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Linda Simon
Linda Simon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 983
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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My pet hamster developed an eye problem over night last

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Hello, my pet hamster developed an eye problem over night last week. It was buldging out and bleeding. I took her to the vet and had to pay £100 which was way over my limit of affordability for only 3 days medication. She’s been getting better then I stayed at my mums last night and come home today with her eye completely out all bloody. I have no money. I don’t know what to do
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know what to do about this bleeding. I'll connect you ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the hamster?
Customer: No
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few moments as I type my response
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok Thankyou
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I can’t afford to pay money to have a phone call. My pet isn’t making any noises she’s only a hamster. She’s sleeping
I'm so sorry to hear your hamster has developed this issue. It is a concern that the medicine did not resolve the issue and things have now drastically worsened.
Was the vet able to provide a diagnosis? For example, they may have found her to have had an infection or an ulcer. However, with this new development my concern would be that there may be a tumour (these are very common in hamsters) which was perhaps not immediately obvious.
For her eye to be completely out (prolapsed) there must be something very significant going on. Typically, the treatment of choice would be to remove the eye as it is a source of pain and will become infected.
The surgery may be expensive and I appreciate that funds are a concern. You may be able to discuss a low cost option with your vet and it is possible they can offer a payment plan. If not, perhaps another local clinic could.
Another option would be to see if you qualify for a charity vet such as the RSPCA who can provide services at a lower cost to those on benefits/pension etc.
If we feel that the surgery is not affordable and/or your hamster is suffering it may be in their best interest to be euthanized. I appreciate this likely sounds quite harsh but this may be for the best, especially if we believe there is any cancer behind the eye. The aim of euthanasia is to prevent suffering when alternative treatment options are not available to us.
I apologise for the phone call request, I am actually unable to make a phone call but the website offers this automatically. I am happy to continue to talk via chat
If its possible, sending a photo of the eye would be very useful as, for example, if it has not completely protrudes it may be an option to trial medical therapy (though this does not always save the eye).
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
She had shredded some of her tube and when I got home she had a bit stuck to her eye. That has come off now but this was when it was on
Oh fair enough, so we know the primary cause was a trauma. This may have resulted in a corneal ulcer and/or an infection. Luckily this means cancer is not a concern.
Oh bless her, how uncomfortable. So the tube part was removed and the eye cleaned? But now the eye has worsened and is hanging out? Any chance of a photo of the current state of the eye?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
No this wasn’t the cause. My hamster woke up one morning with a really sticky bloody eye that was swollen then we went to the doctors and that’s when I have her antibiotics and then she got so much better then over night last night I got home today and her eye was like it was in that video. Let me get her out and try get another picture
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
She’s very forgery so hard to get a perfect picture
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I’ve just looked and I think her eye is still in there just covered in blood because she’s blinking which she wasn’t able to do before but I don’t know what it is that’s hanging out of her eye
Ok, I understand now. So there is still a chance of an underlying cause such as a cancer.
Dont worry too much about a new picture as I can see the extent of the issue from the video already sent.
If possible, it would be best to clean away any crust/dried blood/discharge with warm salty water. This will allow us to better examine the eye and will also help with comfort.
If the eye has completely come out of the socket, we really need to consider a surgery.
If it is bulging but still contained, medicine such as steroid drops and strong antibiotics may help. If you go to the same vet as before you may not need to pay another consultation fee which would keep costs down (although do check this with them first).
I agree , although it is hard to tell for sure from the photo I would wonder if the eye is in place but covered with a thick scab and some pus.
I would use cotton wool and lots of warm salt water to clean the scab and discharge away
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok so I can try do that. It does look like her eye is underneath which I couldn’t see before but can now see. She’s very figedty so I’ll do my best to hold her and clean it then hopefully I can see more
It would be great if her eye is in its normal place; that makes her prognosis much better.
Do you have any of the medicine left from before?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I have a little bit left so I can try to keep giving her that. I’m about to try and clean it for her now
I would. It will only work once all of the crust and discharge is cleared away though.
Each time before applying the drops, clean the eye with salt water.
With regards the environment, I would remove that bedding and place newspaper for now to prevent it sticking to the eye.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Yes I took her sawdust out and put in little wooden stick things that the vet told me to buy. I’ll take her tube out and anything that will stick the medication is something that she has to have in her mouth and then a gel that goes on the eye
Perfect.
With regards the gel, it will work best on a clean eye so the advice still stands.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Her eye is still in there but I think she’s now in pain we have cleansed it’s but I think it is a scab on the top of her eye but when we try and pull away with a cotton bud it’s attached and she’s screeching which I can only believe is her pain
Oh poor thing, I'm sure it is really uncomfortable. If she is becoming distressed, perhaps try to clean some more later. The warm water should soften the scan making their easier to remove going forward. If it is possible to, I would try to get some antibiotic gel in there now.
Is the oral liquid more antibiotic or a pain relief? If not a pain relief, it would be worth asking for some (e.g. Metacam) from the vet to make her more comfortable. If she is quite sore, she may stop eating and become more unwell.
*soften the scab
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I have metacam If I have some left I’ll give her some of that and I’ll try get the gel in her eye
Yep, great.
On top of that, try to clean the eye every regularly to prevent scab build up.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
So onwards from here. I will obviously continue to do what you have said however with the vet option. I have no spare money at the moment to be able to pay extra
I understand. Obviously that's not ideal and it may be that more medicine is required but hopefully things resolve shortly with regular cleaning and the medicine you have left over.
However, if things are not improving, consider calling your vet who may be able to help you out e.g. by providing a written prescription so you can buy medicine cheaper from an online pharmacy.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok that’s great. Thankyou for your help you’ve been amazing and really helpful I’ll keep cleaning it and if it doesn’t start improving I will take her to the vet. For now I’ve put her to bed and I’ll get her out to re clean in a little bit. Thankyou so much
No worries at all. Fingers crossed she gets better very soon and good luck with the cleaning and medicine (not an easy task in a frisky hamster!).
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hello, not sure if this was connected to the same person I spoke to yesterday. Just wanted to give a little update
Hi, yes its Linda here!
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hello, I just wanted to show you how willow is getting on. Your advice has amazingly helped. Overnight it’s just crazy how much it’s helped in one night. Her eye is quite closed and has scabbed over a little again but we are doing the same as we did last night. How do you think this is looking I’ll send through this picture and then another from a different angle
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
This is the second
Oh my gosh, 100 times better; great work! Absolutely, continue with the cleaning and medicine. The eye will likely continue to produce some ooze/discharge so it's essential we continue to clean not very regularly.
We really dont want her rubbing/scratching it (easier said than done). You may be able to fashion a tiny cone (buster collar) out of something in the home or you can get them quite cheap online e.g. https://www.google.com/shopping/product/1?q=hamster+buster.collar&client=ms-android-samsung-gs-rev1&biw=360&bih=612&tbs=vw:l,ss:44&prmd=sivn&sxsrf=ACYBGNTZ97qGgNbIV5PsPtA6JXbicaiY3w:1575325245962&prds=num:1,of:1,epd:3511643800566115598,paur:ClkAsKraX0sHbcHw_LGM07nxZoZjD7Hp9LR2A7K96cCSg5uSPaXPt4nBhtmL9jFXedf0N41nyOWsfJbIXbEMO5VWpKDUd_xL13Ya8t1_wnYTeVxWXnve4ugMdRIZAFPVH737bjbeY82jnRqVU9yU_paPev7QCA,prmr:1,pid:3511643800566115598,cs:1
However, if she is leaving it alone then this wont be necessary.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ok so when We are cleaning are we trying to get the scab back? And off if possible ? And ok Thankyou I’ll take a look. I’ll keep an eye on her see if she’s scratching around it at all. Obviously you can see she’s lost hair around her eye but I assume that’s just because of what’s she’s going through. That makes it better as it’s not sticking to her eye anymore
Yes the fur loss is expected and, all going well, fur will grow back in a few weeks.
Cleaning is to remove any ooze/liquid and to soften any scab to allow it to naturally fall off in its own time. We do not want to forcefully remove the scab as it is a protective layer that aids healing.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
That’s fantastic Thankyou. What do you think it is that’s caused this? Is this anything I can avoid in the future?
It's hard to know for sure but it can be something as simple as a bit of dust or bedding that has got into the eye. Or sometimes a hanger will scratch their own eye by mistake.
It could also be an infection whereby some bacteria was picked up from the environment.
Eye issues are relatively common though your little one got a particularly bad one!
*hamster not hanger
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ok that’s great. Thankyou for your help again. I’ll contact again if any changes but so far looking amazing. Can’t thank you enough for your help!
Very happy to help:)
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Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hiya just an update today. It’s completely closed up. What do you suggest I do
This is called 'blepharospasm' or squinting and can be secondary to pain. It can happen with an ulcer (when the surface is scratched) or infection for example, so is not unexpected.
It could also be that the discharge is sticky and has caused the two lids to stick together.
Continue to bathe the eye which should help loosen any secretions and gently hold the eyelids apart to administer the drops.
Please also continue with the oral syrup.
Linda Simon and 3 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ok that’s great I’ll keep using the medication and keep cleansing the eye to hopefully resolve the problem