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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11071
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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I think our dwarf hamster has cancer. She started with a small

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I think our dwarf hamster has cancer. She started with a small lump that looked like it had a scab like she hurt herself. Her hair was thinning in the area. The one lump has quickly progressed to several large reddish bulges with hair loss as well. She seems to be acting normally, but I am afraid that she will become quite ill and that there isn't much that we can do to help. Any advice?

Where on her body are the lumps located?

Do they feel hard when you feel them, or soft, and perhaps filled with liquid?

Is your hamster just one year old, or is she 1 1/2 or older?

Does she scratch at or bite the lumps?

Is it possible to post a photo? If so, you can upload one by clicking on the little green tree icon in the tool bar.

Thank you.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
She is my daughter's so I don't watch her all the time so she may scratch at them. They feel more soft than hard. They first started on her back and progressed to hindquarters.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Oh, and she is older than 1 year but I am not sure exactly how much
Thank you for getting back to me. Hamsters are prone to all the lumps and bumps that any other mammals get. Abscesses are often soft, and feel fluid-filled. Tumors can be benign or cancerous. There are also infections and parasites that can cause lesions on the skin. If the hamster is over 1 1/2 years old, tumors are more likely than they are in younger hamsters. Most hamsters live 1 1/2 to 2 years. A few make it to three years. The only way to be sure of what the lumps are is for a vet to have a hands-on examination. If the lumps are abscesses they can be treated. If they are cancer, then there probably isn't much you can do. Benign tumors can sometimes be removed. These links will take you to directories of vets who treat rats, and would also be good with hamsters:

If going to a vet isn't possible, all you can do is keep the hamster comfortable and happy for as long as possible. It sounds like she's doing well so far. If you use a wood-based litter, you may want to switch to CareFresh brand. It's the least irritating litter. If you have more questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope the lumps will turn out to be something that can be treated.

Anna and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX was helpful - I've only had mice and never had any with tumors. I will probably take her to the vet onsite at Petco and if they are abcesses perhaps we can make her more comfortable. Thanks again

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