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Old 11-18-2009, 05:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
dee
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Default HELP HAMSTERS KEEP DYING

I bought my two daughters their first hamsters in jan this year from a local pet shop took them to the vet for a check up everything was ok a week later the first hamster died then the other hamster died we only had them less than two weeks . the vet assured me that we had done nothing wrong as my daughters are 11 and 14 and not youngsters their cages were immaculate they were handled properly (i had hamsters as a child myself) so went to my local pets at home bought what i thought was two females turned out that we had a boy and girl but this wasn't a issue as they were in separate cages 3 months later i had to rush the female to the local vet we had her on antibiotics but a week later she died she was about 4months old . the other hamster the male we still have but he started to go downhill so we adopted another hamster from pets at home she was fine but kept escaping her cage !! two weeks ago she got a tumor i rushed to the vets twice spent another 50 on vet costs but sadly she past away last friday ( i have spent over 100 trying to keep the hamster alive on vet costs) . my male hamster is lethargic not eating or drinking he gets up in the night takes a couple of spins in his wheel gets out and listens for the other hamster to hear her chewing on the bars of her cage SHOULD I GET ANOTHER HAMSTER ??? to save this one or will he be ok without one i really need some advise as it's my 14 year that's lost 3 hamsters in 10 months just to sheer bad luck the cages they are in(they each have the same setup) is the rotastack pod with the pink dreamland but the tubes connect to the pod not the carry case so they have plenty of room we also put the food and water in the pod and they sleep in the bed on top of the dreamland cage. we are so upset as hamsters are meant to live longer than 6 months please help me i'm really do need some advise ...
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP HAMSTERS KEEP DYING

Hi Dee and welcome.
I'm sorry to hear you are having such bad luck.
Firstly are the hamsters Syrians?
It does seem as if the original hamsters contracted or were born with some sort of illness. Hamsters can suffer from sudden death and this is often seen in some lines and you may have been unlucky. Females of any age can get a pyometra or womb infection which is a big killer with females as it cannot be cured. It sometimes has a remission with antibiotics but without spaying the hamster which is risky in itself it always returns. I would say this is probably what happened with your female. Unfortunatly pets@home hamsters have been seen to suffer frequent health problems due to the conditions they are born and raised under before they come to the stores. Tumours developing young in these animals are seen frequently and you did your best for her.
Should you get another hamster? Your male does not need company. They are solitaty animals and should live alone. If he is a dwarf at this age he is too old to introduce a companion anyway so nor worries over him being on his own there.
At this time of year hamsters do get a little sleepier and also he is now mature and has a pattern of activity mainly nocturnal. He is settled.
The loss of the female will also have made him quieter as he will not be smelling her and coming out to check out for a mate.
I'm afraid your main problem is really the cages. The Rotastac pink palace is way to small for a syrian. The tubes and tiny pods they sleep in get damp and musty and the fungal grown can be seen in the condensation sometimes. This is a very unhealthy enviroment for a hammy and can cause chest infections and skin problems. Check him out for clicky wheezy breathing and f you hear this you need to see a vet.They are also a nightmare to clean and to get the hammy out of for taming. The wheels are too small and the hamster has no where to run about in. I would suggest a cage change might perk the young man up. Even a big storage bin as a trial is worth a try. Have a look at the cage review section and see if you fancy anything.
If you would like another hammy the if you let me know where in the country you are I can hopefully find you a breeder who can give you a healthy, happy tame baby for your daughter who has lost hers. You will also have the support of the breeder throughout it's life.
It is of course no guarantee of good health but a breeder hamster has had the best start in life so that does help.
Hope that is of help to you.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP HAMSTERS KEEP DYING

thank you for your message souffle .they were syrians hamsters and the tumor was on her chest it was very large it was three times the size of a peanut .also the cages i have is a rotastak pod connected to the pink palace by tubes which gives both hamsters approx 4ft long housing i do agree the pink palace is far too small for such a large hamster and they are cleaned out weekly . i don't know if my daughter would like another hamster but she is worried about her sisters hamster not eating or drinking since the death of her one .i have checked him he is not dehydrated as yet and he seems lively enough still and warm (i noticed sick or dying hamsters lose heat rapidly and seem colder than usual ) thanks again for getting in touch i will let my daughter know she has done nothing wrong and see if she will try again .DEE
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP HAMSTERS KEEP DYING

It is very good that your daughter is so alert to changes in behavior and to the moods of her furry friends and shows such concern. I think she would make a wonderful hamster mummy and I would encourage her to try again, when she feels the time is right, with a hamster from a breeder.
If your hammy is glossy and feels nice and solid and is pooing and weeing OK and drinking and eating well he is likely just up and about when you are all asleep! Maybe an idea to check his teeth and make sure they are growing straight and not curving and overgrown making it hard for him to eat. Offer some special treats like a bit of porridge or a little bit of chicken, cooked pasta or tofu and keep handling him and giving him attention.
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP HAMSTERS KEEP DYING

thanks for the advise .i didn't know they ate chicken or pasta the vet told me to feed jelly to the female that died last week as that is what they would feed hamsters on after an op. she did seem to enjoy it though . i live in west sussex so if my daughter decides she wants to give it ago i will rather go to a breeder after all the rottern luck she has had .
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP HAMSTERS KEEP DYING

How odd. I've never heard a vet recommend Jelly for a hamster. I suppose it must provide fluid and some sugar post op. To function properly a hammy bowel must have a lot of fibre in the forum of seeds and nuts and this must form the main diet however in the wild they will eat insects and grubs for extra protein and the chicken is a good source of this. Just a fingernail sized bit though maybe once a week. Also a tiny bit of fruit or veg a couple of times a week is OK. Too much can cause looseness.
Get your little boy up at a suitable time and let the girls enjoy their pet. Good luck with him. Hope to see some pics of him on the forum. What is he called?
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP HAMSTERS KEEP DYING

gosh, what bad luck you've had

I would agree with Souffle about the cage being unsuitable - rotastaks are bad for many reasons. In short lack of ventilation, tube diameter being too small, general smallness and inability to fit an 8" diameter wheel.

I would say avoid pets at home next time and get one from a breeder. A hamster from a good breeder will be a little older and won't have gone through the stress of transport and the shop.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP HAMSTERS KEEP DYING

I just had to comment when I read your post! I have always been against Pets at Home and have vowed never to get any animal from there. However last week I was in there getting something with niece and fell in love with a syrian, so had to get her.

She is now currently VERY ill and probably wont make it through the night She caught wet tail from other hamsters in her tank, whilst at Pets at Home. Bloomin Pets at Home are useless and shouldn't be allowed to sell animals as they have no idea how to look after them.

I am very emotional about Pets at Home, especially now Veronica is ill.

I really hope you have some better luck... although its all Pets at Home's fault, not yours. Go to a breeder to get your next hamster and I'm sure you will have a healthy hamster who lasts for years.

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