Hamster Tumour or Abcess? 

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Crenguţă tonight began sporting a very large lumpy thing* on her chest. This morning it did not seem to be there - hamster tumours are fast, but can they be that fast? With the death of celebrity hamster blogger, Baruchito, is Crenguţă on a copycat deathbed?

Whoa, let me back up a bit. Hamsters have a lifespan of two to three years. I once raised a hamster that almost made it to four years. The Gootz is a mere year and five months - her birthday is September 19, 2004. She still has at least seven months in her.

Yet she is technically old. And she is female, putting her in a higher cancer category.

Usually energetic, Crenguţă has exhibited signs of fatigue; in her hamster ball she is not as zippy as before. She appears to sleep more.

Then there is the nose issue. Every time I turn off the heat for over a 24-hour period her pink nose blanches. Tonight, despite the heat having been on all day, her nose turned white again.

But the weirdest thing of all, Crenguţă doesn't bite any more. I even poked at the tumour to see if there was pain and she didn't chomp at my finger.

I keep hoping that it's an abcess, which is relatively easy to treat by lancing and with antibiotics. Since the large bump is near her cheek pouch, it could be the result of hard food and lack of water. A few days ago she knocked down her water bottle during the night. Could it be that the resulting dehydration made her cheek pouch vulnerable to cracking and infection?

It's too late tonight for a trip to any vet that treats hamsters. Tomorrow night I'll have to see what help I can get the Gootz. As it is a tumour just under the skin, there may be a chance, albeit an expensive one, to remove it.

Oh, please let it be a piece of tissue that got lodged in her cheek pouch.

*The Gootz is still energetic enough to make photographing her an impossibility.

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