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Need info on tumor/abscess/cyst removal


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#1 rhapsody

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:29 PM

*Sigh* Over the weekend, I noticed a weird little bump on my Twip's side, and within two days, its grown into a sizable reddish lump. I'm completely amazed how quickly it swelled. I gently prodded the area, and it feels ... firmly squishy. And its definitely starting to give Twip some discomfort. It looks exactly like this picture of fVoom's Squeaker, and in the exact same spot too -

Here is a photograph of my dwarf hammy Sqeaker,
As you can see the lump is on his right hand side.
Posted Image

I have no clue whether the lump is a tumor, abscess, or cyst so I'll be taking Twip to the vet first thing today at 7:40am, and hopefully he'll be able to figure out what is going on. However, I'm really worried about the procedures for removing a tumor and lancing an abscess. Will Twip be put under anesthesia? I can imagine that both procedures would be painful, and it probably doesn't help that he is around 21 months old. Is there anything I should make sure the vet does properly? He is the only vet in my area that actually physically examines my hamsters (instead of just poking them with a pencil and dashing off to browse the interwebs for a diagnosis), BUT he has prescribed unsafe antibiotics multiple times before. I just really want to make sure that Twip gets the best care possible.

Edited by rhapsody, 20 October 2009 - 03:35 PM.





#2 missPixy

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 10:20 PM

your vet may want to palpate this and see if it's a blood sack attached to (feeding) a tumor.
your vet may also try to drain a little bit from it using a syringe; it will take under a minute,
and won't include any anesthesia. this will be to determine exactly what's in the growth.

what i'm saying is, there could also be an internal cyst attached to an organ that's the real
tumor, and this is just a side show as a result of the tumor. so make sure you ask your vet
about where the tumor may be growing from.

in the situation of surgery, a vet must use gas isofluorane anesthesia... no injectable anesthesia.
they probably won't do surgery today, usually vets have a "surgery day" when they do all
their surgeries.

#3 rhapsody

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 02:05 AM

Thanks so much for your reply, missPixy! I was able to read it right before I ran off to the vet.

The vet thinks that its highly unlikely that the lump is a tumor due to its quick growth. After palpating the spot, he believes that its most likely an abscess and prescribed Baytril to hopefully clear up the infection. When I asked about draining the area, he said that he wanted to give the antibiotics a shot first - in his experiences, a weeks worth of Baytril was usually successful in bringing down the swelling and clearing up the problem. If Twip's lump isn't gone in a week, then he'll lance the area.

But holy moly, the vet has gotten very expensive! Just the physical exam alone cost $90! Yikes ... :sweatdrop:

#4 souffle

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 04:32 AM

90$ !!!!!!!!! That is shocking and completly out of order. Our vet charges £9 about 15$.
It looks like an abcess and here's hoping the meds act quickly to clear it up. We find it takes about 3 days to kick in and reallt start working.
Get well soon little one :)

#5 missPixy

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:30 AM

fingers crossed! i too hope it's an abscess!

vets vary soooo much in their charges, it's amazing.
for an exam like this plus meds, my vet would charge
about $30-40. but i'm pretty sure she'd try lancing
it at the same time too (because when i've had a
similar issue, with this type of growth, she has taken
a small bit up in a syringe to determine if it's blood,
infection, etc.) so the $30-40 would include that too.

#6 rhapsody

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:02 AM

A quick update:

Well, the lump hasn't gotten smaller yet, but at least it hasn't grown any bigger. Unfortunately, Twip does NOT like the meds at all. Most of the baytril has ended up on him instead of in him - even if I can get the meds in his mouth, the little booger refuses to swallow and it ends up dribbling all over his chin. :sweatdrop: Gak, and for some reason, he is really hard to scruff too.

Anyways, I'll be closely monitoring the lump, and hopefully the meds will show some visible effects in the next several of days. If not, back to the vet we go ...

#7 Ruthyhl

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:30 AM

Keep us posted on how he is getting on!! Fingers crossed all is ok, medication can take a while to kick in. I'd ask the vet about any waste of the meds that happens when you're trying to give it Twip, it might not matter too much or they may give you some more. I can imagine it's a fiddly job to do!! Awww, bless him, keep heart and a massive 'GET WELL SOON' to Twip

xoxoxo

#8 souffle

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 06:27 PM

What we do is to wrap the hammy in a cloth so only the head peeps out. Sort of swaddle him quite firmly. Then put the syringe in the side of the mouth so the the meds go in the cheek. The have to swallow it then. It is not very nice stuff and some people dilute it with blackcurrent juice or similar but that just means it is even more to feed! You could try mixing in banana or maybe yogurt?

#9 rhapsody

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 03:42 PM

ARGH!!! A full round of antibiotics have done absolutely NOTHING for Twip's lump! *HEADDESK*

Looks like I'll have to bring him back to the vet this week. I can't believe it - $110 wasted. I don't mind having to spend that much for medical care, but its beyond maddening when my hamsters make no improvement whatsoever. :hissyfit:

#10 souffle

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:06 PM

That's a shame that it hasn't helped but antibiotics are always the first port of call before considering surgical intervention which I imagine will be the next course of action. It may need drained if an abcess or removed if a lump. With an abcess if the antibiotic has got rid of the infection and the capsule does not open and discharge the contents it can be quite some time before the body resorbs the pus and the lump goes and that is if it does go at all.
Hope it is sorted out soon though.

Edited by souffle, 02 November 2009 - 07:07 PM.


#11 rhapsody

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:05 AM

*Sigh* I've just spoken with the vet, and since the lump hasn't grown and is currently not hampering Twip's movements, the vet wants to leave the lump alone.

Should I get another vet's opinion? Even if the lump isn't causing visible problems now, I'd personally want to try to get rid of it in case it becomes a major problem down the road. But then again, I wouldn't want to cause Twip unnecessary pain ...

Is it possible for large lumps to be benign? Twip is still very active and has a hearty appetite. BUT the swollen area is giving him some discomfort - he bit me for the first time when I was prodding the area the other day.

Any thoughts?

#12 missPixy

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:56 AM

interesting problem. if this were actually an abscess as souffle explains, you can compare it to one of
those really nasty ingrown pimples that don't actually come to a head but instead just stay at the surface
of the skin. it takes a long time for these to go away, and until they do, it hurts to put pressure on them.

maybe this is the situation with twip? the important thing is that it isn't growing, which would definitely
be a cause for concern. but maybe you can ask the vet why they don't want to get rid of this? they
can give you their philosophy about this. my vet generally wants to remove all bumps, i can't recall
when she said to let one just stay. at the vet least she puts a needle syringe into the lumps and tries
to extract some of the contents, to see if it's blood, infection, etc.

#13 missPixy

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 12:38 AM

so how did everything go? did you talk to the vet anymore?

#14 rhapsody

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:29 AM

*SIGH* When it rains, it pours when it comes to my fuzzy family. I was holding Munchkin when I felt something weird on her underbelly. Yep, she also has a lump - its right where her right leg connects to her body. Its smaller than Twip's, but it feels a lot more ... solid. Its a lot more worrisome too since the lump is very close to her girly bits area. I'll try to schedule an appointment for her later this week.

Twip and Munchkin are behaving as usual - both jump on their wheels the moment I turn off the lights, and they voraciously beg for treats like they always do. And they are not limping or moving funny either.

As for the vet's reasoning for not removing Twip's lump yet, he wants to avoid "invasive procedures" unless its absolutely necessary.

In the meantime, I've added colloidal silver to both Twip's and Munchkin's water - hopefully it'll help if there is an infection.

#15 missPixy

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:39 AM

munchkin's bump doesn't sound like an abscess to me. and i agree, its location
is worrisome, especially if it starts to grow quickly.

let me tell you about something with these bumps: recently my 2year6mo winterWhite
daphne developed a lump under her armpit. she'd had a couple of smaller cysts removed
from this area earlier in her life.

in a week's time, this lump doubled in size, and was very "solid" as you say. it also had
a softer pouch behind it.

in 2 weeks' time, it was so large that it presented a problem for her to walk. when i
brought her to my vet, she told me that the smaller, softer pouch behind the lump
was a blood cyst "feeding" the tumor. and because of the overall size, surgery wasn't
possible because too much blood would be lost in the surgery, since you can't I.V. a
hamster.

this is why the growth of these bumps is really important to monitor. i'd bring her to
the vet as soon as possible to remove this bump. i get why your vet wants to avoid
invasive procedures if possible, and if the lump on twip isn't growing, then we are
okay. because sometimes it seems that going in seems to stimulate whatever mutation
is happening to spread.

however, i'm guessing that in munchkin's case, this is a tumor attached to an ovary
which is pretty common for female hamsters. and something like this should
definitely be removed.