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Old 12-11-2017, 08:12 PM   #41
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

He is having some ups and downs. I would take any levels out and just have floor toys now. You can add some extra interest at floor level to make up for losing the levels - like extra tunnels and hidey places and hide some treats around the cage to distract him from the change.

Ears down suggests pain or discomfort. If your vet doesn't prescribe Metacam I would see a different vet. It is commonly prescribed for hamsters even though technically it's cat medicine. I know a vet I saw took quite a while to calculate the dose for hamster (which ended up being a drop or two) - she said although a hamster weighs a lot less, it doesn't just go on weight because hamsters have a faster metabolism and that has to be factored in as well.

Another vet I saw wouldn't prescribe Metacam for our last Syrian Charlie, because she thought he may have Cushings, and Metacam is contraindicated with Cushings - speeds it up apparently. That was tough because it wasn't certain it was Cushings.

It could be that your vet suspected Cushings (weakness of back legs and loss of hair in certain areas, and a bit of a pot belly are some symptoms, but they can also be the symptoms of old age).

See how he goes. If he does have Cushings, the steroid injection may have accelerated it. Steroids and Cushings don't go together. So that may be why he got a bit worse and had his ears down. Which suggests your vet hadn't considered Cushings. But sounds like he is recovering from that now.

It's difficult to know whether to get a second opinion or leave him, as vet visits are stressful. Most vets can't do a blood test to diagnose Cushings (unless you live in London I think), so taking him to the vets wouldn't help with a definite diagnosis. When Charlie couldn't have Metacam I did look at herbs to see if there was anything that could help with pain relief and found some that were hamster safe, but by that stage Charlie was less interested in food - and picky anyway

Willow Bark is one (it's where aspirin comes from) and it's safe for hamsters to chew - if they're interested in chewing it! I also bought a bag of small pieces of burdock root - which is supposed to help joint pain and be anti-inflammatory and also safe for hamsters. Charlie took that if I put it out but no idea whether he ate it or just hoarded it.

Baldwins herbalists online sell all those kind of things by the ounce.

Otherwise just see how he goes maybe and let him eat whatever he wants and lots of nice treats Even a bit of cake wouldn't be such a bad thing as a one off. Rice krispies, cornflakes - scrambled egg, some chicken and pumpkin baby food - just anything that makes his life nice.
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:49 PM   #42
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

He sounds to be doing quite well overall although it's up & down, the cage clean may have disturbed him a bit & been the reason for the sudden activity.
I would remove any levels or areas he might fall from even if he does still have active spells keep things as flat & level as possible.
If he's having trouble grooming then you can gently bath any matted fur with cotton wool just damp with warm water, you don't want him to actually get wet.
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:37 AM   #43
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

Thank you for quick replies. He has not got pot belly if that is a symptom of Cushings... He is rather thin although adding some baby food and porridge seems to have helped a bit. We are due for second injection but may take him to a different vet to have second opinion. Will insist on pain killers as now I think he is very likely to be in pain.
His ears were down before steroids so I dont think it was caused by them.
Will try to clean his tummy and bum, they are pretty dirty. Will probably take several attempts. Looks like some of the baby food got there and the bottom is a bit crusty.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:36 AM   #44
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

It might be worth checking for another vet if there are some within reach for you, most vets do seem to prescribe metacam without any issues & I think it would probably be far better for him than another steroid injection.
It is best to just do a little at a time with the cleaning, I've had to do it with a Russian with a blocked scent gland & another who got in a bit of a mess for a while & they do get a bit stressed if you do it all at once, just a little bit each day & you get there in the end!
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:51 AM   #45
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

Booked an appointment with another vet practice for Friday. We will have visited all vets in Coventry by the end of this one's life! Fourth surgery and counting. Could not find any "specialists" anywhere near, and every practice receptionist assured me on the phone that all of their vets are really good with hamsters. Let me see.. the previous three said the same thing... Maybe we will be lucky. As long as they give us pain killers and check the leg and weight loss I will call the visit a success.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:02 AM   #46
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

Fingers crossed! Good luck, I hope it goes well this time.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:59 AM   #47
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

Hope things go well at the vets on Friday.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #48
Nube
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

This is a poor disabled hamster in pain pretending he is a young pup having a ruddy good go at the snack stick... obviously in preparation for tomorrow vet visit.
Have tried cleaning his tummy but have not got very far. It is rather dirty and damp cotton wool does not seem to do much good
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:14 AM   #49
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

He's certainly determined bless him!
Just persevere with the cleaning, if you can try to do a little each day it should begin to make a difference.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:38 AM   #50
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Default Re: Hamster dragging back leg

Well the vet seemed to be more competent than most we have seen so far. Offered X-Ray but we both agreed at this point of life it would probably just be unnecessary stress. So got Metacam. The only problem is that the prescription is for "two drops" which seems to be a bit imprecise, given that it is not a drip bottle? Anyone had experience with depositing two drops of meds?
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