Rocket looking very cute

The magpie and Rocket

I recently got a large bird-feeding house with a high capacity because I was having to refill the tube feeders so frequently I thought this would last longer. However a magpie with a discerning palate has discovered he can flick through the seed picking out the bits he likes. He empties it in less than an hour. Here he is at work.

Rocket our hamster has been through another rough patch. Last week I noticed he had an eye infection and a large lump appeared on the side of his face near the infected eye. He also seemed poorly. I took him to the vet. A different vet unfortunately as the one who previously treated him was a locum and no longer there. Unfortunately this new vet was not very helpful. He diagnosed the lump as a tumour and said there was nothing he could do for him but he did provide some eye drops for his eye.

The next day, as I was applying eye drops to his eye, pus starting coming out of the “tumour”. The tumour was actually just an abscess. I wasn’t sure what to do at that point because now there was a big hole in the side of his face where the abscess had burst. I decided to try a different vet and this time I got someone with experience treating hamsters. This woman took one look in his mouth and saw his top front teeth were too long and curled back. We think they might have been cutting into the roof of his mouth. She clipped his teeth right there. It was so quick and no anaesthesia was required. I was so impressed. Rocket also didn’t seem to mind. She then cleaned up the abscess but unfortunately discovered two more that I hadn’t noticed. She prescribed antibiotics again and left the other two untouched to see what would happen over the next few days.

Rocket is looking much better. His eye is all crusty due to the burst abscess which is right next to it but it’s dry and looking better each day. He’s been on his wheel, is eating and generally seems like he has renewed strength and vigour. I’m still not sure if clipping his teeth has fixed the issue. I guess we won’t know until the antibiotics have finished.

Here’s a photo of his good side. Since the teeth trouble started we’ve been giving him soft foods and he really loves silken tofu and coconut yoghurt.

Rocket looking very cutely at the camera and showing his good eye.

The other side of his face isn’t pretty, especially since he’s also only got half an ear on that side due to an old injury from before he was rescued by the SPCA.

Rocket eating some pear. You can see if left eye is crusted over and he's only got half an ear.

Rocket is a tough dude. If he was a human he’d have tattoos up and down each arm, an eye patch, a scar above his lip, and he’d be wearing a black biker jacket.

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