This would be her 3rd
anaesthesia and surgery. I prefer not to do it as she
had survived two and this 3rd surgery would take a long
time. Anaesthesia less than 15 minutes would give an
excellent survival rate. But this surgery would not be
15 minutes. Would she die on the operating table?
It is like going on a 3rd tour of duty to the war zone
of Afghanistan after surviving two tours. The
probability of being killed on patrols will be higher.
However, in this hamster, there was no choice. Some big
swelling had irritated her daily. She scratched this
swelling to get rid of it. Those who suffers from skin
itch will understand. Scratching the skin till it
becomes hairless and then traumatised and infected.
So, this hamster went under the knife (scalpel) again. I
gave the lowest dose of Zoletil IM as just using
isoflurane gas + oxygen would not be sufficient for a
after surgery --->
3 days after surgery --->
7 days after surgery --->
Surgery - Cyst and abscesses
in a dwarf hamster and
follow-up 3 & 7 days later
I followed up 3
days later by phoning the lady owner. The wound was
healing well. The hamster was not bothered with the
stitches. But she scratched another area. The owner sent
me a picture via e-mail. Yes, there was a hairless area
in front of and above the horizontal canal opening (as I
reviewed the previous images) that I did not incise.
This was because I did not want to lengthen the
anaesthesia by incising this area. In addition, I
assessed that it was not necessary. The dwarf hamster is
such a small creature that one extra cut is equivalent
to a big wound in a dog or cat.
Every second after 15 minutes of anaesthesia increases
the risk of the hamster's heart failing. She was only 26
gram in bodyweight and her heart must be very small
unlike dogs and cats. So, the speedier the surgery, the
better the chances of good outcome.
As to what to do with this red area, I asked the owner
to continue with the medication and wait-and-see. Three
times lucky. Superstitious? I may have to decline any
4th anaesthesia. It is just too risky for the dwarf
hamster although she did not lose her 26 g body weight
since the first anaesthesia.
September 10, 2011
Follow up on dwarf hamster with big cyst
dwarf hamster was operated by me at the
3rd time for a stinking right ear problem.
The vertical ear canal was excised (ear
canal ablation surgery) and subsequent
recurrence of infection for 2nd operation
and the 3rd surgery was the big cyst
excised. The case study is in this
Now, a red swelling and pus discharge
(from image sent from owner) from the
horizontal ear canal and e-mail query on
medication as follows:
E-MAIL TO DR SING DATED SEP 11, 2011
Hi Dr Sing,
will complete her 7-day course of
anti-biotics this evening. But there is a
yellowish lump?/discharge? (photo is
attached) She also rubs her ear quite
vigorously sometimes. Should I continue to
give her antibiotics for a few more days?
And the anti-inflammatory med as well?
Appreciate your advice please.
E-MAIL FROM DR SING DATED SEP 11, 2011
Just read your email but we spoke by phone
earlier. Discharge is pus originating from
the inflamed lump. Pl press it gently to
get the pus out. Continue medication as
spoken. Best to phone me rather than
e-mail or text as sometimes I don't read