Saturday, August 25, 2012

1060. Follow up: Another Beijing hamster with a fast growing lump

Hi Dr Sing,
Thank you very much for your time to reply. I will discuss this with the vet accordingly.
I'm very sorry I will have to trouble you with another question for my other hamster Yoda. He is also 2+ years old, currently on Itraconazole treating a recurring fungal infection (ringworm).
I noticed he had a soft moveable lump underneath (from chest to flank) him early this week and yesterday we went to the vet. The lump wasn't noticeable 2 weeks ago.
Attached is the pics of him, you can see part of the lump. Unfortunately this is the best shot I could get of him.
My hamster went under isofluorane over his head for almost 4-5 mins (I think this was too much?) and the vet aspirate very very little liquid from the lump. It is not blood.
The samples was sent to the lab but it will take about 10 days before we know what it is.
I'm afraid with the lump will be much bigger by then and the risk to remove it is higher.
Is there an absolute need to wait for the results from the lab before surgery? Or can we do an xray or ultrasound to determine more?

Would you please be so kind to advise me. I will present your reply to my vet and I'm desperate to cure Yoda's condition before it gets worse.
Appreciate your reply, thank you again.
Name of owner

As each vet has his or her own professional opinion on how to treat a hamster case, it is best you do not impose my advices onto your vet as he or she may be most unhappy.

From my knowledge with the younger vets trained overseas, usually in Australia, I note that the vets have been trained to take a biopsy of the tumour first, send to the laboratory to check whether it is cancerous or not. Then they will advise further. Unfortunately, the lab results may take over 7-14 days. But it can take one day, depending on the laboratory. The owner may also procrastinate. Soon, the tumour, if malignant, grows fast and becomes inoperable in a small creature, like the dwarf hamster's subcutaneous tumour, as that was probably present in your hamster.

My approach is to take out the tumour early, send to the laboratory for histopathology after surgical removal. As each vet has his or her own idea on what to do, the fate of a pet depends on the action of the vet consulted and on the pro-activeness and knowledge of the owner.

I am presently in Hong Kong and may not reply to you. My advice is still to be pro-active to seek a vet who is comfortable with hamster anaesthesia and surgery. Best wishes. 

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