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Date:   17 February, 2013  
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs & rabbits
The dwarf hamster has an itchy "eye bag"    
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
Date:   17 February, 2013 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129
It is rare to get two similar cases in different species. The case of the dog with the left "eye bag" mirrors as recorded in: The snoring old dog had a big eye bag

mirrors the case of the fat hamster who loves the sand bowl. She is one year old, female but weighed 68 g before surgery for a swollen lower eye area, much like an "eye bag" of the older person or the above-mentioned dog.

Some 3 days ago, two sisters brought in this grey dwarf hamster. The elder sister dressed smartly like one of those models and so created a favourable first impression. "The younger sister is the one who loves her," said the mother today, Saturday 4 pm as she came to bring the hamster home. The younger sister came 2 days ago with the mother but since they did not know how to clear the eye of more yellow white particles of sand, the hamster was warded. I thought the mum how to do it today as the eye is still not fully opened. "Too much sand had gone into the eye," I said. "Your hamster sleeps in the sand bath like people going to the spa."

"Sometimes she dozed off inside the sand bath," the mum laughed. "Sometimes she even pooped inside." The hamster had become a couch potato and now seldom went upstairs to a room. "She escaped through the opening in the upper hatch," the mum said. "We found her in the room. After that she would not go upstairs anymore."

"This hamster could be too fat to go upstairs," I think. Yesterday, I saw her trying to go inside the cardboard roll which is the left over after the toilet papers had been used up. Her hind legs were caught outside the roll and she struggled. Fortunately I saw this incident. I snipped open the length of the roll so that she would not be trapped.

ANAESTHESIA Zoletil 3 drops IM. Effective and sufficient sedation for lancing the lower eyelid abscess and draining the pus for a 68-g hamster. No need isoflurane gas top up and no fatality. 

I everted the lower eyelid at the medial canthus and incised with a scalpel. Pus oozed out. More pus from the upper eyelid too. More pus from further inside the lower eyelid to the lateral side. This was similar to the old dog mentioned above. Pus had formed deep inside the eyelids. Bacteria multiplied. The "eye bag formed." The hamster rubbed and rubbed. Redness and swelling. The owners agreed to hospitalisation for me to clear more debris and sand from the eye. The hamster went home 3 days later and the mother was taught how to restrain the hamster and put eye drops. 

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