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Old 04-10-2011, 10:00 AM  
The Hamster Princess
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Location: Essex, UK
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Default Stages of Cushings Disease with illustrated pics (inc. treatment)

I've noticed quite a few cases of Cushing's pop up recently, one of them being my hamster Snickers. I found that there wasn't much information or many pictures around. To solve this I've taken many pictures of Snickers at different stages of the illness to show you.

I don't think it's scientifically proven but most cases I've seen have been in Sable coloured Syrians.

This is a photo before she began showing any signs of Cushings.

This is in January when I noticed the first signs. Her fur began to lighten on her lower back. However, this is a normal aging process which is why it is hard to diagnose early signs of Cushings. Snickers is aged 16 months in the photo.

One month later in February, her fur began to fall out in small patches and her skin changed to a darker pigment (black).

2 months into the illness, all of the fur on her stomach and legs fell out. She also developed flaky, red skin which caused scabbing to occur. At this point all sharp toys should be removed. You can see her mouth drops open alot, this is due to the muscle wasting which is a side affect of Cushings.

This is her now, 3 months into the illness. She's lost the fur in a line all the way down her back and the hairloss has began in small patches on her face. Her joints are beggining to stiffen a little so she was moved to a one level cage with less toys and more digging material. She also now drinks and pees alot more than usual so her cage needs to be cleaned more regularly.

This is her, 4 months into the illness, in mid-April. She began to get lumps and cuts where her skin was so delicate. She had a large one on her leg (in pic), 2 on her back and 2 on her front legs. They didn't affect her mobility at all and she was still happy. She was loosing fur and body condition rapidly too.

This is her a couple of hours before she was put to sleep in late-April. Her eyes were half closed, she was disorientated and couldn't do her famous meerkat pose, only able to just about lift up her front paws. At this point she had been eating only babyfood for a couple of days as I thought that was better than nothing. She just wasn't herself and looked so ill, she battled Cushings for 4 months which I think was very brave of her.

There is no current cure for Cushings but your hamster can still live a happy life. There are a few treatments you can try:

In some of the pictures, you'll notice her fur looks a little greasy. This is due to the Sudocrem used to soothe her skin. It helps to hydrate the skin and stop dryness. Since using the cream she's only had a few scabs too. I apply it twice a day to all of the dry, hairless areas.
Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream - 125g - Boots

Some people recommend Tea Tree Cream, made for pets. However, I found this had no effect on Snickers.
Johnsons Small Pet Tea Tree Cream 50g | Net Pet Shop
Snickers & Munchkin & Cooper & Maisie & Oscar <3

Last edited by Hope; 05-01-2011 at 04:42 AM.
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