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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11067
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My dwarf hamster has a big round pink growth on his ...

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My dwarf hamster has a big round pink growth on his tummy (looks like an abcess) do I need to put him down or is there a way to cure this. (He also has a small one on his foot).

Are you familiar with the scent gland located on a male dwarf hamster's stomach? Many people are not, so I wanted to check with you before answering your question.

How big is the growth on his tummy?

Where on the stomach is it located?

This additional information will help me answer your question.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Anna's Post: Not familiar with that gland, this is my first hamster. The growth is about 1/2" in diameter and protrudes about 1/3" from his body. It is more on his chest than his stomach.
Thank you for getting back to me. The scent gland is often mistaken for a tumor. It is located about where a belly button would be. Since your hamster's is up higher, that's probably not what it is.

If these growths are abscesses, they can be treated. You can try to do it at home for several days. You'll need to hold a very warm wet cloth on the abscess for 10 minutes, 3 times a day. This may cause the abscesses to start draining. If they do, stop the soaking, and begin putting some antibiotic ointment on them twice a day.

If no draining begins within four days, you'll need to take your hamster to a vet. The growths may not be abscesses, or they may be stubborn abscesses that need help to drain. Tumors can also be removed by a vet. There probably won't be any need to put your hamster down, unless he needs expensive surgery you can't afford. Even then, it could be a long time before the tumors (if that's what they are) cause a problem.

If you have further questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. Also, let me know if you'd like to see a photo of the scent gland and I'll post you a link to one. I hope your hamster will be fine.


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Anna's Post: Anna - I would like to see a picture of the scent gland. Also, the hamster had an abcess on his foot that I took care of myself (hot cloth, and lanced it to drain, polysporin on it), I wouldn't want to do that on his tummy as he would probably bite me. Would the soaking be enough?
Here's a link to a scent gland photo:

There are variations in how it looks and how raised it is.

The heat from a very warm cloth sometimes causes the liquid in an abscess to expand enough to start draining. Be sure to watch the foot carefully. sometimes home lancing can drive infection in further. If that happens, the hamster would need oral antibiotics. It will probably be fine, but keep an eye on it.

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