Braveheart 2008 Pumpkin

Pumpkin was our Braveheart for October 2008, she was voted as Braveheart of the Year by our client.. here is her story.

October is here and ‘tis the time for horrors and frights, but not many people would want the fright that vet Kate found when she operated on a “Pumpkin” ...Not a real orange Halloween pumpkin mind you... In fact one which is slightly hairier and very much friendlier!

I’ll start at the beginning...

The Pumpkin in question is a little hamster. She is cute with a capital “C”, very very friendly and much loved by her young owner. When it was noticed that Pumpkin’s abdomen had grown at an alarming rate over only 2 weeks she was brought in to see vet Kate for her opinion.

Kate decided to x-ray Pumpkin and ultrasound her abdomen. This was a mean feat on a creature so small, but these procedures did show that pumpkin had some fluid filled cyst-like structures within her abdomen. Given her age and the fact that she is female, Kate thought that the most likely cause of this would be one or more ovarian cysts, and so after much discussion and a lot of consideration into the risks of such surgery it was decided to go ahead and spey Pumpkin to save her life. The cysts were very large and it was really the only sensible option.

Pumpkin came in for the day and was anaesthetised for surgery. This is always more dangerous in tiny animals and so the nurses took extra special care in monitoring her anaesthesia and making sure she didn’t lose too much heat. When Kate had a look into Pumpkins abdomen she was astonished to find that this was not an ovarian cyst but actually a cystic growth on Pumpkin’s liver!

Now decisions had to be made. If we were to remove this lump it would mean removal of a large part of Pumpkin’s liver, a procedure that is not done very often!. Kate decided it was certainly worth trying. Pumpkin would have little or no quality of life with this tumour still intact and so she took great care and managed to remove it successfully, along with the lobe of the liver to which it was attached. Fluids, painkillers and antibiotics were given before the little lady woke up and to everyone’s relief as soon as she opened her eyes and could stand on her own four feet Pumpkin made a beeline for the food offered from nurse Sarah-Jane’s fingertips and soon headed straight for her own foodbowl! By the sounds of the report from her owners she hasn't left it since!

We are so pleased that this tenacious little hamster has continued to recover brilliantly after such major surgery. The tumour weighed a huge 26g, a massive 19% of Pumpkin’s bodyweight!

So Congratulations to our special little Halloween Pumpkin.

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