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Gerbils & Hamsters/Growth on hamster

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Question
A few months ago we noticed that my son's pet hamster, Stewart, was not opening his right eye during the day but at night it was fine.  A while after that a single upright triangle like growth appeared at the top/back of his left ear.  The growth has grown rapidly and was soon no longer a single triangle but various minute tubes attached to a single spot - like a big wart that has burst - and it started drooping.  Then the ends of the tubes started going black and must have broken off because the growth then looked smaller and I was hopeful that it was going to go away.  I was wrong.  Next thing, overnight, the growth sprouted an aerial like projection - about 5cm long and 1 mm in diameter - straight as an arrow.  What is going on?  It does not look like it's troubling him other than that he is not quite as active as he used to be.  There is no hair loss and we have had him for about a year and a half.  I don't know how old he was when we got him but he was fully grown as he hasn't grown any since.

Answer
Hi Sandy

Thanks for your question.

Is there any chance you can send a photo - this sounds really strange.

Initially when you talked of a growth I thought it could be something like polyomavirus which produces wart-like growths usually around the head area.  These can grow rapidly and get quite large and do need surgically removing.  However, I have never heard of this type of growth.  If you can get a photo to me I would be interested to see this.

The fact that he is behaving normally is great news, but it would be good to know what this 'thing' is.

Regards
Sheila  

Gerbils & Hamsters

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Sheila Adby

Expertise

Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is www.thehamstersite.com

Experience

I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website: www.thehamstersite.com

Publications
Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Education/Credentials
Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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