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Old 09-16-2020, 04:24 PM   #1
HaroldsMum
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Default Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

Hello everyone,

I wondered if anyone would be able to offer me some advice. I have a 2 year 2 month old hamster (Harold), he is very friendly, active and his behaviour has not changed since I got him. I took him to the vet yesterday and he has an absess in his testicle and a dry eye. He has been prescribed 3 types of medication. 2 of the medications (eye drops and anti-inflamatorys) I must give him twice a day, and the other I give him once a day.

To give him his mediation I have been picking him up and administering the eye drops, and this morning he took the oral mediation just fine with no hesitations. This evening however, he refused the oral mediation, even after I picked him up he was pushing it away with his paw. I didn't want to stress him out, so I put the oral mediation on his favourite food and he took it straight away (licked it and put it in his pouch).

I am due to go back and see my vet on Tuesday next week to check that he has improved. I am aware of the swadling approach to holding a hamster, but because of his abcess I am worried that I might hurt him or stress him out. Please can anyone let me know if they have experience the same thing and if there are any good techniques? also, if I have put the medicine on his food and he has put it in his pouch will this mean he has taken some of it?


Also, on a side note, Harold is really picky about what food he eats- has always been this way! I want to see if I can introduce him to a new treat to give him after he takes his medicine. If anyone knows any treats there Hammies love please let me know

Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read this and offer me any advice.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:19 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

Hi there. The eye drops sound fiddly. I assume one med is Metacam? That's pain relief and anti inflammatory. That tastes quite nice and while they may not take it from the syringe it's fine to add to a tiny bit of food that will get eaten. I put it on a tiny bit of baby food on a teaspoon - drop it on top so they get the top bit even if they don't eat all of it. Four months age baby food without any onions, tomatoes or spices. Pumpkin and chicken and Grandpa's sunday lunch are favourites here. Or you could put it on a bit of porridge.

I am guessing the other med is baytril? Antibiotic. That tastes foul and even most foods won't disguise it. I had a good tip for that which was country hunter beef dog food. Strong tasting beefy stuff that disguises it, but just a pea sized amount with the med dropped on top. It needs to be something they will eat all of. It's quite important they get the full dose of antibiotic each time so you might need to syringe feed that. Twice a day sounds a lot.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:54 PM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

Some meds are hard to disguise but if you can find a food that he’ll eat with it on that is the easiest but don’t give foods that can be pouched as you can’t know if that will be eaten or not.
I use baby food or porridge just a tiny bit as Serendipity said, baby cauliflower cheese has always worked best for mine as they don’t seem to like the meaty ones, I don’t normally recommend fruit for hams but some of the fruit baby foods might work too, porridge is always worth a try & I have heard of people mixing it with a tiny bit of ribena but I haven’t tried that.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:26 PM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

My hamster was on antibiotics twice a day and he's a fussy eater who often pouches food. He doesn't like babyfood.

The vet suggested to draw up the medicine first followed by a drop of Ribena and then syringe it into his mouth.

He's not happy to take it, pushes it away but an antibiotic is too important to miss or not to get the full dose so i slowly syringe it into his mouth under protest. I syringe a little then wait to make sure he swallows it then give him a bit more etc till its gone. He gnaws on the syringe when its finished probably because he's a bit angry so i let him for a few seconds.

I give him a fresh dandelion leaf from the garden as a reward afterwards or a piece of fresh vegetable.

I tried putting the meds on all sorts of food but it simply doesn't work with my hamster.
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:13 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

SKB used to draw a bit of honey into the syringe with the Baytril. With me it was for a Robo and there was no way I could hold him to syringe feed him. Plus he hated the syringe. So the beefy dog food worked very well for Baytril. Just a pee sized amount. In fact he used to come out and push the dish around for more!
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:38 PM   #6
HaroldsMum
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Hi there. The eye drops sound fiddly. I assume one med is Metacam? That's pain relief and anti inflammatory. That tastes quite nice and while they may not take it from the syringe it's fine to add to a tiny bit of food that will get eaten. I put it on a tiny bit of baby food on a teaspoon - drop it on top so they get the top bit even if they don't eat all of it. Four months age baby food without any onions, tomatoes or spices. Pumpkin and chicken and Grandpa's sunday lunch are favourites here. Or you could put it on a bit of porridge.

I am guessing the other med is baytril? Antibiotic. That tastes foul and even most foods won't disguise it. I had a good tip for that which was country hunter beef dog food. Strong tasting beefy stuff that disguises it, but just a pea sized amount with the med dropped on top. It needs to be something they will eat all of. It's quite important they get the full dose of antibiotic each time so you might need to syringe feed that. Twice a day sounds a lot.
Hello, yes he has got Metacam (once a day), Isathal eye drops (twice a day) and Baytril (twice a day). Oh thank you very much for the suggestion. I tried giving him the syringe this morning and he keeps pushing it away and riggling. In the end I managed to get a bit of Baytril to him through the syringe but I coated sunflower seeds in both medications and he took them and ate them straight away.

I think I will try again with the syringe tonight, and if not sunflower seed it again! He has never tried wet food before and I am just worried about buying the wrong thing! Was the baby food just baby food straight off the shelf?
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:40 PM   #7
HaroldsMum
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

Thank you very much for your suggestion, I really appreciate it. I think I might try and get some baby food. Is this just straight off the shelf?
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:44 PM   #8
HaroldsMum
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
My hamster was on antibiotics twice a day and he's a fussy eater who often pouches food. He doesn't like babyfood.

The vet suggested to draw up the medicine first followed by a drop of Ribena and then syringe it into his mouth.

He's not happy to take it, pushes it away but an antibiotic is too important to miss or not to get the full dose so i slowly syringe it into his mouth under protest. I syringe a little then wait to make sure he swallows it then give him a bit more etc till its gone. He gnaws on the syringe when its finished probably because he's a bit angry so i let him for a few seconds.

I give him a fresh dandelion leaf from the garden as a reward afterwards or a piece of fresh vegetable.

I tried putting the meds on all sorts of food but it simply doesn't work with my hamster.
Thank you very much for your advice, I really appreciate it. Do you swaddle him to get him to take the syringe? Harold doesn't mind being held but he doesn't stay still at all and has always been really wriggly or just wants to run around. So I am finding it difficult keeping him still.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:51 PM   #9
Ria P
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

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Originally Posted by HaroldsMum View Post
Thank you very much for your suggestion, I really appreciate it. I think I might try and get some baby food. Is this just straight off the shelf?
Yes, its the babyfood in the jars or pouches. I bought the Cow&Gate cauliflower cheese cypher mentioned today. My older Syrian has trouble with his waterworks and isn't eating properly so i'll try him with that.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:57 PM   #10
Ria P
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster on 3 medications- doesn't like the taste: any tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaroldsMum View Post
Thank you very much for your advice, I really appreciate it. Do you swaddle him to get him to take the syringe? Harold doesn't mind being held but he doesn't stay still at all and has always been really wriggly or just wants to run around. So I am finding it difficult keeping him still.
No, i don't swaddle him. I get it over and done with as quickly as possible. Henry is like your Harold and wriggly. I pick him up and tilt him slightly backwards but have to put him down and pick him up a couple of times while giving him his meds because he's so wriggly. Luckily, he's a very tame hamster.
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