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Old 02-17-2017, 02:56 AM   #1
nicki
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Default Humphrey - How long to give him?

Hi everyone,
Our fantastic Syrian Humphrey is 2 years and 4 months.

Thanks to the suggestions from this forum, he has done really well on a soft food diet and with lots of special care since last July when he clearly had pain in his teeth and lost weight and fur due to mites/weakened immune system - putting back on weight, regaining all his fur and wheeling for months.

In the last few days, his appetite has reduced but he is still spoon feeding baby food or softened science selective.

However, this morning he is very shaky and disorientated but still mobile. He is trying to do things but seems completely exhausted. He has taken a little food but is now sleeping at the bottom of his home/not in his normal bed in the Fitch bedding but continues to shake. I appreciate this could indicate pain, exhaustion or something neurological.

I know it is hard to give advice but I really don't want him to suffer and its knowing how long to give him?

Thanks
Nicki x
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

Try to keep him warm and comfortable. He is an old age hamster so it likely to be his age. Monitor him, without too much interference.

It could be time for him to go to the rainbow bridge/die, so be prepared to consider euthanasia by a vet. You know him best so are the best judge on if/when euthanasia would be the best for him.

The decision is hard, but made out of love and not wanting them to suffer.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:10 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

I know exactly how you feel xxx Just been in a similar situation. If he has taken some food he has not quite given up eating. If he's moved the location of his bed it could be because he has chosen his place to die and he may be about to make his journey.

This is what our Syrian did latterly. The day he moved out of his nest he refused food and I knew he was preparing to go. But he didn't go. He kept hanging on and I was worried he was suffering too, and took him to the vets in the end to be helped on his way.

How long you wait is something you need to feel your way through I think. I got ours out of the cage in the end and had him cuddled up in his blanket and he seemed peacefully sleeping (unconscious I think) but still didn't go. He may have if I had waited longer I don't know, but it was the week-end and I didn't want to wait another whole day and find he desperately needed help on a Sunday when the vets were closed.

Edit - just seen CMB's post - yes better to leave him where he is and keep him warm.

He sounds a bit like ours in that - they just try and keep going as long as possible.

I rang a vet in preparation - in case I needed to go. It's a hard one to say. I was torn between not wanting to put him through a trip to the vets in his condition and not wanting him to suffer any longer.

It does sound like it is his time. It is still early morning. Maybe keep him warm and talk to him and tell him it's ok to go and you love him and see how he is in a couple of hours xxx Vets usually have short notice/evening/Saturday appointments for things like helping them on their way, if it came to that. It would be better if he could go in his own home but see how he is in a couple of hours.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

Thanks,
That is what I was thinking. It is just nice to have reassurance! He is a wonderful little chap and is still trying follow his normal patterns but is clearly exhausted.

He has made his way back to his bed but needed a bit of help.

He is shaky but sleeping at the edge of his bed with his face out which makes me think his breathing is not great.

I will monitor him closely and see what he is like in a few hours.

Nicki x
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Old Yesterday, 09:50 PM   #5
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

All you can do is ensure Humphrey is warm & comfy. You may need to adjust the cage a bit to ensure he can get around. Put extra substrate & bedding in.
He's a grand age, be sure to spoil him with some special treats.
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Old Today, 02:20 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

How did things go Nikki? It did sound like he was very near his time. Charlie latterly was sleeping after breathing difficulties and then seemed peacefully unconscious but rapid breathing. It's hard when these things happen at a week-end particularly I found as it can force decisions. xxx It was when Charlie had some other symptoms (a bit of a prolapse) I thought he could be in pain and took him to the vets. If he seems to be sleeping peacefully though it can be best to leave them to go in their own way. I was told by others that they will give some kind of sign if they need help, so go with that maybe. Hope you are ok xxx
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Old Today, 01:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

Thanks both for checking on me,
Humphrey is still with us.

We have made him as comfortable as possible and is back in his own bed which we have moved for him.

Just as you have said Serendipity, he is mostly sleeping with some rapid breathing.

He has not moved from his bed much and is weak and sleepy but is feeding well from a spoon and has had baby food, soft science selective and cucumber.

I am struggling to judge whether he is in pain or relatively peaceful and am finding it quite difficult to deal with as I would hate to think he is suffering.

It really is hard to know which would be more traumatic for him at the moment - to take him to the vet or monitor him but I don't want to leave it too late.

He has been an absolute joy so it is tough to watch!

Thanks for your help,
Nicki x
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Old Today, 01:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

Have you been able to check him underneath nicki because it they can't clean themselves or move much they tend to get in a mess underneath and can get very sore. I'd try and check on that if you haven't seen him toileting.
At this stage if he isn't I would take him in. It is very hard to do but you have to know in your heart and let him go peacefully. He has trusted you now with the choice. I hope his path is gentle.
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Old Today, 01:50 PM   #9
nicki
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

Hi Souffle,

He has been throwing his droppings out but obviously may be wet! He has not moved much today but did come out to collect some Fitch for his bed last night.

I think I will take him in tomorrow morning if there is no evidence of movement. I know the right time is very close.

I am reluctant to check him underneath because I think this will cause too much stress at the moment in the position he is in.

Thanks,
Nicki
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Old Today, 02:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Humphrey - How long to give him?

If he comes out to get some Fitch then it sounds like he is still looking after himself. And throwing out his droppings is a sign he is still keeping clean. Maybe next time he comes out you can gently lift him up and see if he looks clean, or maybe you can just see when he comes out.

I also found it difficult when our Hammy was feeding well with assistance. It was when he refused food and water I thought it was time and after that he was unconscious. I still hoped he would pass but he didn't.

Does he use a potty? Ours still used his potty until the last couple of days. If you think he seems comfortable and is enjoying food then maybe just keep an eye on him. I was told you would have a sign when it was time to help them on their way, if they needed it.
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