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Old 07-17-2017, 07:16 AM   #1
SabreRose
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Default End of life decisions.

I've made a couple of posts about my 2 year old Syrian but for the sake of this, my little Syrian girl is in a bad way.
She has a lump that the vet want sure about but said is most likely a tumour (he advised not doing surgery because of her age) and that was ok because for a while she was fine. Still as active. Didn't seem to be in pain. Just as normal.

But things have really changed. She's stopped using her wheel. Doesn't go up to the top part of her cage anymore and pretty much sleeps all the time. I've had to wake her most nights to see if she's still there (which I try not to do because I feel awful waking her) and even then I notice it's very hard for her to wake up. She used to come running out to investigate any noise and now nothing. I've noticed she's not taking much from her bowl either. And when she comes out to drink. It's laboured and slow.

I hate to see her like this but I don't know what to do. I mean the vet told me to watch her and see if she'd show any signs of going downhill and we'd go from there but, reading between the lines I think we know what that means.
I don't want to rush her to the vet because I know I might not come home with her.
But as much as I'd hate that, I don't know if it's best for her. I mean, is she really living now?
But then, why should I decide for her? I know she can't decide for herself but i don't know what to do.

Has anyone been in this situation with a hamster? How did you decide? Or should I just let her live and go when it's her time?

Sorry if asking is too personal. I understand if this isn't something anyone wants to revisit.

Thanks anyway xx
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:22 AM   #2
Cinnamon Bear
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

She sounds like she might be able to die naturally. But hamsters hide their pain so I'm surprised the vet said she doesn't appear to be in pain. I guess you have to trust your vet. Anyways, if your hamster isn't in pain but in the process of dying I'd let her ride it out.

You can keep her water bottle and food closer to where she sleeps and feed her different kinds of baby foods. They like Gerber puffs too in the baby section. I'd try to hang on and monitor for a while and if she stops eating and drinking then have her PTS. That's what I'd do anyways.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:05 AM   #3
lanimeli
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

I know from experience with my 21 year old cat that I couldn't put her down. We had an emergency where she was struggling to breathe.. It was late at night, so all of the nearby vets were closed. We had to rush to an emergency vet clinic that was an hour away. The entire time, my cat was dying and I was convinced she was dead in my arms at least twice, before we got there.

When we arrived, the vet took her in the back and gave her some steroid shots. She became very alert the moment we were discussing euthanasia.. It gave us hope, and the vet said we could make her as comfortable as possible at home.. because it was unlikely she would live through the weekend. She was very kind and empathic she spoiled my cat while at were there by giving her a blanket and being very sweet.

The vet was right. My kitty lived two more days with us at home, and passed away quietly in the night.. I was grateful for those last two days.

It's up to you and what you feel is best for your pet.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:11 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

Hi. Yes we had something like this this year with our Syrian. It does sound like she is near her time. If she just wants to sleep that is fine. You could move her food bowl and water very near her nest so it's easier for her to reach. You might need to have a dish for water as well as a bottle (I used both as our hamster, however weak, preferred the bottle to the dish).

The fact that she is taking food and water means she is still trying to live out her life. I think unless you think she is really suffering or in pain, then just leave her to be comfortable. Is she still leaving her nest to pee somewhere? Try not to disturb her too much and avoid clean outs. You can keep talking to her - tell her it's ok to go if she is ready and that you love her and anything else really.

It's a hard time, but she is comfortable in her home with you it sounds. It is a time thing really. I thought our hammy would pass in his nest but he lingered on for a very long time and eventually was unconscious and had a prolapse - and at that point I decided to take him to the vets in case he was suffering. It was still a hard decision. He still enjoyed food right up to the point he became unconscious.

Give her whatever she likes now - little extras or treats near her nest maybe. A bit of fruit or veg or a cornflake or chocolate treat, or whatever, as well as her hamster mix. Also you can offer baby food which is easier to eat. I used to use the baby food lids as mini food dishes and have two or three next to the house entrance. One with a bit of soaked hamster mix, one with baby food, one with some treats and also his regular food bowl with dry hamster mix.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:43 AM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

We all want our hams to just go into their forever sleep naturally & she may be able to do that & end her days quietly if she is still able to eat a little & drink water but it's the tumour that would bother me, if it is a tumour then it does seem unlikely that she isn't in pain so in addition to the other suggestions for just keeping her comfortable now I would speak to the vet about some meds, probably metacam, to relieve any pain she may be in.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:02 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

Oh yes good point. Does she have any Metacam prescribed? Something to relieve pain would help her as she is now. If your vet has seen her recently he may prescribe it without you having to bring her in again and upheaving her, if you explain her current condition. The difficulty then would be administering it - maybe on a tiny piece of cucumber, or something she will eat.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:49 AM   #7
Cinnamon Bear
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

I forgot to say to put in a water bowl, as well as the bottle (if your using a bottle)? I think that was stated above, just to add.

I have a 3 yr old hamster & she's taken to banana baby food & Gerber puffs, I don't know how much of her seed mix she's eating? She's pretty energetic right now & she's back to biting me. Will see what happens?

Anyways she now has a bowl in her cage. I think she's using it as I haven't heard the water bottle for about a week.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:56 AM   #8
SabreRose
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

Thanks for the replies everyone.
I've rearranged her food and water so it's right outside her nest.
I've also called the vet and am going to get some pain relief for her.
I appreciate the replies. I was feeling reallyvat a loss.
I'm just going to see how she does on pain relief and try to make her as comfortable as possible.
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:31 PM   #9
velma
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

It's such a hard time, isn't it? I lost my elderly syrian Cleo to old age. She was slowing down for quite a long time but was fine. She didn't have a tumour she just got very old & wobbley. She got thin & her kidneys weren't doing their best. Luckily I had a small cage to put her to keep everything close for her and she had stopped using her wheel a while beforehand. I kept trying to work out what to do for the best but I believe that they let you know when they're ready to go & when they want a bit more time with you. Cleo really didn't do much beyond slowly getting up (and yes, towards the end that meant waking her up just to check) and she didn't eat as much but she did eat & she drank fine and most importantly for me, she stayed interested - she'd toddle up to see what treat I had for her that day. The day before she passed away she began losing interest so I thought I'd get her through the weekend and take her to the vet in the Monday but she had other ideas and passed away on the Friday anyway. I'm quite grateful that I didn't have to make that decision but I know that I would have taken her in as it would have been the right thing to do by her. I know this is a story about me & not your situation but we all know our hams best & what they are trying to tell us so I can't tell you what to do but i can tell you I understand & that you'll know the right thing to do whichever way it goes. As soufflé says: no decision made out of love is the wrong one.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:40 PM   #10
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: End of life decisions.

Many of us have been in your position, you clearly love your little girl and have made alterations to her cage so it's easier, you're doing all you can, she's a little fighter. Big Hugs xx
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