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Old 01-11-2017, 08:29 AM   #1
SoapyVP
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Default Unusual behaviour

Hi, one of my hamsters (Mole) has been behaving unusually and I wondered if anyone has any ideas please?

She's a 12 month old Syrian, always been very active and friendly. Out on the sofa or in her ball every night. One I'd let anyone hold without concern.

She's suddenly become a little smelly (well, sometimes quite smelly actually) and a bit aggressive. She often sits/sleeps outside her house in her cage whereas she would always go inside. She gets very jittery very often if I try to get her out and flies about her cage. Sometimes she comes out fine but just lies on me being stroked and not being the inquisitive little madam she used to be. She does not like to go in her ball any more.

She's been to the vet a couple of times. She's on antibiotics (12 days so far) as we wondered if she might have a UTI but it doesn't seem to have made any difference. The vet (who is great with rodents and has previously removed tumours from an old dwarf hamster of mine) is a bit puzzled too.

I'm now trying to get a urine sample to take back to the vet. If I can't get one I'll take her in and he will drug her, have a proper feel about (he's mentioned a possible stone in her bladder) and get the urine sample at the same time.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? Any ideas welcome please?
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:52 AM   #2
Drago
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Default Re: Unusual behaviour

I haven't heard of this kind of behavior before personally, but I can assume something's probably bothering her. UTIs can be pretty painful so maybe this is an explanation for her aberrant behavior? My older dog had bladder stones and I've heard these can make going to the bathroom painful and uncomfortable, this could also be an explanation for the behavior. Good luck and I hope she feels better soon
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:53 AM   #3
squeakylittlepaws
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Default Re: Unusual behaviour

How long have the symptoms been going on? Are there any other physical symptoms beyond the smell? Much of what you have written is behavioral.

Have a think about any changes in her environment:

have you changed anything?
have you been stroking or handling other animals - snakes, cats, ferrets, rats, dogs etc?
are you burning any candles, using air freshener - anything changed to do with how you, or your home - smell?

Other things to check:
Diabetes - you seem to have urinary issues covered by doing a urine sample (more uncommon in Syrians, but doesn't mean it can't happen)

hormonal changes and/ or issues with her ovaries

I'd also have a good listen to her heart - not saying this is likely because it's not, but making a point of having the vet do a really good listen could throw a surprise result.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:14 AM   #4
CMB
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Default Re: Unusual behaviour

Could it be she is in heat/receptive to mating? they can smell more when in heat and if stroked will freeze (the mating stance)
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:36 PM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: Unusual behaviour

It does sound as though she is unwell & a UTI, bladder stones or (hopefully not) even pyo are all possibilities, UTI's can be a bit stubborn & need a few courses of antibiotics to clear so it may just be that & that she needs more time to get better.
If she's on quite a long course of antibiotics I would give her some probiotics as well.
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:35 AM   #6
SoapyVP
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Default Re: Unusual behaviour

Thanks everyone.

She's been behaving oddly for just a few weeks. No other physical symptoms. I will get vet to look at her heart. I did wonder about pyo but couldn't quite make it all fit, however, I will mention this to the vet on my next visit.

She came out last night and was very lively which was nice. She's lying with her head in one of her shelters and her bum stuck out this morning!

We do burn incense and candles but we always have done and she's not close to them. My other half thought she may have been behaving oddly since we got our last hamster (we always have several though so she's never been the only one). I moved her cage away from the new one in case that was upsetting her. The vet has thought about diabetes.

I don't think she's just in heat. It a stronger smell than any of my hamsters previously and would that suddenly start after 12 months?

Thanks again. I'll keep going.
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