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Discussion in 'Rodents' started by Cautlyn, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Cautlyn

    Cautlyn PetForums Newbie

    Oct 21, 2019
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    My winter white dwarf hamster is 2 years old now and has an ear wart or polyp explained by my vet that may be cancerous. It’s a black growth protruding id say 2 inches from the ear. He is also going blind if not fully blind in one eye. The cost to remove the wart/polyp was quoted at 700$ which I sadly don’t have. I’ve already spent 200$ on vet costs for him for full time pain meds. I’m running out of pain meds and can’t afford the 700$ surgery on top of the fact that i don’t know if the vet can remove the wart anymore. It has grown so big I think it may be too late to even remove. I’m also scared of him passing away during surgery. Today he’s scratching very profusely at the wart and it’s bleeding and there’s hair loss around the area. I’m not sure what to do at this point since I don’t have the funds for a 700$ surgery. I’m wondering if euthanizing would be the best option for him. He’s still eating and moving around decently (he does sleep more then my other hamsters) but still sometimes looks like he wants to live on. I just feel like such a failure for not having the funds to be able to provide proper vet care for the surgery. I’m just wondering at this point in time that I don’t have the money and if his quality of life is even worth me trying to come up with the money. I’ve also heard warts can easily come back. I really need advice. Thank you.

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  2. Hoviking

    Hoviking PetForums Newbie

    Jul 8, 2017
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    You must think of your economics, but first the hamsters welfare. This is a pretty old one, for his species, so if I were you, I would probably put him down. Mostly because of his age and welfare. A surgery would not do any better to his general health, but for all I know, it could go alright too? This is a hard decision you have to make, but this is my 2 cents. Good luck mate!
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  3. Susanna11

    Susanna11 PetForums Junior

    May 29, 2019
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    $700 is an awful lot to spend on surgery on an elderly hamster. Surgery and recovery afterwards is stressful for any animal, and small animals in particular don't cope well with stress and pain. If I were in this situation I think I would go for euthanasia as well. I keep gerbils and I love them very much, but there is a limit to how much I will spend on keeping them alive, and $700 would be well above that limit for me.
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  4. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

    Aug 3, 2018
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    I understand how difficult this is for you. It doesn't matter what size the animal we love is, a hamster is just as Important to its owner as a dog or a horse is, and saying goodbye is just as painful.
    He is sadly however, coming to the end of his natural life anyway, he's an elderly hamster now, and is losing his sight too, and I personally feel that to put him through surgery would be unfair, and probably very risky too.
    As has already been said, small animals don't do well with surgery and anaesthetics, and he could well pass away during the surgery.
    In my opinion it would be kinder to put him to sleep peacefully and calmly and with dignity.
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  5. Smolmaus

    Smolmaus PetForums Member

    Oct 3, 2019
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    Agreed with above, surgery with anesthetic is incredibly risky even for a young healthy hamster. Even if your vet is an expert at small animal surgery. For this little guy I don't think I would be looking at surgery as an option at all.

    If you can keep up his palliative care and pain meds then I would do so, since he still seems happy enough in himself. If you can't afford his pain meds then euthanasia is the only choice you have I think. No shame in that, either way he's not in pain and that's the important thing. A good quality life is more important than as long a life as possible.

    (Do ask if your vet will do a gas anesthetic for the eventual euth, before the injection. It is much more peaceful for them.)
    Bugsys grandma likes this.
  6. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

    Oct 7, 2018
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    My first and only question, is he in pain?

    If yes then PTS is probably kinder. If it's not painful and he's still able to get about, eat, drink and seems happy enough in himself, leave him be.

    It could be a wart, it looks like one but any mass can look like one thing and be something else. I wouldn't do surgery on this little guy. Anesthesia is difficult with any fit healthy small animal, but adding the fact he's a senior increases the risks even more.

    Speak to the vet and ask them (if you haven't already) if it's likely painful for him and if he can have anything for the itch? If he continues to scratch it can cause wounds with secondary bacterial infection. I personally wouldn't worry about hair loss too much as it's probably caused by scratching.

    If he was my hamster, as long as he wasn't in any pain and is able to hamster and have quality of life, I'd leave him to live out his days. Please know this is my opinion and what I would do. I'm no medical professional and people may disagree with my thinking. Ultimately, it's down to you, you know your hamster better than us so it's got to be your decision. Please let us know how it goes.
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