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Old 02-13-2020, 04:40 PM   #1
Vierville
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Exclamation Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

Monty is a Russian Dwarf Hybrid female of around 20 months old.

We've had her for 17 months and she's always weighed around 58 grams on every vet visit she's had as an adult and she has always been 'well padded'.

Recently I noticed that she has been feeling skinnier and her bones are now very easy to feel when I stroke her. She has also seemingly stopped eating her dry food as her food bowl seems to remain untouched. She still eats her daily fresh veggies and seeds and baby food.

I started weighing her two weeks ago when I first noticed how bony she felt and she weighed 58 grams. Subsequently I've weighed her four times and each time she is down 1 gram. She now weighs 54 grams.

I decided to check her teeth and using an earbud I managed to open her mouth and examined her teeth but her teeth seem fine, not broken or overgrown which I believe are causes for a hamster to stop eating hard food. One thing I did notice is that her breath smells quite bad and I also noticed that she had a smelly white cottage cheese-like substance in her mouth but before I could get it out to examine it she had swallowed it.

I've dealt a lot with my other dwarf hamster Nanuk's mouth as he has been on medication twice a day for six months which I administer orally with a syringe so I know how their breath should be and I've never seen white cottage cheese- like stuff in his mouth...

Should I take her to the vet for this? Could the smell in her mouth and the white stuff be linked to her weight loss?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:08 PM   #2
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

Just guessing but maybe it could be an infection/abcess if it is smelling? Maybe a visit to the vets is in order, could be areason for her weight loss if painful to eat
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:49 AM   #3
Littlephodopusmom
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Default Re: Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

I'm sorry to hear about little Monty, my guess would be an abscess also. How is she doing today?
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:58 PM   #4
Vierville
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Default Re: Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

Thank you LunaTheHamster1 and Littlephodopusmom, I really appreciate your replies.

I took Monty to the vet today and the vet gave her a thorough check including teeth and mouth and discovered that Monty has a bacterial infection in her left cheek pouch.

The vet swabbed both Monty's pouches with a q-tip and while the right side pouch was quite full of food and completely odourless, the left pouch was almost empty and had a really bad smell.

The vet cleaned the pouch out and has put Monty on antibiotics.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:18 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

Glad you know what's wrong with Monty and that it can be treated. Do you know what can cause an infection in a pouch?
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:41 AM   #6
Vierville
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Default Re: Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

The vet said that a bit of food getting stuck in a pouch and going bad is the most likely cause. The bacteria then collects and an infection of the pouch results.

I've heard this from two vets now that basically if a hamster's breath smells bad there is something wrong.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:55 AM   #7
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

Aww so glad you managed to get it sorted out. I just thought there must be something up, as I have never noticed my hamsters breath smell, but when they have had an infection down at the other end it stinks.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:26 AM   #8
Vierville
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Default Re: Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaTheHamster1 View Post
Aww so glad you managed to get it sorted out. I just thought there must be something up, as I have never noticed my hamsters breath smell, but when they have had an infection down at the other end it stinks.
I'm also glad too. I'm really glad that the vet found out what was wrong and she's on the road to recovery now.

You were absolutely right, odour from the mouth does signal something being not right. When my winter white Nanuk had a mouth abscess he also had bad breath which the vet pointed out while diagnosing him. I had never smelled it but when he swabbed Nanuk's mouth it was very evident.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:28 AM   #9
Littlephodopusmom
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Default Re: Help please-hamster losing weight, bad breath

I am so glad to hear she got a diagnosis and antibiotics. Wishing a speedy recovery for her! She is lucky to have such a caring parent
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