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Old 01-31-2018, 03:46 PM   #1
oreki
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Default hamster canít clean himself

my syrian hamster has a benign tumor in his mammory gland, which causes him to not be able to prop himself up to clean himself without tipping over. iím still considering surgery for him, but in the meantime his fur has gotten a bit oily. iíve looked into sand baths but iím not sure if thereís anything else to do for him.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:39 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

Aw poor little thing! Would he manage grooming if you were holding him, so he couldn't fall over? I'm not sure a sand bath would help much if he falls over. I'll wait and see what more experienced owners reply, but if he doesn't object too much you could try gently grooming him a bit with a slightly damp cotton bud (not wet, just slightly damp) maybe, or with a dry toothbrush. He might even appreciate it.

How old is he?
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:03 PM   #3
oreki
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

heís one and a half. i canít really hold him well enough to where he wouldnít fall over unfortunately. i thought possibly sprinkling sand in his fur then brushing with a clean toothbrush could help but wasnít sure. iíll try your methods out, thank you!
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Old 02-01-2018, 12:00 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

He may get some benefit from a sand bath & I don't see you have anything to lose by trying, sprinkling the sand onto his coat might well help too if it doesn't upset him at all.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

He might not like being sprinkled - maybe you could dip the dry toothbrush in sand and do it that way
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

Yes surgery is a difficult decision if he's about 18 months - it would depend on the hamster and how generally fit he is. Surgery would be a risk (it always is in any age hamster) that he may not survive it. On the other hand hammies do survive surgery and it may improve his quality of life. It's a difficult one.

Do you think he is suffering in any other way, apart from not being able to groom (which can't be nice for him). Can he get about ok and does he eat and drink ok?

Is it quite a large tumour? Sounds like it if he's having problems grooming. Does it seem to bother him in any other way? I think if he was suffering due to the tumour, I would consider surgery. Although 18 months is not young, it is not extremely old either.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

Just as an example - a lovely big Hamster, Neptune, had an op for a tumour at 18 months old and made a full recovery And died peacefully in his sleep as an old man at about the age of 2. While that is only 6 months difference, it is a long time for a hamster, and instead of dying a slow painful death or having to be put to sleep, the surgery made the rest of his life happy and comfortable.

From the bottom of this thread xxx

Neptune's Thread
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:40 PM   #8
oreki
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

i would say its somewhere in the middle, its not really grown as of yet from when i took him to the vet last friday. he does eat and drink, but he is definitely slower and sleeps through the night instead of running on his wheel. i'd say hes a pretty normal guy besides those things. i cant shake the feeling that if he did pass while in surgery that it would not be peaceful, and if he did live that he would be very stressed from the experience. the tumor is on his mammary gland, which theres a lot more blood flow to or something like that, which makes the surgery a little bit more risky. on the subject of the sand, i know you aren't supposed to get them any dust and that chinchilla sand is a good option. i've heard good things about the 'supreme tiny friends farm chinchilla bathing sand' and wanted to know if that would be fine or if there's one you would recommend instead?
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

The supreme tiny friends one is fine What does your vet think about the surgery? He may be stressed initially afterwards but would settle down. Do you have a photo of him and his lump?
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:02 AM   #10
oreki
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Default Re: hamster canít clean himself

he said they do them fairly often, but that it is again a little bit riskier because of the place it’s at. they can grow back too, but i think it could be worth it if i do go through with it. it doesn’t really show up on camera unfortunately, but the size of it feels like a grape i’d say if that helps you at all. i notice his stomach area seems to be a bit crusty too, probably because he can’t reach it. :/
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