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Old 10-28-2017, 02:28 AM   #1
Sazzle
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Default Old little man symptoms - advice needed

Hello.
Itís been a while since I posted on here. Hope you & your hams are all keeping well.

I was hoping to call on the advice of the more experienced hamster owners on here if possible. My little boy is now 2 yrs and 3 months old, and in the last two weeks his behaviour has changed a lot. It first started when he stopped wanting to come out, and I noticed he was breathing really quickly. I fed him some bread dipped in milk which he ate and then he seemed to pick up again.

He has been hit and miss with wanting to come out - he last came out 2 nights ago. Last night however, he didnít want to get up so I put him his usual food, a few treats and a bit of cucumber and went to bed. This morning he obviously hasnít been up as the bits are still there. Up until yesterday he was still drinking and eating okay so Iím more worried today.

Heís popped his head out and then got up to rearrange his bed, but he still seems to be breathing hard and looks like heís shaking. Iíve also noticed heís had hiccups a few times in the last couple of weeks after eating and drinking.

I guess what Iím asking is, are these symptoms of him just getting old? He hasnít lost weight and when open his eyes look clear. Itís just the inactivity, and shaking I was concerned about. I donít want him to be suffering.

He does seem to still be like this one day, then perky the next! Itís odd. I just want to do all I can for him.

Thank you in advance. I know thereís a lot of really experienced owners on here.
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Old 10-28-2017, 03:29 AM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

Hello. Two years and 3 months is very very old for a hammy and it does sound like he is in his twilight time and may be near the end. All you can do is keep him comfortable.

You could move his food bowl and water bottle near his house so he can reach them easily. Put his normal hamster mix out plus some softened hamster mix in a separate dish and maybe a bit of baby food as well. Plus a bit of cucumber - in case he can't drink easily.

I used to use the lids off the baby food for the soft "extras". So he had his food bowl with hamster mix and two little baby food lids - one with a bit of science selective, soaked in a tiny bit of boiling water (then cooled), but normal hamster mix soaked is ok too. And one with a bit of baby food in. The chicken and pumpkin one (4 months) was popular and doesn't have any unsuitable ingredients in.

Put them as close to his house as you can. He is obviously very tired and struggling a bit so resting some days. But all the while he is trying to get up and do hamstery things, he is wanting to carry on by the sound of it.

Just keep an eye on things. Our Syrian was like this near the end, but eventually he couldn't get up or eat and just didn't go so I ended up having to take him to the vets which I really didn't want to do, but he was suffering by then.

It sounds like your little boy is just near his time maybe but not quite ready. All the while he takes food just keep him comfy xxx
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Old 10-28-2017, 04:03 AM   #3
Sazzle
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

Thank you ever so much for your advice. Iíve moved things so that theyíre right next to him and Iíve put him som cucumber and some softened food. He doesnít seem too keen at the moment though. He just keeps rearranging his bed like heís trying to get comfy.

Iím going to try and leave him in peace to sleep for a bit, then see what heís like later on. I know heís old, and heís done really well, but itís just so sad to see him like this.

Thank you again. X
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Old 10-28-2017, 04:27 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

I know it's very sad. It is nature taking its course. I am sure he will appreciate having tasty titbits within easy reach. If he stops eating and drinking altogether, or seems to be suffering you may need to think about taking him to the vets, but it sounds like he is just slowing down right now and needs a bit of assistance to manage.
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Old 10-28-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
Sazzle
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

Thank you again.

I’m pleased to say that, having watched him all day, he’s got up a couple of times to drink from his water bottle - which is near his bed, and tonight he even got up for a little walk around and took some food back with him. He really didn’t want to come out though and scurried back to bed really quickly.

It’s progress though. I know what you mean about the vet. I don’t think he’s in pain though and while he’s still eating and drinking and I can make adaptations to his situation, I’ll try to keep him going a little longer. I’ve been having a good chat with him today. Silly I know but he seemed to respond a little to my voice. I will keep a close eye on him to see if he gets any worse.
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

He’s quite a lot better today! Been up quite a bit and is chewing on his hanging stick. I took the opportunity to clean him out and I’m really chuffed to see that he’s eating and drinking again.

There’s life in the old ham yet! Thanks for your help. I’ll keep you posted.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

Excellent. I think it goes like that - ups and downs. He may have good days and not so good days. He's probably happy his food and water are easier to get to
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:12 PM   #8
Coco61
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

Been reading this Sazzle as I lost my lovely man in September at the age of 2 years 6 months. I did much the same as Serendipity. I slowly made changes, not too much at a time to make things easier. Water and food nearby but he still loved a hanging chew. Later on I laid it down so it was easier for him to chew on. Extra torn up strips of toilet paper and he took those in almost to the end. He came out less and less but he was happy sleeping and doing his necessary hamstery things. Just keep an eye on him as you are to watch for changes that are needed.
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:27 PM   #9
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

So agree with Serendipity & Coco. I lost my little Prince Charming Archie at the age of 2 years & 3 months and it was so hard seeing him slow down. I too made gradual changes and moved his food and water nearer. He loved the extra substrate and toilet tissue and the ramps.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:51 AM   #10
Sazzle
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Default Re: Old little man symptoms - advice needed

Thank you so much for your replies.
I’ve just got back from work and looked in on him and he’s had a little shuffle. He’s definitely loving the extra toilet paper bedding and has crafted a huge nest! I will see if he gets up later for his evening bits and pieces. I’ll keep an eye on things daily though as I don’t want him to be suffering at all.
Thank you for sharing your stories about your senior hams. It’s so sad when we lose them but lovely to see such caring owners.
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