Saturday, August 27, 2005

Hamster Mishap

We all love Vino, Anna's new hamster. He was her reward for completing a sticker chart for days with no potty accidents. About a week after we brought him home, Anna cheekily told her dad, "I can have lots of accidents now because I already have the hamster." Grrrr...

When the accidents continued, multiple times per day, we threatened to take away the hamster, then decided we'd better follow through. Today I took him to work with me to stay a while with Enricka, the rodent-lover who generously gave us Vino's great cage.

When I got to work Vino was hiding, but I figured he was traumatized from the drive in. Later, on a break between appointments, I called him, trying to get him to come out for a treat. At home, if he just hears our voices, he instantly comes out, stretching and yawning, looking for attention and a treat. I sat there, holding a cheerio, talking to him without response, when I noticed a large amount of blood in one spot on the bottom of the cage.

I quickly opened his cage and lifted up his little hidey-hole. He rose up from his bedding, with blood splotches on his chest, and I could not see his right arm! I screamed for Enricka, who helped me get him out. We gassed him down, and found that his entire right arm was avulsed, completely gone, even the scapula (shoulder blade). There was a tiny circular hole in the skin where it had gone. I flushed it and sutured it; we gave him pain meds and antibiotics.

It seems in some freak accident, Vino was up on his "3rd floor" and must've gotten his little leg caught in his exercise wheel when I turned or braked quickly, and lost his leg. I feel so bad for the little guy, for having such a painful accident and for losing his leg forever. (We have not found the missing appendage, but Enricka says he may have eaten it to hide the evidence, being a prey animal).

He is staying at Enricka's, since she can take better care of him than me, and he won't have screaming children and curious cats investigating him. She called me tonight with an update: she gave him pedialyte, his antibiotics, peas and corn, and is mixing up her special rodent recovery diet, which includes egg yolk and yogurt. She called me back to tell me he was already gimping around his cage, was able to bunny hop upstairs, and EVEN WENT ON HIS WHEEL a little bit. That little 25 gram guy is a survivor.

Its amazing how much life such a small creature can contain. And how attatched I've gotten to him in just 1 month.


Flippy said...

Ack! How awful. Poor little guy. I would've guessed that losing a leg would kill something that small. It's heartening to read that he's gotten on his wheel already. I'd be laying in bed weeping and begging for pain meds...and maybe chocolate.

Julie said...

What is it about kids? My son has been potty-trained for about 6 weeks now, but has decided it's funny if he goes in his pants instead???

Wow--I'm impressed by your hamster. I wouldn't take losing a leg quite that well. Does your little one know?

Jess said...

Oh my! Poor Vino! I am sure your friend is helping him recover quickly! Man...I leave for one week and Vino looses a leg...I am missing out on so much. I miss you guys!!! I can't wait to make pizzas tonight on the grill!!!

Anonymous said...

Poor Vino! I can't believe he didn't make some kind of horrific noise when his leg came off. Geeze. He is one tough little fella! Love-Bevie-