Sick Hamster Treatment

Sick Hamster Treatment

by Denise
(Denver, CO USA)

I have a hamster that could be between 18 months and 2 years old. We got her from Petco., She fell suddenly ill, so we took her to the vet who indicated that was her age range. Petco indicated that she may have been a breeding hamster mistakenly included in the shipment. I contacted Petco corporate and they did reimburse me for the vet bill which was $ 375.

Recently, she has developed a very swollen stomach and sleeps a lot. The vet has put her on Baytril and did an ultrasound. The xray showed what could be pyometra.

She is still alert and perky, although she cannot move a lot due to the swelling which is in the lower region of her stomach. She eats but I feel she will go. Is it advisable to operate on this little girl in light of her age as the anesthesia might be lethal. I do not know what to do because she is still alert and as perky as she can be under the circumstances.

We adore this hamster, her name is Fat Amy and I harbor the hope that she would live until 3.
The doctor did attempt to aspirate her in the event she was filled with urine to no avail.

Any suggestions?

Thanks so much.

Vet Suggestions for Sick Hamster with Pyometra

Hello Denise,

Fat Amy (great name!) is lucky to have such a dedicated owner. Since you have gone so far in diagnosing and treating her, I would hate to tell you to give up. It sounds to me as if you've reached the point where you need to make a choice between going ahead with treatment or euthanizing.

The fact that she can’t move much and is sleeping a lot indicates that she is suffering. One way to address a case like this is to go ahead with surgery with the understanding that euthanasia is an acceptable outcome. If she dies under anesthesia, that is euthanasia. If the surgeon finds something that is unlikely to improve significantly with available treatments, he or she can euthanize her on the surgical table without waking her up.

But perhaps something will be found that is amenable to treatment (an operable tumor, for example) and you’ll be able to enjoy her for another year or so. Approaching exploratory surgery in this way keeps all of your options open.

Best of luck to you and Fat Amy,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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