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Old 03-13-2018, 04:44 AM   #1
IamKat
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Question Unknown illness!?

Hey all,

I have a bit of a mystery on my hands, I first took my girl (Syrian) to the vet last week because she presented what what appeared to be an eye infection, plus some itching and a small bald patch under her chin. She was prescribed antibiotic eye drops and we are treating her for mites just in case (although I highly doubt it, she is an incredibly clean hamster, and I haven't seen any other evidence of mites). So after a week of treatment the eyedrops have seemingly done nothing, although her eye doesn't look worse... it certainly is no better and still oozes a bloody discharge, plus it's itching her like crazy, and the bald patch under her chin/chest is larger and super wrinkly. I've tried some tee tree cream to soothe her chin/chest but she licks this right off... I also changed her bedding to Carefresh in case of an allergy to aspen but this seems to have made no difference.

She is due back at the vets today, and I'm thinking a possible problem with her teeth or pouch, however I'm also aware of the small possibility of cushings... has anybody seen symptoms like this before? And does anybody have any advice for when I take her back to the vet? I'm so worried about her....

Sorry for the long post, thanks everyone in advance
Kat
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:58 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Unknown illness!?

Sorry to hear your girl hasn't been well, it doesn't sound like the common onset symptoms of Cushing's so I doubt you need to worry about that.
It may just be that her eye will need a further course of meds to clear up, sometimes infections can take a while.
The discharge from her eye is most likely porphyrin which is fairly common with eye problems.
Is it possible she's been rubbing the area under her chin on anything? It does sound like an odd place to have hair loss & doesn't sound like mites (which are not really anything to do with her cleanliness btw).
I wouldn't use teatree for a hamster myself, if you want to put something on it to soothe it & possibly help heal it you could try a drop of evening primrose oil, taken internally this can help with skin problems so it won't hurt her to ingest it after grooming.
Good luck at the vet, hope they can get her better for you.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Unknown illness!?

Did the vet check her teeth? This sounds like a tooth or pouch issue. It is common for an overgrown or maloccluded tooth to cause constant drooling which wets the chin and causes the fur loss. It can also happen if she chews the bottle spout due to the wetness. The teeth, if overgrown or if there is an abscess or lump in the pouch can cause issues with the tear ducts so they don't drain tears and cause the eyes to get irritated. The red discharge is not blood but a substance as cyphen said called porphyrin which is secreted from the back of the eye due to infection or irritation.
Check around the pouches for any lumps. Does she seem to have anything in there all the time?
Often eyes are a symptom of something amiss elsewhere and not in the eyes alone so important to have everything checked out. I hope she gets better soon but I'd have her rechecked especially the mouth.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:13 AM   #4
IamKat
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Default Re: Unknown illness!?

Thanks a lot guys, good advice. It's also good to know it's not blood!

Hmm well I replaced her bottle with a water bowl to rule out bottle rubbing, and have never seen her rubbing that area of her body elsewhere, although this could happen whilst I'm asleep. The tea tree is hamster safe of course, since she doesn't like it anyway I'll not bother, but I'll certainly try the primrose oil, that's a good suggestion

I've just come back from the vet, they gave her a little gas and had a proper look round the mouth. Fortunately there were no teeth or pouch issues and no abscesses. They also did a urine test which looked ok, and a skin test which came back negative for parasites, so no mites and it's unlikely to be cushings (phew). The vet thinks she has both an eye and skin infection causing the itching and subsequent bald patches, so she is now on antibiotic oral drops as well as continuing with the eye drops. If there is no improvement I'll certainly be back to the vets.

I've never had a ham with a skin infection before so have no idea how this has happened!? Could this still be allergies? And do you think her sand bath should be removed for now?

Also, would anyone recommend any probiotics whilst she is on the antibiotics? (she is on a strong dose).

Thanks so much all for the advice,
I'd do anything to help her!
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:33 AM   #5
souffle
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Default Re: Unknown illness!?

Good to hear her teeth and pouches are clear. I hope the meds clear her up. I have heard of hammies getting ringworm but I doubt it is that but a bacterial skin infection should clear up with the meds I hope.
I have used the Pro C before. You do have to change water daily if using in water but we tend to give a teaspoon of soft food and put a pinch in that. Something like babyfood or porridge. You have to give it as far apart from the antibiotics as you can so it doesn't kill all the good bugs. http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pe...robiotic-100gm
You sometimes see fur loss is older females around the neck which can be hormonally linked though it does not usually cause itching. Fingers crossed she picks up soon.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Unknown illness!?

Good to hear there are no problems with her teeth or mouth, hopefully the meds will do the trick with both the eye & skin problem soon, I haven't had a problem with skin infections with any of mine but I guess a small cut or graze from something could become infected fairly easily.
Giving probiotics is a good idea while on & after antibiotics but you do need to give it several hours apart from the meds.
Most people use ProC which is available from P@H, other pet shops & various places online, I use Potent brew for mine but either is fine.
With either I would put it on food rather than in water.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:23 AM   #7
IamKat
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Default Re: Unknown illness!?

Great advice, thank you both very much. I'll look into the ProC, I've just been to buy her some baby food so hoping that encourages her to take her antibiotics without too much fuss.

Thanks again guys
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Unknown illness!?

Hey guys,

Update on Soybean, her eye looks much better now (phew!) and the infection seems completely cleared up. She's had 2 weeks of antibiotics and although her eye seems healed she is still scratching a lot under her chin (although granted this is less) and there isn't really any evidence of hair regrowth there. I've removed every possible allergen I can think of and am still unsure what is causing her itching, but she does seem happier in herself now, and I'm much less concerned. I think I'll just keep a careful eye on her for now and hopefully the scratching gets less once her routine goes back to normal.

Thanks again for all the advice!
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eye, bald, itching, small, mites, back, chin/chest, case, patch, week, vet, tee, licks, tree, soothe, difference, vets, cream, bedding, changed, carefresh, made, aspen, allergy, due

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