Hi , my hamster is all covered with lumps , some of them are bleeding,and new ones grow every day. right side of her belly became bigger. I took her to a vet and she said it's probably cancer, but no one checked my hamster for mites or other parasites. is that something I can do? Can it be not cancer?
Hamster can hardly walk and I don t know should I put her to sleep? I just feel I cant do it/
Dr. Marie replied:
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that Niusha is having these problems. Hamsters are definitely prone to cancer. And a hamster that is older than a year is definitely an older one. (On average they live about 18 months.)
There is a type of virus that can cause lumps on hamsters. However, the lumps that form are actually cancerous. You can read more about this type of situation here: Polyoma Virus.
There are some parasites that hamsters can get but they don't usually cause lumps. They can cause scabby areas and if the scabby areas get infected then I suppose you could see some small lumps. But I would say that cancerous tumors are by far the more likely diagnosis.
There is no harm in asking your vet to do a test called a skin scraping to look for parasites. But, if a parasite is causing this much disease then there is usually an underlying reason for this such as cushing's disease which is very serious.
If Niusha is hardly able to walk then she is probably very uncomfortable and euthanasia really is something that should be considered. Euthanasia is not painful. She will not be aware of what is happening. In cases like this we have to think of what is best for the animal and if she is not enjoying life and has very little hope of improvement then this may be the decision that has to be made. Your vet really should be able to advise you on whether euthanasia is the best decision.
I know this is hard. But it does sound like there is not much that can be done.
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Can i send to you her lump pictures?
Dr. Marie replied:
Sure! Send me photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.
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