Beth the hamster is adapting to life on three legs after vets at Sunderland’s PDSA clinic performed life-saving surgery.
Beth’s foot and part of her leg had to be amputated after a freak accident in which a piece of wire got wrapped around her foot, cutting off the blood supply.
Victoria Wilkinson, 38, from Washington, said she had noticed Beth had become withdrawn and off her food but wasn’t showing any other problem signs.
“Beth wasn’t coming out for her food so we picked her up and, to our horror, we found this piece of wire which seemed to have gone around her foot and up her leg,” she said.
“I tried to have a closer look and Beth started to squeal so we took her straight to PDSA.”
PDSA Senior Vet Lianne O’ Brien said the decision to operate had been a difficult one: “It’s not something we take lightly as it’s high risk to put a small animal like a hamster under anaesthetic, but we realised we had no choice but to amputate.
We were so worried about Beth. It was Codie’s birthday on the same day and she actually postponed her party until the evening as she wanted to make sure her hamster was OK first,Victoria Wilkinson
“We warned Beth’s owners that it would be a risky operation but thankfully everything went well and Beth has gone on to make a full recovery,” she said.
Victoria said she and her daughter Codie, 13, were extremely grateful to PDSA for the treatment Beth received:
“We were so worried about Beth. It was Codie’s birthday on the same day and she actually postponed her party until the evening as she wanted to make sure her hamster was OK first,” she said.
“Codie and Beth have a really close bond and are always together. Codie donated all her pocket money and even asked for an advance to make a contribution to PDSA for the cost of the operation.
“Beth is doing great now and she can do all the things she used to before the accident and still loves going in her wheel, even with just three legs.”
Victoria said the family was still baffled as to how the metal ended up in Beth’s cage: “We’ve got other hamsters and some rabbits, so we often buy hay bales for bedding.
“The wire must have been inside there, that’s the only explanation we have for it.”