Braveheart Hector

Hector is a very special hamster belonging to Sarah-Jane, one of Sandhole’s qualified nurses. To say he is much loved is an understatement! He is also a firm favourite with everyone here, so when he became ill, we were all very worried about him.

Sarah-Jane noticed that Hector was struggling to pass urine and had ‘frank’ blood in his urine when it was passed. Vet Kate examined him and could find nothing obvious wrong and so started treating him for a bacterial cystitis with a view to doing further tests if they became necessary. She also advised Sarah-Jane to add dandelions to Hector’s diet as a diuretic, as hamsters are a desert species and produce very concentrated urine.

Hector did reasonably well on his treatment but was still straining a little to pass urine, so Sarah-Jane brought him back in for Kate to check. She decided to take an x-ray and was astonished to find that Hector had bladder stones!!

Why so surprised? ...Only 14 cases of bladder stones have ever been reported in hamsters!

Hector needed surgery. No mean feat in such a tiny animal but Sarah-Jane and Kate decided to go ahead and Kate managed to remove multiple small stones using very tiny forceps. This was a very risky operation and the next few days would be crucial.

Sarah-Jane worked hard nursing him, giving him his antibiotics and pain killers and also ensured that he was eating enough by syringe feeding Hector after his surgery. We are pleased to report that he has now made a full recovery!

He is still enjoying his dandelions and his cuddles and kisses from Sarah-Jane! We think he is one very lucky hamster indeed!

Congratulations Hector, a very well deserved Braveheart for November

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