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Even Hamsters Need Surgery Too

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An abnormal growth of cells in a tissue or organ is referred to as a tumor, of which there are two types: benign and malignant. Benign tumors, which do not spread, are much more common in hamsters. Malignant tumors (or cancers), meanwhile, may develop in one location such as the hormone-producing glands or digestive system organs and spread into other body parts. Only four percent of hamsters suffer from malignant tumors.

The type of symptoms a hamster exhibits will depend on the location and severity of the tumor. Tumors may be seen on the skin or be located internally, in which case the only external signs are non-specific symptoms, such as depression, dullness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and diarrhea (with blood in some cases). T-cell lymphoma, which affects the skin, may lead to skin inflammation and/or hair loss, often in sporadic patches.

Your veterinarian will likely recommend surgical removal of the tumor because tumors may grow and spread to other locations in the body. Surgical removal in the early stages improves the chances of full recovery. However, late detections may cause some of the tumors to become malignant (cancers).

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