Grumpy hamster Stalin saved his owner’s life when a bite revealed she had a potentially fatal condition.
Andrea Laing, 43, was cleaning his cage when the Russian rodent sunk his teeth into her thumb.
And when Andrea’s digit swelled up she sought medical help.
Doctors eventually diagnosed a rare condition which means she is at risk of deadly blood clots.
Andrea said: “I’m really grateful my hamster bit me. If he hadn’t, I might not have ever known I have a dangerous blood disorder. He’s cute, but dangerous.
“He used to sit in the palm of my hand a lot. Now I’ll have to keep my distance.”
The mum of one bought Stalin in December last year. She was not worried when he bit her four weeks ago until the finger began to swell up . She was then given antibiotics when white pus began to ooze from the wound.
Andrea said: “I thought that would be the end of it.” But a week later she noticed bruising all over her arms and began to wonder if they were linked to the bite.
She was rushed to hospital near home in Bromsgrove, Worcs, and had tests which revealed she has dangerously high levels of clotting proteins in her bloodstream.
Andrea has now renamed her pet Dr Stalin and handles him with gloves on.
But she said: “I feel lucky – he’s opened my eyes to a new chapter of my life I’m going to have to live with.”
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