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Old 09-17-2019, 04:22 AM   #1
AprilPearl
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Default Older hamster not eating his food

Hi all. Haven’t posted he’s in a while because since starting university things have been busy.

My hamster, Quigley, is now on the older side. He will be 2 years and 5 months old at the start of October. He’s still doing well - no balding or anything - although he sleeps more than he used to.

The one thing that’s worrying me is that lately he hasn’t been taking/eating much of his food (we feed him Harry Hamster). He gets either linseed or hemp sprinkled on his food every day and he will take that. He also takes the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and peanuts in his mix (though I think he just stores most of those). And he will eat his veggies.

He started losing weight and I know that when a hamster isn’t eating their food you are meant to just leave it and eventually they will eat... But Quigley is old and I worry about doing that to him. So, we started feeding him a teaspoon of baby food every evening (a hamster safe variety). He’s still losing weight though and he’s now at 172g (he used to be about 205g). Because of this, I’ve started giving him a teaspoon of baby food in the morning with his breakfast too. So he is now getting two teaspoons of babyfood a day (and I suspect is living pretty much solely off that).

I’m a bit worried because obviously it’s not great for him to live on babyfood alone - he won’t get all the nutrients he needs that way and presumably it’s not good for his teeth. But like I said, at his age I worry about him losing any more weight. (Also our 15 year old cat just passed away from liver problems, one of the symptoms of which was that she dropped from 4kg to 1.6kg so I am extra sensitive to his weight loss)

Any suggestions?
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:58 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

I'd give him what he likes and what he can eat. Babyfood, porridge, scrambled egg etc. Maybe you could grind the seeds and mix them with a little water...

He is a very old man and maybe his teeth aren't in the best condition. I haven't had an older hamster as yet so am not talking from experience.

If you are very worried about his health and weight loss you could take him for a check up of course.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:27 AM   #3
Coco61
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

Hi AP, good to hear from you although I am sorry it is because you are worried about Quigley. He has lived to a great age now and you do need to get nutrients down him and moist food too to help with water intake. I would not increase the baby food. I would add some porridge into his diet. Take a teaspoon of porridge oats and mix with water. Microwave it (20 secs should do) and when cooler he should love it. A little scrambled egg maybe but the protein might be too high if too often. If you want to encourage hamster food, then try crushing up his HH with pestle and mortar or similar and then moisten it a little to encourage him to eat it. You will probably know which were his favourite bits as I doubt he ate it all. At his age, it you can get him to eat any combination like this with his veggies and the extra seeds he still takes, then I think you are doing the best you can. Hopefully this will just be enough for his teeth at this great age. He will lose weight anyway at his age and 172 is not too bad.
Hope all is going well for you elsewhere!
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:30 PM   #4
AprilPearl
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

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Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I'd give him what he likes and what he can eat. Babyfood, porridge, scrambled egg etc. Maybe you could grind the seeds and mix them with a little water...

He is a very old man and maybe his teeth aren't in the best condition. I haven't had an older hamster as yet so am not talking from experience.

If you are very worried about his health and weight loss you could take him for a check up of course.
Thank you for the suggestions, Ria. Much appreciated. I think Iíll have to check his teeth but Iím not sure how to do that. Heís a very chilled out little guy, doesnít mind being turned upside down in the slightest and has never bitten anyone so I donít think he will mind too much. But Iím not sure how I can get a good look at his teeth. Presumably I would have to love his lips apart but I donít want to hurt him!

I donít think he is actually sick so Iím hesitant to take him to the vet in case it causes him any stress. He just seems not to have much of an appetite and is only really eating his favourite things (which donít include his mix, unfortunately!)
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

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Originally Posted by Coco61 View Post
Hi AP, good to hear from you although I am sorry it is because you are worried about Quigley. He has lived to a great age now and you do need to get nutrients down him and moist food too to help with water intake. I would not increase the baby food. I would add some porridge into his diet. Take a teaspoon of porridge oats and mix with water. Microwave it (20 secs should do) and when cooler he should love it. A little scrambled egg maybe but the protein might be too high if too often. If you want to encourage hamster food, then try crushing up his HH with pestle and mortar or similar and then moisten it a little to encourage him to eat it. You will probably know which were his favourite bits as I doubt he ate it all. At his age, it you can get him to eat any combination like this with his veggies and the extra seeds he still takes, then I think you are doing the best you can. Hopefully this will just be enough for his teeth at this great age. He will lose weight anyway at his age and 172 is not too bad.
Hope all is going well for you elsewhere!
Thank you Coco! Iíll stop giving him the extra baby food. Porridge oats a good idea so I will try that. And Iíve ordered a pestle and mortar so that I can crush up his food and mix it with water. I usually give him about a tablespoon of HH a day, though he hasnít eating this as of late. How much water would you recommend that I mix with a tablespoon of HH?
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

One teaspoon of baby food a day, the veggie ones, would be very good. That is the maximum I use. As for crushing the HH... I have not done this. I have crushed the selective science biscuits though. They were already mixed in the diet though and a complete food.
Trial and error once the food has been crushed I guess. You are trying to soften the food so that it is not too much of an effort to eat it but leaving a little work to do for the teeth.
When you check his teeth, yes, just turn him on his back and gently open his mouth. Don't worry if one lower one is a little splayed. That can happen with age. Just making sure the lower long ones do not keep growing until they pierce the roof of the mouth which is the worst case scenario.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:28 AM   #7
AprilPearl
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

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Originally Posted by Coco61 View Post
One teaspoon of baby food a day, the veggie ones, would be very good. That is the maximum I use. As for crushing the HH... I have not done this. I have crushed the selective science biscuits though. They were already mixed in the diet though and a complete food.
Trial and error once the food has been crushed I guess. You are trying to soften the food so that it is not too much of an effort to eat it but leaving a little work to do for the teeth.
When you check his teeth, yes, just turn him on his back and gently open his mouth. Don't worry if one lower one is a little splayed. That can happen with age. Just making sure the lower long ones do not keep growing until they pierce the roof of the mouth which is the worst case scenario.
I crushed up some HH with a teaspoon yesterday and mixed it with water. He ate it!!!! I can’t believe it haha. I guess he just isn’t too keen on hard foods right now. Will have to check his teeth tonight. If I can get a picture of his teeth I’lol post it on here if that’s ok.

So long as he is eating his HH crushed and mixed with water then I don’t see any reason to supplement with baby food any more.

Just in case though, could you recommend any specific vegetable baby foods? He’s been having the cow and gate chicken Sunday lunch babyfood which is hamster safe but not 100% veggies.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

I use this Ella one https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/produc...-116903-116904
I think there are a couple others in the range that are 100% veg as well.

It's great because you can freeze it down into small portions if need be.
You could also check out sainsbury's little ones, there is a green one that is 100% veg, maybe got kale, peas, broccoli in it - can't quite remember. Goodluck.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:34 AM   #9
Coco61
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

That's good news about the crushed HH, AP. I have just bought some baby food this week because of different concerns with Maestro. From Sainsbury's I bought 2 pouches of Ella's kitchen. Pumpkin broccoli and sweet corn ( great success last night) and peas broccoli and potatoes still to be opened. I avoided fruit ones. Chicken and veg and cauliflower cheese can be useful if you need several flavours. I then use an ice cube tray to subdivide the remainder and freeze. You can transfer the cubes to a bag before using the tray for another flavour. Thereafter you can take one frozen portion of whichever one you want each evening and let it defrost over a couple of hours before use.
When Mocho needed medicine daily for a year I had a rotation of flavours in the freezer and porridge to ring the changes so he never got bored.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:00 PM   #10
AprilPearl
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Default Re: Older hamster not eating his food

Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaTheHamster1 View Post
I use this Ella one https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/produc...-116903-116904
I think there are a couple others in the range that are 100% veg as well.

It's great because you can freeze it down into small portions if need be.
You could also check out sainsbury's little ones, there is a green one that is 100% veg, maybe got kale, peas, broccoli in it - can't quite remember. Goodluck.
Thank you for the recommendation! I had a look in the local Tesco but unfortunately they didnít have any baby food that was 100% vegetables. So, Iíll try and find some of the Ellaís kitchen veggie baby foods in a larger supermarket soon.
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