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British Veterinarians Pull Off Massive Surgery on Tiny Hamster with Broken Leg

Hamster surgery | Image for representation | Credit: Reuters

Hamster surgery | Image for representation | Credit: Reuters

A team of veterinarians in UK successfully mended the broken leg of a tiny hamster broken leg.

As if performing surgery on a human being was not a daunting enough task, veterinarians in England have managed to perform quite a big leg surgery on a tiny hamster.

According to The Mirror, Suki, a Roborovski hamster, was brought to the Veterinary Health Centre in St. Annes, Lancashire in the United Kingdom after his owner observed that the usually energetic little hamster was dragging his leg. After examining the hamster, the 23-year-old owner Guilherme Gouveia, from Preston, was told that Suki had broken a tibia and to restore her energetic sprints, surgery would be needed.

Suki’s extremely small size did pose a challenge to the veterinarian surgeon Ann Reid, reports The Mirror. Speaking to the British tabloid, Ann said that the bones are brittle and easily break with the wrong pressure applied, hence the surgery required extreme care and precision. The surgeon further said that they also had to find a pin small enough to fix the hamster’s bone.

According to The Mirror, the 54-year-old veterinarian said that most bones need to be held still and fixed in place to heal completely. Even though there are various methods to go about the process of conducting the surgery, Ann chose the one where the team of doctors were to use an intramedullary pin. In this medical procedure, a metal pin is pushed down the middle of the bone to hold it in place. However, the concern among the doctors was that the hamster weighed merely three quarters of an ounce.

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According to Ann,in a normal situation, they would have used the inside of an intravenous catheter, but Suki’s case was not normal and for this surgery, even this procedure was too risky. So,the surgeon ended up using the needle from an insulin syringe which is the smallest gauge needle in veterinary medicine. With their impeccable understanding of the sensitivity of this case, the team of veterinarians at St. Annes, Lancs successfully mended Suki’s broken leg.

first published:March 11, 2021, 20:37 IST