Monday, April 23, 2007

Vetting On Chance

We are so proud of our son for his bravery and non-squeamish tolerance towards open wounds and after-care of "patients" here in HamsterVille.

We had a serious casualty from one of the homes, where 3 girls were bunking together.

Is It Dying...

Two Saturdays ago, we had a rude shock when one of the hammies fell seriously ill out of the blue. There was no tall-tale signs that it was going to go into a limp, almost lifeless state.

Its eyes were closed with shallow breathing. Its body totally limp and looked like it was on the verge of dying very soon.

I force-fed it with Baytrill antibiotics when it came to, after massaging its cold body for more than 20 minutes. It fell back and forth between conscious and unconscious state.

"We will not give up on you," I said to it softly, "so don't you give up on yourself!" Assuring myself and praying in my heart to The Almighty to give this soul a fighting chance.

Come On Chancey

Cupping it with my palm while massaging its body to get the blood circulating for warmth, I told it that we will name it Chancey.

"Wake-up Chancey, wake-up..." I told her repeatedly. I kept talking all sorts of stuff to her that I could not remember what, but one thing was for sure... for her to fight on because we were not giving-up on her.

When she came to again after quite some time. I fed her with water by means of a syringe. She swallowed it and again went unconscious. It was disheartening and quite panicky to see her like that.

Nonetheless I kept massaging and talking to her for more than three hours straight.

Chancey finally came too again. This time she could open her eyes slightly and at times her front legs jerked a few times. I had more hope then and was very happy that she was in a better state, but she was no way... out of the woods yet.

I fed her with more water which she swallowed, She was really thirsty. I fed her concentrated food paste into her mouth using a cue tip; medications we got from previous visits from the vet. She swallowed these which raised our hopes even higher.

It went through a little past midnight, so I had to put into a small cage after wrapping her up to her ears with layers of facial tissues to keep herself warm.

"Be strong Chancey. I will see you in the morning." I said while petting her forehead. I switched off the kitchen light and retired to bed with a prayer for the little one.

The Morning After...

"Oh my God!" I exclaimed when I checked Chancey's cage first thing in the morning after getting out of bed... at dawn actually, on a Sunday morning.

"Chancey... Oh my God!... Good morning girl!" I said excitedly. Unexpectedly Chancey made it through the night. I was so relieved and was ecstatic to tell the good news to Wifey and Son who were still sleeping... exhausted from a late night.

It was like... a miracle for Chancey!

"How are you girl?" I started talking to her, "Time for your breakfast and medicine... OK?" I sounded like a seasoned nurse in a hospital ward.

I fed her with more water and the food paste, then a drop of Baytrill... the single most important medication I consider a must, in a first-aid kit for a hamster owner.

I discovered that Chancey had a black spot on her skin, under her left thigh. It was hard and was the size of a 10 cent coin.

Like A Trouper He Is...

Our son searched the Internet for plausible conditions. We narrowed it down to either fungus infection or something more serious like a type of cancer.

Without hesitation, our son called the vet, who could not confirm or dispense any medication either without examining the patient first. So we made an appointment that was open only on Thursday, 19 April 2007 at 4:30pm.

"I'll be able to make it to the vet on this date, Ayah." He volunteered straight away, looking concerned.

So before that date came, Chancey was in the care of 3 nurse-wannabes tending to her closely. She was fed water every hour, food paste and twice a day, antibiotics.

That's A Nasty Scar!

"Ayah, the vet is operating on Chancey," my son called me at my desk in the office, "she is removing the infected flesh off her."

He continued saying "We will need Woodlands Manuka Honey Uma 12+ for her wound... can you buy it?"

"OK, I'll stop by NTUC on my way back to buy that." I replied with pride in my heart the courage and conviction my son has to save a life.

I was apparently shocked that instead of a topical application for fungal infection I thought at first, Chancey had rotten flesh that had to be gorged-out into a hollow open wound!

I just wondered how painful it was for Chancey when the anesthetic wore off. There was no pain-killer medication being given. That poor girl.

It cost S$60.00 for the whole consultation and medications - Auraclen for cleaning of the open wound and Bactroban for topical anibiotics. No surgery fees were charged though.

Yes, like a real trouper our son is, he has been the person to clean the open wound and applying honey to cover it and Bactroban everyday. Wifey cleans the small cage twice a day with napkins for bedding as instructed by the vet.

And I Am Proud Of You...

"I think I want to be a vet, Ayah..." he suddenly told me as he passed by after cleaning Chancey the last time for the day.

"If you think you love animals that much, why not." I told him, obviously proud at his conviction and veracity.

Chancey is doing fine. I am also proud of her fighting spirit.

The big open wound is slowly closing in its gap. She is eating well and so responsive to us being around. She likes to be held. She and the rest are such a wonderful gift to our family.

We thank The Almighty for giving us another chance... with Chancey.


  1. What wonderful lessons your son is learning from Hamsterville. It looks like it may have sown the seeds for a future vocation. How lucky your son and Chancy are.

  2. Wow. I'm proud of your son too. And you as well, for being so patient and not giving up on the tiny patient. My brothers wife is just like you. She has nursed many animals back to health. From puppies, to baby chicks. If your son has discovered that he wants to be a vet from all this , then what a great thing.

  3. Sounds to me like he would be a great vet. :)

  4. Good for him! It's a seven year training period here to become a vet, but what a wonderful career.
    He has plenty of experience already, and is still but young.

  5. "We will not give up on you," I said to it softly, "so don't you give up on yourself!"

    Omg that is so moving!
    Cheerish the new life that was given to Chancy. I see it has effected your soon - I'm sure he'll make a wonderful vet.


  6. There are few professions that I have more respect for than for vetrinarians. They are noble caring people.

    Great post- I read it on the edge of my seat, hoping that little Chancey would turn out all right!


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