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Old 03-04-2005, 07:56 PM   #1
babyboos
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Default Is your hamster diabetic?

Is your dwarf hamster diabetic?



A diabetic dwarf will have all or some of the following symptoms:



1. Increased thirst, drinking excessively

2. Peeing excessively, strong smelly urine with either a sweetish smell or a acetone (nail polish remover smell).

3. Sudden weight loss or weight gain

4. Tiredness (sleeping more than usual) or excessive exercise or a combination of both at the extremes

5. Irritability (only in some), unusual biting when the hamster did not bite before

6. Increased hunger



If you suspect your hamster has diabetes you can join the HoneyHams Diabetic Hamsters Yahoo Group where we can share what we know, what we fear and how we can help.



To test your little one:



1. Purchase Keto-Diastix (tests for ketones and blood glucose)

2. Dip the test strip into fresh urine

3. Wait for results

4. Compare results to chart on Keto-Diastix package

5. Read package insert for more information to prevent false readings



The following is a short guideline on how to treat diabetic hamsters, if you want more details please go to the HoneyHams website:



HIGH KETONES, HIGH GLUCOSE

Treat with a hypoglycemic such as fenugreek seeds/powder--up to 400 mg or 25 seeds is safe. Use 50/50 Pedialyte/Water solution in water bottle. High protein, high fibre, low fat diet.



HIGH KETONES, LOW OR NO GLUCOSE

Treat with 50/50 Pedialyte/Water solution and high protein, high fibre, low fat diet.



NO KETONES, HIGH GLUCOSE

Treat with only hypoglycemics, plain water (no Pedialyte), and absolutely NO SUGAR (dextrose, maltose, corn etc.). High protein, low fat, high fibre diet. Hypoglycemics include fenugreek (easiest to obtain), glipizide (drug, needs prescription), buckwheat (comes in pasta, whole or flour form, doesn't work as well as the other hypoglycemics), and spirulina (although this doesn't work as well as the other hypoglycemics and is very expensive).



Good protein sources for hams:

1. Tofu (firm or medium firm is best)

2. Roasted soybeans, unsalted

3. Chicken baby food (with broth, not seasoned)

4. Spirulina and/or seaweed called NORI (roasted laver, no added salt or salt removed)

5. Boiled chicken breast or turkey

6. Egg whites with tiny bit of cooked egg yolk, boiled, scrambled, fried in small amount of olive oil

7. Flaxseeds/Linseeds

8. Low fat cheeses (not processed)

9. Low fat, plain natural bio yogurt

10. Tuna in spring water, drained (not all hamsters like this)



Good veggies for diabetic hams:

Cucumbers, bok choy, romaine lettuce, brocolli, cauliflower, celery, kale, bitter melon, chinese brocolli, red peppers, green peppers, beans (except red kidney), legumes, regular mushrooms 1/4 teaspoon, every other day



Other foods:

Wheatgerm, Weetabix cereal, any no-added sugar cereal, nutritional yeast. wholegrains, multi-grain bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, buckwheat pasta



In moderation:

Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts



Avoid:

Raisins, corn, all sugars, even natural or fruit based (maltose, dextrose, fructose etc.), and therefore also fruit of any kind. Plus all the usual things we should not give our little ones such as onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, white rice, white bread etc.



This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have a questionable food post it to the HoneyHams group and someone will answer it, or post it here and I will do my best to help



Remember, just because your hamster has diabetes it doesn't mean it is a death sentence. Your ham can have normal readings and be exactly like a normal hamster - some diabetics have lived to 3 years Always think positive :P





Compiled with courtesy of HoneyHams - thank you
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Old 03-07-2005, 05:08 PM   #2
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Default Pedialyte

Just to add that I *think* Pedialyte might be a US-only brand, I might be wrong on that though. An equivalent available from your vet in the UK would be Lectade.
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:38 AM   #3
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Default Electrolyte solution

Quite possibly Emma Homemade electrolyte solution to prevent dehydration. Pedialyte contains dextrose (a sugar) and not really suitable for Type 1 therefore you may wish to make your own: The ingredients are: 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon low sodium salt, and 1/8 teaspoon regular salt added to 1 litre filtered water.



Vitamin E is essential for diabetics to prevent complications like diabetic neuropathy and cataracts.



Glipizide only works for Type 2 diabetes and may cause liver damage in a Type 1 diabetic hamster.



Oh and a tip to save some money is to cut your Diastix in half lengthways
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:09 PM   #4
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Default

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn4413
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is your hamster diabetic?

Oh no... now i'm worried.... -bites nails- But I don't know. It's hard to tell by his weight since he's still kinda growing I think and his schedule is pretty normal, and he doesn't drink much water.... is there another reason for urine smelling that way???
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is your hamster diabetic?

im worried now also Goliath...Pumba has been drinking quite alot these days, has been for about a month and i thought nothing of it, but in the past week or more his urine has gotten really smelly, a real strong smelling smell (almost stinks the room) i clean out the soiled parts of the cage every 2 days (which is his toilet and his bed/penthouse where he sleeps) also he does alot of sleeping, i don't seem him until about 12 o clock at night and he only really comes out to eat and bring food back to his den, (i'm not sure if he be's up in the late hours or not).

does this sound like he is diabetic?
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is your hamster diabetic?

Goliath- My WW Oscar has urine that smells very sweet (almost like popcorn) which a few members have agreed with me about. You should only be worried if he has increased thirst and urine production. If this happens you can often pick up a single Diabetes Test Stick from your vet.

Marica- Diabetes is very rare in Syrians (so I've heard) and smelly urine is common. If you spot clean daily it should keep the smell to a minimum.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is your hamster diabetic?

yea i looked that up there and saw that, hopefully it's just him being smelly :P
i clean out his pee bits every 2 days (and fully cage clean every week)
i only got the hamster heaven a few weeks ago and hav smelt it more since then, maybe it's because he is in a cage where there is more ventilation and im not used as much to smelling it because he was in a rotastak cage (unfortunately) before this. if you know what i mean? like the smell gets out more? lol thanks
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Is your hamster diabetic?

I'm really worried for one of my hamhams after reading this. I think I have winter white hybrids of some sort, after reading some identifying threads here. Dora and Leela are not necessarily sisters, I was told in a pet shop where I got them. Leela was a bit smaller than Dora when I brought them home. At about 2.5 months of age, Leela has now gotten plumper than Dora noticeably. She doesn't look "fat", just overall fluffier and bigger than Dora. Dora runs around on her wheel like crazy and doesn't seem to eat excessively. Leela is more irritable, eats more, takes sitting breaks more. I'm really worried now she might have diabetes... I don't notice any hamster smell if I don't stick my nose directly into the cage. How can I test her urine with a strip if I'm still not sure where she pees? (And I haven't found anything "wet" yet that I'd press it against).
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Is your hamster diabetic?

Diabetes is mainly to do with increased thirst and urine production. You do not mention either of these in your post?

Weight gain is fine and Winter Whites are often round and chubby.
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