Thursday, 12 January 2012

LILLY VS. PYOMETRA (ROUND ONE)

Starting from today Lilly is undergoing her medical treatment. This post is not only for you but also for me, not to forget. I'm going to put in here every detail worth of later discussion with the vet.The therapy should last up to seven days.
LILLY'S BIRTHDAY PRESENTS :-(

First of all we've had Lilly's cage cleaned thoroughly from a scratch. I've done it lately, but decided to do it once again, just in case. This pyometra disease, it's caused by certain kind of bacteria so you can never be too cautious, can't you?

And these are the medications:
- Enrofloxacin (antibiotic) - 0,1 ml per 100 ml of water a day,
- Lakcid (probiotic) - 1/5 of normal human dose a day,
- daily belly massaging.

Enrofloxacin needs to be mixed with water, you can achieve this by adding the required dose to fresh, clean water in your hamster's water dispenser. Lakcid can be easily replaced by yogurth but Lilly's never liked it so we chose Lakcid.
LILLY TAKING HER MEDICINE

Day by day I'm going to write down the course of the therapy along with my observations. If someone finds it helpful - good, but you must remember this: 

NEVER DIAGNOSE OR CURE YOUR HAMSTER 
WITHOUT VETERINARIAN CONSULTING

DAY 1:
Thursday, 12.01.2012

No visible mucus leaks today; belly still tough. Lilly is very vivid. She was running in her spinning wheel a lot, hoarded huge amounts of food and collected her nesting material. She wasn't eager to receive Lakcid from the syringe so I injected some onto a hazelnut and smuggled it this way. My only consideration is that she barely drank, maybe about 1-2 ml of water, which means she hasn't delivered much medication to her organism today. There's serious question: why? Because she wasn't thirsty or because she felt that the water is 'contaminated'? Strange, 'cause I deliberately haven't given her any fresh, juicy food lately so she should crave for water. I must watch it carefully.

DAY 2:
Friday, 13.01.2012

It seems like we've got a break through... Today Lilly was in heat. According to what our veterinarian said this is the time when animal's bottom opens wide. That's why this evening I massaged Lilly's belly gently but even more thoroughly (for about an hour), taking this chance to help clearing her inside.
MASSAGED OUT PLUG OF PUS
First there was certain amount of liquid mucus flowing again but than I massaged out of her this long, hard plug of pus (divided in the picture). That's what was blocking her womb, I guess, or most of it. The belly softened. After that Lilly was even more happy: playing, hoarding, grooming and running in her spinning wheel till 3:00 A.M. like crazy. I think she really felt relief. We consulted it with vet and he admitted that's a remarkable progress. Well, we've won the battle but not he war. The good news is also that this night Lilly drank a lot, about  8 ml of Enrofloxacin solution. Also she licked the whole Lakcid from hazelnuts so we're doing great. Moreover, I had an idea to put her on weight to control her general condition; she weights 183 g (normal). I'm gonna fight for my hammie.

 DAY 3:
Saturday, 14.01.2012 

Lilly's received her third part of medications: there's about 8 ml of solution less in the water dispenser again. Her opening is sealed today. No leaks in my presence but the fur on her belly is sticky so I know the pus still flows. Weight: 184 g. Apetite: good. Lilly is strong and full of energy. She gladly left the cage to rip a paper toy I made for her and get to the treats hidden inside. I'm still learning about the pyometra disease. There's many pieces of information in the net, some of them are mutually exclusive so one can really get lost. Thank you all for your support and kind words. It helps alot, I'm not so scared anymore. Tina from 'Feldhamster' made very wise remark that dosing medications via water dispenser is controversial as it may be risky in hamsters case since they often drink too little (underdosing) and sometimes too much (overdosing). Supposedly it is safer to use medicines that don't require mixing with water. Well, I admit there's strong logic in it and I like the idea but right now I decided to stick to the method we've already started. PRIMO: I trust my veterinarian who's got experience curing rodents and he says Enrofloxacin seems to work better if received randomly so it works for hamsters even if  given via water dispenser. SECUNDO: I can't change Lilly's treatment in the middle of the therapy.  You just don't do that, it's antibiotic we're talking about. She must take it all once she started. You can't mix it now with another one. Still, I don't exclude the possibility of trying something different if this one doesn't work. One thing I know for sure: at this point an operation is counted out. I'm aware that only sterylization gives 100% insurance that this disease is bitten and won't strike again but on the other hand the risk of such a procedure is too big. I don't wanna take it as long as Lilly's life is not directly in danger and it is not.

DAY 4:
Sunday, 15.01.2012

Weight: 185 g (is it my imagination or is she getting even more fluffy under my nursing...?); about 4 ml of Enrofloxacin solution drank (that's a decent number); Lakcid from two halfs of a hazelnut licked; belly massaged. There was a small discharge of liquid pus today, just like in the beginning. Lilly wasn't in the mood to play outside her cage, she'd rather run in her spinning wheel and hoarded. She slept more today and stayed active for much shorter time than before. I guess she needs her day off, just like everybody else does... I watched her sleeping... My little furry angel... She really tamed me, you know...


DAY 5:

Monday, 16.01.2012

Today Lilly was full of energy again. She slept long and well, and when she woke up she craved for pranks: first she was trying to eat her own spinning wheel, than she demanded taking her out of the cage in purpose to scoot under my desk and dig in the carpet (I thought she's a big girl now, but seems like old childish habits returned). Well, I know it's not much educative, but I gave her walnuts anyway... After all, that's what a hamster life is about: hoarding. Although, when I put her on weight today and the display showed me number 186 I was confused. Than I realised she was weighted along with this nut hidden in her cheek pouch and after drinking :-) By the way: Lilly drank about 6 ml of Enrofloxacin solution today, so again she delivered a desirable dose of medicine to her organism. Good job, Lilly!
Seems we don't have a dosing problem. I also came across this article about pyometra on 'Hammy's World' website. It's very informative and specialist so if you have any doubts - read it.

It's been five days, so I called the vet and consulted with him the following procedure: since Lilly seems to respond well to the therapy I'm to give her Enrofloxacin for next two days. Than we'll take a break and see the results. What's most important, I was told to continue her belly massages as that's what gives her the biggest relief and helps to keep her womb in a decent state. 

DAY 6:
TUESDAY, 17.01.2012

Today was a big day. According to my calculations Lilly should be in heat and she was. The mucus flowed, but it was different: thiner, cleaner than before (I've got a feeling that's a good sign). So once again, I took my chances and after an hour of working I massaged out of her even twice (!) as much of pus plug (pudding-like colour, wax-like consistency, no blood - I'll spare you and myself pictures this time). When this thing came out there were no more leaks this night at all (I checked many times, believe me) and Lilly's opening looked nice and clean. I hope, I SO hope that maybe we've just managed to get rid of this nasty disease...? After today massage Lilly has gone crazy: she became so fast and rapid I couldn't keep up! She acted as if she was light like a feather: jumping, climbing, running... As if someone magicaly changed my hamster! At some point this thought arised in my head: what if this feature of her character I called 'shyness', what if it wasn't even a feature of the character, but this damned plug of pus growing inside her, constantly disturbing her...? During this evening Lilly drank about 9 ml (!) of Enrofloxacin solution. That's just great since the medicine seems to be working. She was so hyper active I didn't manage to weight her properly: she couldn't stay one second in place, constantly running away from the weight cup. The display showed me once a number 180 but it's impossible she lost 6 g over a day eating and drinking normally (this plug of pus wasn't so heavy, for God's sake!). Anyway, today events gave me hope. Now I trully believe that together we can make it through.

DAY 7:
Wednesday, 18.01.2012

It was the last day of Lilly's medical treatment. She received last doses of her medicine: Enrofloxacin (about 8 ml of solution drank) and Lakcid. If you believe in electronic devices she weights now 187 g (even more than before the therapy). But I don't have good news: the pudding-like mucus flows again. It's thick, smelly and there's much more of it this time (maybe because nothing's blocking the uterus any more). Anyway, I'm a little bit dispirited. After yeasterday success I really hoped for a change... But Lilly seems not to bother at all. She looks perfectly happy, acting normally (I mean: not quite, 'cause she's still hyper active) and doing all those things a happy hamster is supposed to do: grooming, hoarding, playing. In the end of the evening I cleaned the cage thoroughly again and first thing she did with her clean-new spinning wheel was inventing a rattle (by dragging a bunch of sunflower seeds into it, husking them there and than running along with the shells). So much for my cleaning [sight]. I also had to lure her from behind the counter 'cause she was strong enough to pull of the old rug blocking the secret passage leading to the Forbidden Dark Hole. I just... love her. And I'd like to keep her a lil' bit longer...


To sum it up:

- meeting Lilly vs. Pyometra round one (1:1),
- Enrofloxacin didn't fight the bacteria (we'll have to try something else),
- abdomen massages - the best thing to do! (we will continue),
- the surroundings must be kept clean,
- most important thing: not giving up.

11 comments:

  1. :( So sorry Lilly's sick. I hope she feels better...

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  2. I hope she gets better. We're rooting for you Lilly! ~Geraldine & Melon

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  3. I'm very sorry to hear that your Lilly is sick - keeping my fingers crossed for her!

    But you might really want to reconsider the medication - giving meds via water is absolutely the WRONG way to medicate a hamster. Reason: most hamsters drink too little (syrians < 5ml/day) so they don't get a sufficient dose of the meds. But with some sicknesses hamsters suddenly drink lots and lots so even if you calculated the meds to be enough if the hamster only drinks 5ml from the bottle it would not be right either - because then the hamster would overdose. PLEASE talk about this with your vet or consult a different vet. Over here, vets who try to medicate hamsters via the water bottle are considered inexperienced hamster-wise.

    I know it's really hard to find a good vet for hamsters. If you want I can try to get you in contact with people who've had several cases of pyometra and who could give you the names and dosages of the meds they got (which were given directly into the mouth of the hamster) for you to talk over with your vet. You can contact me via TheFeldhamster@gmx.at

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  4. Thank you, guys... I'm not giving up on her. Never!

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  5. Thank you, Tina, for your precious suggestion. I'll definately contact you (one can never have too much experience)although I've already talked to my vet about the drinking issue (it was one of the first things that bothered me) and he explained to me that there are few different kinds of antibiotics of different characteristics: some of them (like penicilin for example, which is toxic to hamsters) need to be dosed very accurately. But there is also a group of antibiotics which (due to the latest research) give better results when dosed randomly (and that's enrofloxacin). This is said to work great in rodent case. The veterinarian I happen to know is person very dedicated to animals, also with much practise in working with rodents, so I'm sure if he had any doubts he'd check it twice and told me about other possibilities. So by now I think we'll stick to his advises (I trust him). But, of course, at the same time I'll gladly learn what other people have to say about it. Thank you once again for your care.

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  6. Hopes Lily will get well soon.

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  7. Thank you Azra. Your kind words mean alot after your own loss.

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  8. Oh, yes... But as you can see she manages quite well under the circumstances.

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  9. Is Lillys health status better now? How Lillys therapy will be continued?

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    1. Thank you for asking. Well, according to my calculations her next antibiotic therapy should begin about February the 6th. That's what we agreed with her veterinarian. BUT: after her last heat I've noticed none mucus discharge at all. So maybe, just MAYBE, she's recovering in fact...? It takes time to get to know. One thing I know for sure: the massages work, especially during the heat. So if that's gonna help, I could do it for the rest of her life, if needed.

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