Jumping Pact

Half Mag / Half Zine

It was a very big operation…for very small patient.

A hamster with a broken leg has received a tiny cast made from cotton wool after successful surgery.

Suki, the white Roborovski, won the hearts of workers at his local vets – The Veterinary Health Centre in St. Annes, Lancs – after his owner sought help when the usually energetic little hamster was spotted dragging his leg.

Guilherme Gouveia, 23, from Preston, was told poor Suki had sadly broken a tibia and surgery would be needed.

Pictures show the amazing steps that were taken to treat the tiny hamster, whose tibia was found to be broken in the middle – his size proving a challenge for 54-year-old veterinary surgeon Ann Reid.

But the operation was a success and Suki is now on the mend

Vet Ann said: “The bones are brittle and easily break with the wrong pressure applied. I also had to find a pin small enough to fix the bone.

“Most bones need to be held still and fixed in place to heal. There are various methods but the one I chose was to use an intramedullary pin. This is where a metal pin is pushed down the middle of the bone to hold it in place.

“The trouble was the hamster only weighed three quarters of an ounce.

“Normally in this situation, I would use the inside of an intravenous catheter, but even this was too big. I ended up having to use the needle from an insulin syringe. The smallest gauge needle in veterinary medicine.”

Fortunately, the surgery was a complete success, with Suki managing to be safely given anaesthetic and the pin placed in his leg.

It was a fantastic result for little Suki said Guilherme: “All the staff was amazing and instantly fell in love with the little cotton ball Suki appears to be.

“After the X-ray I was told he had broken a tibia and they could attempt surgery, which went amazingly well.”

Making sure to document his recovery, both the vets and Guilherme took heart-melting pictures of little Suki, enjoying treats and time to play in a temporary habitat.

Guilherme said: “Recovery period was about a month in a temporary habitat. I used an old big and shallow box to house him for the period with some boredom breakers like chew toys and apple sticks since he couldn’t use his wheel or burrow like he likes to do.

“After the healing process, he was ready to go back to his big home and go back to building his underground tunnels.

“I’d say for such a small creature he didn’t seem bothered at all by his broken leg, during recovery he was way less energetic which is understandable but now he’s as happy as ever, and happier if I have treats for him.”