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Old 01-09-2019, 12:09 AM   #1
SaltCrow
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Default Hamster suddenly wobbly, acting disoriented

My Syrian hamster Captain was acting fine last night. However tonight he is the complete opposite; he is in a ball and acts disoriented when he tries to walk.

(Last night) Weíre still working on taming so I picked him up to hold him for a few moments. I noticed that he was incredibly thin and I could feel his spine clearly. A few days ago is when I held him last and he weighed considerably more. But he was happy, stuffed his pouch with all of his food and ran on his wheel all night so I had no immediate concerns. I gave him a few leafs of spinach to give him added nutrition until I could get a more suitable option.

When I awoke this morning he was still active on his wheel which isnít normal; usually heíd be asleep until the early evening. I didnít think much of it. Around 11pm I was going to sleep, but he wasnít awake which is abnormal. I fed him which would normally draw him out, but it didnít. I ended up checking his nest only to find him curled in a tight ball, looking disoriented. I picked him up and he put up no fight which is extremely abnormal. He could barely walk and was stumbling on my hand. I set him on the floor which is his dream, and he perked up and started investigating but he would run straight into objects or my hands and sit there. I checked for wet tail; all I saw was a little ball of poo stuck to his tail which is probably from him sleeping all day. From what Iíve seen he doesnít appear to have wet tail.

I gave him a tiny piece of carrot and it took him about 10-15 minuets to eat it. Often it was as if he forgot what he was doing and heíd hold it but sit there. Heís currently sitting in a ball, head tucked low.

Iím considerably worried and as itís 12am now there are no vets open that can see him. Iím not sure if heíll even make it thru tonight... is there anything I can do to try and give him some nutrition or water?
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:53 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Hamster suddenly wobbly, acting disoriented

I'm really sorry to hear your ham is not well, it's hard to guess what may be wrong with the symptoms he's showing & the rapid change in weight.
Has the room where his cage is been kept warm at all times, day & night?
I don't think there is much you can do until you can get him to the vet other than keep him warm & comfortable, probably best left in his nest for now or in a carrier with plenty of substrate if you want to keep a closer eye on him.
You could try offering water with a syringe or spoon or just hold the bottle for him to see if he needs to drink, you could also try some cooled porridge/oatmeal on a spoon to see if he'll take that.
I hope the vet can help & he'll be ok.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Hamster suddenly wobbly, acting disoriented

I was also wondering if the cold might be affecting him - they can go into torpor if they get too cold - which is often fatal. So it is important that that are in a room which has heating. And I often have a little oil filled radiator on a timer on for a couple of hours during the night in winter as well. Room temperature should be about 20 degrees when the heating is on.

That doesn't explain the weight loss though, unless he is just not eating because he is affected by the cold and not active.

Keep an eye on him. I give supplements as well as hamster mix and some veg - nuts are high in calories and protein - half a walnut or half a brazil nut once or twice a week is a nice treat for them.

If he goes like that again and it isn't the temperature, then a vet visit might be an idea, especially as he is a young hamster. Does he have a nice big cosy nest? It's important not to clean them out too much - that stresses them. Spot cleaning mostly is better than full substrate changes, and plenty of substrate to burrow down in and plenty of nesting material so they can build their nest nice and big. Also don't remove the nest and hoard - if it's pee'd in you may have to but try and leave a bit of old nest and hoard behind that's dry, and add new food to replace what you've removed in exactly the same place, plus a big pile of new nesting material in the cage, that they can take back to the nest to rebuild it. And don't use fluffy bedding - it's dangerous! Plain white toilet paper sheets torn into strips is safest for nesting.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:41 PM   #4
SaltCrow
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Default Re: Hamster suddenly wobbly, acting disoriented

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
I'm really sorry to hear your ham is not well, it's hard to guess what may be wrong with the symptoms he's showing & the rapid change in weight.
Has the room where his cage is been kept warm at all times, day & night?
I don't think there is much you can do until you can get him to the vet other than keep him warm & comfortable, probably best left in his nest for now or in a carrier with plenty of substrate if you want to keep a closer eye on him.
You could try offering water with a syringe or spoon or just hold the bottle for him to see if he needs to drink, you could also try some cooled porridge/oatmeal on a spoon to see if he'll take that.
I hope the vet can help & he'll be ok.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
I was also wondering if the cold might be affecting him - they can go into torpor if they get too cold - which is often fatal. So it is important that that are in a room which has heating. And I often have a little oil filled radiator on a timer on for a couple of hours during the night in winter as well. Room temperature should be about 20 degrees when the heating is on.

That doesn't explain the weight loss though, unless he is just not eating because he is affected by the cold and not active.

Keep an eye on him. I give supplements as well as hamster mix and some veg - nuts are high in calories and protein - half a walnut or half a brazil nut once or twice a week is a nice treat for them.

If he goes like that again and it isn't the temperature, then a vet visit might be an idea, especially as he is a young hamster. Does he have a nice big cosy nest? It's important not to clean them out too much - that stresses them. Spot cleaning mostly is better than full substrate changes, and plenty of substrate to burrow down in and plenty of nesting material so they can build their nest nice and big. Also don't remove the nest and hoard - if it's pee'd in you may have to but try and leave a bit of old nest and hoard behind that's dry, and add new food to replace what you've removed in exactly the same place, plus a big pile of new nesting material in the cage, that they can take back to the nest to rebuild it. And don't use fluffy bedding - it's dangerous! Plain white toilet paper sheets torn into strips is safest for nesting.

I have my 4 guineas and 1 other hamster in my room so I have a space heater that I use, as my guineas are also prone to getting colds. The room is always warm and if it gets cold it's only for a few hours while I'm gone.

I never thought of it like that; I will spot clean from now on and only clean his entire cage when I must. When I do clean his cage I take a few fist fulls of his old bedding that isn't dirty so he has his scent in the cage still. He does have a nest and lots of bedding to burrow in. I use the Carefresh type bedding, with lots of cardboard objects for him to chew that he also uses.

**UPDATE**
I managed to give him 2-3 syringes of water, and let him sleep on a heat pad for a half hour or so. Suddenly he woke up and started exploring my bed, seeming to be mostly back to himself. I believe the warmth was key in helping his systems catch up again. I set him back in his cage and he ate more of his food and even got on his wheel for a moment. This was at about 1:30am. The rest of the night (2-3am) he was running on his wheel like normal.

I noticed why he has gotten so skinny; he only eats parts of his food mix, like sunflower seeds and bigger pieces. He leaves behind the smaller ones. Going forward I will give him more of what he likes along with supplements and other things to combat his pickiness.

When I woke up this morning he was acting completely normal. He's eaten his food again, drank from his bottle and ran on his wheel again. I'm not going to seek a vet unless he continues to decline or new symptoms arise. Thank you for all of your help!
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hamster suddenly wobbly, acting disoriented

Excellent. Hope he does ok now.
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