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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner Fri 08 Sep 2017, 2:26 pm

I'm curious as to why mice usually don't need surgery when they have a tumor, but hamsters do. On a hamster forum I am a part of, whenever a hamster has a tumor, members seem to think that the hamster needs surgery to remove it, and there's no other option. On here, with mice, we usually just say that taking them to the vet and getting pain meds if needed is all that can be done, and we just need to keep the mouse comfortable. Why is it so different with mice vs hamsters? Can mice tolerate a tumor better than a hamster? I just don't understand how it's so different.

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Post by CallaLily Fri 08 Sep 2017, 3:34 pm

Mice often don't do well with anesthesia, especially older mice - which is when most mice tend to develop tumors.  My vet actually recommended surgery for Twix to remove a mammary tumor. He said he sees them a lot with rats and removes them often.  Pardon   But with Seren and Hazel he said to just keep them as comfortable as we could. Their tumors were in different places though.

I have seen at least one person on another group that does take their mice in for surgery to remove tumors and they seem to do ok.  I think it's the same person on there that regularly gets their males neutered too.  I'm not sure where they're from. **EDIT: I just skimmed through posts there and see that they mentioned it was a rare thing, that most of the time tumors "aren't safely removable while retaining the mouse's quality of life and the procedure/recovery can stress them."   It looks like the mouse that did have a tumor removed eventually developed another tumor in a different area later.  So to me it seems kind of questionable if it was worth putting the mouse through the surgery in the first place, even if it may have extended her life by a few months.   I don't keep up with the posts there like I do here, so it was easy for me just popping through now and then to think it was more common. Sorry about that.** I think if you had access to a good exotic veterinarian that had a lot of experience with mice,  it may be an option depending on age and tumor placement. -- Edit: Maybe not...?

I don't know about hamsters and surgery/tumors. I've never had one that developed a tumor or needed surgery, so I can't really speak on that.  Actually, none of our past hams ever needed a trip to the vet. So far Hamtaro's been very healthy too. Probably just got lucky there though.

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