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Old 10-09-2017, 03:33 PM   #1
Hamster Pup
SunnyOy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Montreal
Posts: 130
Question How to have a precise vet check?

Hi there! I am mommy for Myachick and Dumpling and they are 5.5 months old now.
I lost one young female syrian when she was 5 months old and she passed away mysteriously. That is why I am so eagerly searching for the best vet for hamsters in Montreal.
I have called a few best rating veterinaire in Montreal and asked about their services for hammies. All they offer is the annual check, dental treatment. I was wondering, what is included in the annual check and what can be diagnosed from it?
Also, I have heard one of the veterinaire that they can perform blood test for hamsters but it is quite rare since hammies are too small.
Has anyone of you visited a vet clinic and performed an annual check or blood test for your hammies? Please do not hesitate to share your experience with me!
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:42 PM   #2
GhostsInSnow's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: West midlands, UK
Posts: 3,149
Default Re: How to have a precise vet check?

I don't tend to take my hams in for health checks with the vets, I usually give a good visual health check of all my hams every few days along with physically checking for lumps, bumps, cuts and any unusual discharge. Obviously if I find anything out of the ordinary or something I'm not happy with then I get them straight to the vet. This is probably what you're best to do for your hammies
Personally, I don't agree with blood testing just as part of a veterinary health check purely because of how tiny hams are, how stressful it probably is for them too. I mean, it hurts us so I can only imagine wha it's like for them.
I'm all for it to diagnose an underlying illness or issue but not for the sake of health checks.
Hamsters can pass away for lots of reasons, many of which can't be pre-determined by a blood test or a health check such as some genetic issues, heart attacks etc. I do understand why you're so eager to find a good vet and it's always a good idea to find one.
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:50 AM   #3
Carla Gordon and Derrick
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 82
Default Re: How to have a precise vet check?

Agreed - the vets can be a very stressful place for a little ham. I health check our boys but take them to the vet if I notice anything is wrong. It's definitely worth finding a good local vet and registering with them so you know where to go if you do need someone.

Ultimately you'll be the best person to notice if something is wrong / changes, but hams do tend to hide any issues they're having as they're prey animals (and stubborn).
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:09 AM   #4
Hamsters University
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 15,826
Default Re: How to have a precise vet check?

That must have been so hard losing a hammy at 5 months so mysteriously. But I don't think there is anything you could have done, even with health checks. In those kind of cases it is most likely to have been a congenital defect or disease they were born with - maybe a heart problem. And just very sad. Vet visits are stressful for hammies and it could end up causing problems. They are best saved for if there is an illness or condition.

The best thing is to just let them feel safe and enjoy their surroundings in their cage (not too many big clean outs), and bond with you and feel loved. You can do a kind of checkover once a week or so when they are having out of cage time. But my philosophy has always been - leave well alone if they look happy, healthy and active.

If there is an injury or your hammy seems unwell, then yes a good vet is important. Most vets don't know that much about hamsters - an exotic vet is best. Is the one who does blood tests an exotic vet? It's good to be registered with a good exotic vet in case you need them, but regular checks are a bad idea really.

Most vets don't take blood from hamsters because it is very difficult and highly specialised. Their veins are so small. I think the only place possible is near the ear area. It would only really be done if something very serious was suspected - eg Cushings disease. Have a look at Coco's sticky about diagnosis and treatment for Cushings disease. It is a nasty disease and a blood test can confirm it. You would suspect it if your hamster had a lot of hair loss in big patches. Although this can be normal in an older hamster.

I think the best care and check you can give is at home, with bonding and love I do understand how awful it must be to lose a hamster so young and wonder if you could have done more, but I doubt very much there is anything you could have done and it was just a cruel fate of nature and a weak heart or other congenital issue internally xxxx

So - lots of enrichment in a cage, a safe set up, spot clean and avoid big clean outs all the time, lots of love and a good diet and you'll have happy, healthy hamsters. Any lumps or bleeding or other signs of ill health need checking by a vet of course xxx With female hamsters, pyometra is a risk so any swelling or unusual discharge needs a vet visit.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:15 PM   #5
Hamster Pup
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Montreal
Posts: 130
Default Re: How to have a precise vet check?

Thank you very much guys, for comforting me and offering me the advice. I will look into your advices and plan the registration with a local vet.
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