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Old 11-27-2020, 07:54 AM   #1
Hammy_pie
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Default Help for Hammypie

Hello All. I first came to Hamster Central last December when I brought Hammypie home. She is a Syrian from Petco. I immediately found out here that I needed to get a much bigger home than was recommended at the pet store, and so much more good advice from folks here. Hammy_pie has brought so much joy to my life. The pet store could not tell me how old she was, but she clearly wasn't a little baby. I've noticed recently that my little fluffier is changing. She doesn't run on her wheel like she used to (crazy fast and all night long), she is a bit more picky with her food and treats, though she still forrages, eats and drinks her water. Her hair is a bit duller and she isn't as interested in her bathing sand to clean in, but just uses it as a bathroom now. She still takes treats from my hand and seems in good health, but sleeps and sleeps. I don't see her like I used to. Was like clockwork, 8:30 every night she'd come out for exercise. No more. All this is to say, I've read some articles and apparently these are signs of an aging hamster. I've read some Syrians don't make it to their second birthday. I am thinking she must have been older than presumed when I bought her. I guess I'm just asking for ideas, comments & support. Hammypie might live for a long while. I'm scared to lose her, this year I've had her has flown by. It just seems too soon. Thank-you for any words of wisdom you have to offer. This is my first Hammy and I want to make her whole life the best it can be.
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Last edited by Hammy_pie; 11-27-2020 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:26 AM   #2
NibblesTheHam
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Default Re: Help for Hammypie

Hi! Yes, these do sound like signs of an aging hamster. I just make stuff a little bit easier in their cage, but other people I think make retirement cages, which I think are just smaller and easier cages. You could also take out any levels you have in her cage, if she doesn't really use them anymore, because that might happen.
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:25 PM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Help for Hammypie

It could be the cold weather. Is it cold where you are? I find they hide away more and sleep more in cold weather. If you can keep the room at a normal temperature she might come out more. It can be particularly cold (even sub zero) at night so if it is too cold at night she will stay in her nest and try and keep warm. Just a thought. I have a heater on a thermostat on over night (it comes on when the temperature drops).

It could also be older age - or a combination of age and feeling the cold (and they are very sensitive to extremes of both cold and heat).

The other thing is she may be unwell in some way. Keep an eye on her, try and keep the room at 20 degrees - or warm enough for you, plus some heat in the room overnight.
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Old 11-29-2020, 02:58 AM   #4
Hammy_pie
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Default Re: Help for Hammypie

Thank-you Serendipity & Nibbles for replying. Please, if anyone else has experience with aging hamsters, I'd appreciate hearing from you. it is hard for me to believe after just one year my hammy has slowed down so much. She does live in an environment with a regular temperature to keep her warm. She seems in good health otherwise. I just loathe the possibility of losing her so soon.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:20 AM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: Help for Hammypie

It is hard to see them begin to age & it starts to show with some hams earlier than others, some from about 18 months others not till later.
Sleeping more is quite normal but you may find she’ll be happy to come out if you coax her even if it’s just for a short cuddle time or a little run around, you just have to work with them & see how things go.
If she can still get around her cage ok then you probably don’t need to change anything but if you have shelves or different levels it can help to move everything to one level so it’s easy to access.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on their teeth as they age, if they don’t eat or chew so much or if they eat softer foods they can get a bit long sometimes.
It’s a good idea to supplement their diet with some of those softer foods like porridge or ham safe baby foods, even when their teeth are still ok they often appreciate them.
You can also give extra flax seeds & a drop of evening primrose oil to help keep the skin & fur in good condition.
Keep an eye on her weight, it’s important as they get older to do regular health checks as they are more likely to develop health issues, weighing regularly as part of that, small amounts of weight loss are normal in older hams but a continuous or sudden loss of weight may be a sign of illness & the need for a vet check.

Gorgeous photo of. her, she looks lovely.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:32 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Help for Hammypie

She could be 18 months to two years old if you weren’t sure of her age when you got her. It would still be an idea to rule out illness as female hamsters can get pyometra (womb infection) and if she was feeling unwell she would also behave like this. You would probably get signs of that though - blood or discharge or a foul smell or some swelling in the belly. But not always. It would be a good idea to tempt her out once a week at least for a health check - weigh her and a gentle bit of handling in case you can feel any swelling or lumps etc. Also to check her teeth (you‘s only need to do that once really - easiest way is wait till she yawns and have a look). Sometimes the bottom teeth can get too long when they get older and cause difficulty eating - but she would be losing a lot of weight if that was the case. They can also get toothache. So it wouldn’t do any harm to start supplementing her diet with some soft food which they tend to really enjoy as well. A bit of baby food or porridge (oatmeal) daily. But still put out the regular hamster mix as well - they like pouching and hoarding it even if they don’t eat much of it. Baby food needs to be without onion, garlic, spices/pepper or tomato. Age 4 months ones are usually free from most of those.
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:55 PM   #7
Chicleteer
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Default Re: Help for Hammypie

Good luck with Hammypie (such a sweet face!). Like you, my first hamster was a Syrian that I bought at Petco, and they also were unsure of her age, although they believed (or maybe guessed?) that it was six to eight weeks. If that were true, then Chiclet lived one year and 10 months. I think it's very possible she really was 6-8 weeks when I got her; she did seem quite young, small and active when I got her. (Within the first year she had more than doubled her weight!) But of course I'll never know for sure.

She started visibly slowly down about two months before she passed. I had taken her to the vet, but the vet couldn't find anything wrong. She never seemed to be in pain, and I hope that's the case. But she rarely ran in her wheel at that point, and her ears were always flattened down, as opposed to how perky they used to be. She also ate less and lost a little weight.

I do hope what you're seeing in Hammypie is a temporary situation. You're certainly getting good advice here from those much more expert than I am, and maybe those ideas will help. Best wishes on all this.
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