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Old 08-13-2008, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sore Nose - *Update*

Hi guys,

Our little dwarf hamster Autumn appears to have quite a sore nose.

I noticed it earlier and put her in our playpen to have a closer look at her. On closer inspection her nose looks quite red and swollen, (especially the top portion) but there is no blood. I checked her bedding for any signs of blood as well but there wasn't any.

To my eyes, her nose just looked swollen but I couldn't be 100% sure there was no puss underneath. It didn't look that way as it looked pink rather than yellow but I couldn't be 100% sure.

Behaviour wise, she seemed normal while I was playing with her. She was quite happy to run around trying to escape from the pen and was very friendly with me as she usually is.

The only difference was that she seemed to be scratching her nose and grooming alot more than usual, so the area is obviously itchy.

Now it looks quite sore but when I touched it myself while she was in my hands she wasn't bothered at all and didn't wriggle or squeak etc.

I have checked the cage to make sure there isn't anything she could have caught her nose on and I can't see anything. The only thing I can think of is her play stix from p@h which she sleeps under as they are little bit rough on the edges (see link, mine is small version) I don't personally think they could have done anything like that though...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MED-FIDDLE-STIX-R ... dZViewItem

Anyone have any thoughts - should I be contacting my local vet about this or should I keep a close eye on it for the next few days or so?

We haven't been to the vets with a hammy before so I really don't know how it works, what it costs etc

Anthony
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sore Nose

There are several things that could cause this Anthony and something that springs to mind at this time of year is an insect bite or sting. Hamsters can react as we do to these. A cold could cause swollen nose but they are usually quite unwell and lethargic with this. There could be some sort of eye or tooth problem - blocked tear duct, eye infection, teeth misaligned or having an abcess or broken can irritate the top of the palate. A pierced pouch or a pouch abcess could also be a cause as can a tumour. There are lots of things to consider and I would take her to see the vet soon as she is obviously uncomforable. Try phoning to find out if anyone has special small animal experience. If not make some of these suggestions. She may be given an anti-inflammatory, antibiotics or some eye drops depending on the diagnosis. Vets vary in what they charge. Ours are very reasonable and charge only 9 for a consultation. We recently had some antibiotics 4 and eye cream 3. An op to remove a lump was quoted at 35. I know others charge a lot more so it is worth calling around. I hope she gets well soon.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sore Nose

Thanks for the advice.

To be honest I didn't realise it could be such a wide range of things that could be causing it.

I assumed she had just caught it on something in the cage and my main worry was it getting infected but I think the best approach is taking her to the vet tomorrow and getting a professional opinion as you say.

To be honest we have been concerned about 'Autumn's' health from the word go as her sister 'Summer' died from what appeared to be a tumour on the back of her head after only 2 weeks of having her - we then realised that our hammies had probably been hybrids.

I am going to phone up the local vets in the area to get a feel for which one will be best to use from an economic and a quality of care perspective.

There is a very local vet which specifically mentions hamsters on their sign outside the window which is probably a good place to start.

Will let you know how she gets on.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sore Nose

I've booked Autumn in to see the local vet this afternoon. The lady on the phone said a basic consultation was 11 pounds which I thought was quite reasonable.

Hope she behaves herself, i've never taken a pet to a vet before!
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sore Nose

I took Autumn to the vet earlier and it went ok.

He gave her a steroid injection to take away the soreness so she would stop scratching it. He wants her to go back on Monday to see if the swelling goes down.

If it doesn't settle then he said a course of antibioitcs might be an option or another steroid injection.

He was reassured by how healthy she looked and while he didn't rule out an aggressive tumour he said that the soreness didn't look 'erosive' enough for that to be the case.

She behaved really well and didn't bite the vet, which I was very impressed with considered he had a firm grip of her scruff and injected her with a needle!

Anthony
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sore Nose

Glad to hear Autumn did you proud at the vets. Here's hoping the steroid will take the swelling down and sort out her nose. Get well soon Autumn.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sore Nose

Heres an update on Autumn...

After taking her to the Vets again on the Monday the swelling went down completely.

It came back after at the end of last week though and got progressively worse through monday and it looks really sore again today.

I took him in to the vets again this afternoon and she was given a longer acting steroid injection to take away the swelling but myself and the vet both agreed that we needed to try and find the cause of the problem.

He said the swelling could be symptomatic of another problem but given that she is a healthy, active hamster he considered environmental factors to be a potential cause.

Anyway we decided that it could be a sensitively to the disinfectant we use, or the wood shavings that she has in her cage among other things.

So we are going to stop using the disinfectant for a few weeks (she is a very clean hamster anyway) and consider changing her bedding...what alternate bedding sources are there to think about using?

Anthony
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sore Nose - *Update*

What are you using at the moment?

You could try carefresh - or just tones of plain white loo roll to see if it helps clear up the problem.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sore Nose - *Update*

Hi T-Bone! I am glad to see Autumn had only an allergy. This is quite a common affection among hamsters, unfortunately.

The symptoms are : sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, irritated stomach, wheezing, red feet, hair loss, skin irritation, persistent and frequent itching or dry skin.

Hamsters might develop allergies to food, bedding products or some household items.
Bedding allergies are very common and due to the hamster's respiratory sensibility. I would be sneezing and have runny nose if I was kept in a cage full of dust (I imagine you would feel the same ). Replace it with tissue or toilet paper and see what happens.

PS: When you buy the supplies for your hamster, make sure you avoid cedar and pine shavings. Some studies show that they have a great impact both in hamsters allergies and respiratory diseases. Great alternatives to cedar and pine shavings are wood pulp fiber, aspen, eco-straw pellets, recycled newspapers and much more.
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