Saturday, September 22, 2012

Urgent Question About Duration of Surgery For Roborovskii Dwarf Hamster

Sep 20 (3 days ago)

to judy

I’m in the U.S. and I have an 18 month old male Roborovskii hamster who has two medium size abdominal “fatty tumors”. The hamster is still active and eating normally and in otherwise apparently good health, but I would like to have the tumors removed and start him on an anti-tumor/anti-aging diet.  Thus I would like to do this before the tumors become any bigger.

I love this little hamster very much.

Anyway, from the information you’ve kindly made available on your web site, and from talking to other people, I am under the impression that surgery on dwarf hamsters and Roborovskii dwarf hamsters in particular, is a very delicate operation, and the time duration must be limited, otherwise the risk of death during surgery – especially from the anesthesia exposure - becomes unacceptably high.

I know your office has had many years of experience doing all kinds of surgery on dwarf hamsters (I think Dr. Sing mentioned he’s done this for 40 years or so).

Generally speaking, based on your considerable experience, can you please give me some general idea as to the maximum length of time surgery that would be considered “safe” to a “reasonable” person under the circumstances? Thank you very much.



Thank you for your email. The general principle for all animals in good health is that the shorter the anaesthesia, the higher the chances of survival. Therefore, some surgeries in high risk cases (like old age, poor health and very small creatures like hamsters) have a good chance of survival if anaesthesia is short. In hamsters, the period of time is preferably less than 5 minutes but this is just a guideline. Much also depends on the skills and experience of the vet and therefore, there are many factors to take into account.

It is best you find a vet experienced in hamster anaesthesia and surgery.

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