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Old 05-22-2011, 04:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

You're right, Racing Hamster. It is possible for owners to test the urine. I test all of my Chinese each month for glucose, especially those who will have/have had children to try and eradicate diabetes from my breeding animals (I'll admit to being a teensy bit paranoid I wouldn't put any pet Chinese through regular testing unless they showed symptoms). Apologies if my question wasn't clear but I was wondering why you suggested testing specifically for pH. In a potentially diabetic hamster I check the glucose (sugar) and also the ketones (the link I gave above gives information about how I interpret these two results). Sometimes my vet and I have found looking at protein and blood in the urine useful if kidney problems may be the cause of increased urination rather than diabetes but I don't recall any emphasis on pH

Different brands of urine test strips test different things, e.g. Diastix test only glucose, Ketostix test only ketones, Keto-diastix (the ones Snickers linked to) test ketones and glucose and Multistix test ketones, glucose, pH, protein, blood and others. All of these sticks are used in the same way (although it may take different lengths of time between dipping and reading the strip which is why it's important to read the packet).

I would also agree about not feeding any sugar to a dwarf, and I never have though I still have had diabetics. Diabetes in Chinese hamsters has been shown to be hereditary (there are some interesting research articles into this from the 1960s as Chinese hamsters were used as models for human diabetes) so this plays a part too.
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

Sorry to hijack the thread, but would it be worth me testing Bailey even though he shows no obvious symptoms? As he's from P@H it's a possibility.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

Personally, I didn't test my pet dwarves unless they showed signs of diabetes (especially needing to refill the water bottle more often, or a large wet corner), lost weight with normal teeth or developed bulgy eyes. Although it's not unpleasant, I didn't feel that it was worth putting them through it if they were well. I just avoided sugary/sweet foods as I do for my breeding/showing hamsters. I recently lost my last pet dwarf - a P@H Chinese who had been well for all of his 3 years and 10 months!

Regularly testing my breeding/showing hamsters isn't evidence-based but is the only other thing I could think of (as well as, of course, not feeding sugary things and not breeding from diabetic hamsters or their relatives) to try and stop diabetes in my lines. Even with regular testing I have been caught out by a male who was negative before mating but tested positive at the next screening when his pups were 3 weeks old
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

Thanks very much for explaining that vectis. I was`nt aware that there were different testing strips for different things.

It`s certainly something I will keep in mind if I ever rehome a little Chinese in the future. Sorry folks if I mis-interperated this.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

thanks for that information Vectis! really helpfull. i was talking to Twinkle today and she came out for me...i am finding i have to clean her cage more often now..there seems to be pee everywhere! i did notice that she had cataracts coming on in one eye ive read this is diabetes related, is this true? she used to go all night on her wheel but will barely touch it now...i will test her asap..also water bottles are working fine! i have given her cumcumber tonight to help with dehydration. thinking of taking her to the vets this week if she doesnt perk up...bought her some alfalfa, linseed and porridge are these good?

me and my partner were out to dinner tonight but i wanted to come home early to check on her...so worried she will be in pain and i wont be there. x
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:39 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

Poor little Twinkle. I think you're right about taking her to the vet this week if she doesn't perk up. If you're worried she might be in pain then don't wait to get test strips. You can always take a wee sample with you for the vet to dip. Vets don't always have much experience with diabetic hamsters so you may want to take some information with you.

The cucumber sounds a good idea, as do the other things you have got her. I checked in Hamsterlopaedia and cataracts can be diabetes related.
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

Hi littleteacup.

I just wanted to add that with diabetes, even though it's great you've cut out the sugars, that you need to maybe watch that she is not recieving too many carbs (such as the porridge, maize etc) as these turn into sugar also after she has eaten them.

Does the pee smell kinda pleasant and sweet? The vet can give you something to put in their water to hydrate them better so they don't have to drink as much I believe.

I believe cataracts could be kidney related too though? I would take her to the vet just incase it is an infection.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:10 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

hello Laura!
thanks for that didnt even think of it! i will cut out the maze but give her a little porridge she loves it! she is on burgess supahamster dwarf mix it has alot of seeds! would she be better on less mix and more fresh vegatables!? also im giving her vitacraft alfalfa biccies are theese good?

she has perked up recently and is zooming around like she used to but not for as long...but i guess thats a sign of old age!

i also treated her to a ferplast tunnel...she likes hiding in that and a burrow box stuffed full or carefresh she kept me up last night srtcging in it!

anyway my vet confirmed she was diabetic....but didnt mention any water thing or medication...just said she was old and to stop giving her sugars. should i get a second opinion?
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:10 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: I think my chinese Twinkle-toes has diabetes :(

I'm sorry to hear the vet confirmed it. The link I posted earlier has information about diet changes. Alfalfa is good, and the burgess mix looked good as it doesn't have any extra sugar/dried fruit. You can remove the sweetcorn and maize, and see how her symptoms are with diet changes alone.
If she doesn't improve medication can be used. I use glipizide if they are still symptomatic on diet alone, and have used it in 3 month to 20 month olds. The rehydration mixture for the water is used if the hamster has ketones as well as sugar in the urine, as they will be losing lots of salts. Did the dipstick show just sugar or ketones too? Many rehydration mixes contain sugar as well as the salts so need to be used carefully.
I hope she feels better on her new diet.
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