or at a later date after treatment?

Thanks in advance to you for your kindness to give us an answer,

Thank you for email.
You did not specify the age of the hamster nor the vet's diagnosis, name and dosage of injections given. Any oral medication?. So, it is much difficult to advise by email. Pl provide above info and 3 images of bleeding area. Is it vaginal bleeding or tumour or what is the cause? Images are essential in email queries.


Hello again Doctor,

Thank you very much for your answer.
It is vaginal bleeding but the cause has not yet been 100% identified. The vet initially thought it was an infection in the uterus. Now he thinks it could be endometriosis. but now is not so sure. She received Baytril by injections in an insulin syringe in small quantities but I don't know the precise dose. At the beginning she had 4 injections during 1.5 weeks, due to she was not better, she had a period of seven in seven days. She also received some fluids to try and flush her system out. She is receiving baytril (2 drops/day during 5 days) now orally as the injections were causing some sores on her neck.

We don't know exactly how old she is because we found her. Well, she found us as one day she just walked into our apartment. This was roughly a year ago, and we estimate that she was 3-4 months old before this.

I've enclosed some photos, which are not of the best quality but may help you understand it a bit better.

Thank you very much for all your help.

Kind regards,


It is difficult to see whether there are vaginal tumours as the images are not clear.

However, your vet would have checked. Most likely, there is an infected tumour of the female reproductive system. It is high risk to operate on the hamster to remove the tumour as the hamster is unlikely to survive.

My advices are:
1. Stop the hamster exercising in the ball for the next 4 weeks and be on a course of oral antibiotics at the appropriate dosage for 7 days.
2. Get your vet to do a bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity test of the vaginal discharge
3. Get your vet to get the lab to examine the cells of the vaginal discharge to check for tumour cells.

Best wishes

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