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Old 01-08-2016, 05:06 PM   #1
hamsterica
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Unhappy Sick hammy - Need opinions

Hello

My syrian hamster, Lexi, is coming up to 18 months however has recently been ill. On two occasions she seems to have suffered from a stroke. The first time it happened I found her hunched over in her cage a few nights ago shaking, eyes closed and refusing to take food (Very unlike her). I believed she would pass away that night, but miraculously the next day when I checked on her she was completely fine. Bright eyes, wanting to come out of her cage etc. Last night it happened again though, and once again she was hunched over shaking in one place with her eyes closed. I rushed her to the vet this morning who gave her some antibiotics and anti inflammatories, but said if she was no better tomorrow the best option would be to put her down

I've read online about strokes and she seemed to have meany symptoms described such as closed eyes and being unbalanced etc. Even though it will be horrible having her put down, i definitely will if i believe she is suffering. Yet I've just checked on her and even though she needed some encouragement out of her home she once again seemed completely fine albeit slightly unbalanced. She came out, used the toilet, had a bite to eat (Although, she hasn't eaten any solid food or drank any water that i know of since a few days ago, she is very interested in eating a peach and banana baby food i got for her today as i was worried she would dehydrate and die of not drinking and i also read online baby food is good for older hammies who cannot eat). She also had a large pee at the vets when she looked very unwell, which suggests she was getting moisture from somewhere, likely when i was not watching her.

My problem is this rollercoaster of her getting sick and getting better. Two nights now i have been in tears believing she was going to be dead in the morning, but both times she seems to have recovered well. I don't want to get her put down if she seems okay, but i'm worried about how many more strokes she might have in the future as it is obviously very distressing to her.

I want to get some advice from people here about what to do next. I would put her down if she was obviously suffering, but the recovery she seems to be going through makes me hesitant as it is a last resort for when she starts to suffer. I'm very lost about the entire thing, and would like some opinions on what you would do in this situation. Thank you!
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:09 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

I think if you are hesitant and she is having good days, then go with your instincts and keep her warm and cosy in her familiar environment . If she does have another stroke (she might not) and becomes bad, then think about taking her to the vets again.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:18 PM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

It is difficult to know what to do for the best in situations like this, if she's already had a stroke there is a chance she will continue to have more & may get worse but they can continue to live comfortably for some time after a stroke, or even more than one so I think all you can do is take it one day at a time, monitor her health, abilities & quality of life, if she seems comfortable & is able to eat & drink then she should be able to carry on for a bit longer even though she may not be able to do all the things she used to do.
She won't get all the nutrition she needs from baby food though so as well as feeding that try soaking some hamster food in water & see if you can tempt her to eat that, porridge is good too.
Make sure she can get to her food & water easily, you may need to rearrange her cage a bit, if she won't use a water bottle you could try offering a small bowl in addition to try & encourage her to drink & stay hydrated.
If she really begins to suffer or is in pain I think you'll know in your heart if it's time to help her on her way.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:32 PM   #4
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

Cypher's given great advice. Lexi seems to have coped and adjusted. Try making those adjustments to her cage and provide her with extra substrate and bedding.
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Old 01-09-2016, 02:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

Excellent advice from Cypher and Lizzy about quality of life and cage changes. It'd be a good idea to make sure there is nothing she can fall off - climbing toys and high levels eg, and try and keep most things at ground level. A low shelf should be ok if she is used to having a shelf to go under sometimes.
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

Hi hamsterica. It can be daunting and frustraing when these episodes come and go and we don`t really know the cause. Is it age? Is it drastic fluctuations in cold weather affecting their body clocks? Is it indeed something going on with the internal organs? It can be a multitude of things really. Human stokes as an example may not be the same mechanism that occurs in a small animal like a hamster, but a stroke generally will cause some form of paralysis, be that, not being able to move parts of the body, eat/drink or be able to be aware of anything.

I would say this. You have seen a vet, so that`s always a start, although the vet has done what most vets do and that`s prescribe antibiotics/pain relief without actually knowing or saying what`s actually the cause. You can only administer the medication per the vets instruction and see how she goes. One food that will help with this is Supreme Science Selective hamster biscuits, as well as the baby food. I will post an image for you. The biscuits are a complete food and can be mashed up, broken up or softened in a small amount of water to make them mixable. They smell like dog gravy bones and hamsters like them. I bought a bag for my Russian dwarf and he loves them as part of his dry mix.

No doubt she will be sleepy, perhaps not 100%, but remember too that she won`t be very `ill` unless she stops being able to eat, loses weight and her body starts to feel cold and she can`t regulate a body temperature. She may just give up. But give her the benefit of the doubt. You may see good and not so good days, but go with it and see how she gets on. x
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

Here is the supreme science selective hamster food.
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File Type: jpg science selective.jpg (11.9 KB, 3 views)
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:20 AM   #8
xbuttons94
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

I'm sorry to here that Lexi has been unwell. Strangely enough, my syrian Lexi is having a little trouble too. I think our Lexis' sound very strong though :P

Some good advice has been offered I would keep a close eye on her and make her feel as comfortable as possible. If she does start do go down hill then maybe call the vets and explain it to them and they should be able to get her in quickly. I hope she continues to get better x
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:18 AM   #9
hamsterica
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

Thank you everyone for the advice

Last night whilst in bed, I heard her have a long drink from her water bottle which I think is a good sign! I waited until she was finished and went into the room so she could drink without being disturbed. She came up to the cage door and i opened it and she climbed right out and started exploring the room! I offered her some of her solid hamster food and as usual she greedily grabbed it all and stuffed it into her pouches. On two occasions today I think i have heard her eating the food in her bed, although i can't see it but can hear her crunching something. I checked her 10 minutes ago and offered her a bit more baby food which she gobbled up and then curled up and went straight back to sleep.

Later on I will rearrange her cage as although i have already restricted her to one of the two hamster heavens she has, i think the pink platform is too high and will remove that. If I believe she stops eating again, i will definitely try mashing up her food with water, and possibly purchasing some of the biscuits racinghamster suggested.

Fingers crossed she stays healthy, and i'm going to keep a very close eye on her in the near future to make sure she is happy and able to do 'Hamstery things'. Once again, thank you all for the advice, it's been very helpful!
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sick hammy - Need opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamsterica View Post
Thank you everyone for the advice

Last night whilst in bed, I heard her have a long drink from her water bottle which I think is a good sign! I waited until she was finished and went into the room so she could drink without being disturbed. She came up to the cage door and i opened it and she climbed right out and started exploring the room! I offered her some of her solid hamster food and as usual she greedily grabbed it all and stuffed it into her pouches. On two occasions today I think i have heard her eating the food in her bed, although i can't see it but can hear her crunching something. I checked her 10 minutes ago and offered her a bit more baby food which she gobbled up and then curled up and went straight back to sleep.

Later on I will rearrange her cage as although i have already restricted her to one of the two hamster heavens she has, i think the pink platform is too high and will remove that. If I believe she stops eating again, i will definitely try mashing up her food with water, and possibly purchasing some of the biscuits racinghamster suggested.

Fingers crossed she stays healthy, and i'm going to keep a very close eye on her in the near future to make sure she is happy and able to do 'Hamstery things'. Once again, thank you all for the advice, it's been very helpful!
I'm glad she is doing better! I wish you and her the very best x
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