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Man barely survives hamster attack

Severe allergic reaction ends in hospital

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A Worcestershire man may well have saved his own life after suffering a "severe allergic reaction" to a hamster bite - by self-administering anti-allergy drugs before paramedics arrived.

The unnamed 50-year-old was "trying to retrieve his pet from under the floorboards of his home near Evesham" after his daughter accidentally let the beast escape its cage on Monday night, the BBC reports. The little blighter duly bit him, and by the time medics reached the scene the man was suffering "severe breathing difficulties and was in a semi-conscious state".

The crew quickly administered more drugs and whisked the patient to Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

An ambulance service spokesman warned: "If you have been identified as someone who can have severe reactions it is vital that you and your family know what to do. The man's actions in administering drugs to himself may well have played an important part in his recovery."

The victim in this case really did have a narrow escape. Back in 2004, a Japanese man died "after a bite from his pet hamster caused anaphylactic shock". An autopsy later showed he'd succumbed to an acute reaction to protein contained in the animal's saliva. ®

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