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Old 07-08-2007, 03:56 AM   #1
Pouchy
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Location: Derbyshire England
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Default COOP Bran flakes for diabetic dwarfies

As my hamsters have developed diabetes in the last 2 - 3 weeks is it OK to feed them bran flakes as a substitute for sweetcorn etc.
The amount of water they consume is phenomenal amounting to about 150 ml each in about 3 - 4 days. I try to remove all the things from the food that may contain sugar or its derivatives but their diet is now a bit boring. They don't care for porridge oats either. Is turnip OK as carrot is not ?
From human diabetes knowledge it can be assumed that the dwarf hamsters will have this condition throughout their lives. Is it true that their already short lives could be reduced by half or more?
However, apart from the thirst, they are quite lively critters in the main or as lively as any dwarf hamster is likely to be.
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:44 AM   #2
Christine Yule
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I have had many diabetic Dwarves and have one diabetic female now. If you haven't all ready, you should go to the following site to learn how to treat your diabetic ham. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/HoneyHams/messages/

Diabetic hams need more than just sugar free food to manage their diabetes. If your hamsters are drinking huge amounts of water then they need urgent care. They will likely die in a few weeks if their sugar is not brought under control immediately.

But, don't despair. It is easier than it sounds. I make fenugreek tea with a wee bit of salt and that is the only "water" given to my diabetics. I can give you my recipe. I also have a recipe for a seed mix that contains sugar free foods but also foods that are low glycemic and are known to lower blood sugar levels. I can also give it to you, if you want.

I have had a couple of diabetics that would not respond to diet and fenugreek. There was nothing I could do for them. But, the majority have responded and I have been able to stabalize their blood sugar and they have lived long healthy lives.

Let me know if you would like my recipes. I have to run off now.

Hamstermama
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:05 AM   #3
Pouchy
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Please send recipes as soon as possible via this forum s it will help other owners in this situation. Thanks.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:00 AM   #4
Christine Yule
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Here is the source of my recipe for seed mix for my Diabetic Dwarves. Actually, I feed ALL my dwarves this seed mix. "Bulk Barn" is a store that sells food from bins with scoops and you buy by weight. I don't know what kind of stores are in Europe. Maybe someone else can help you there.

Check out the article on Diabetic Hamsters on this site. You will have to reduce this seed mix recipe if you only have a couple of hamsters.

Seed mix source: http://www.geocities.com/knottyceltic/hamsSeedmix.html

I buy Fenugreek Seed capsules at a store that sells homeopathic medicine like vitamins etc.

My personal recipe for fenugreek tea is:

4 capsules (600 mg each) of Fenugreek Seed Powder
1 cup (250ml) of water
pinch of sea salt (look at ingredients to make sure sugar is not an ingredient added to salt)
another 1 cup (250 ml) of water

Put 1 cup of water in a small pan and open capsules and sprinkle powder over the water. Stir it up and heat water to boiling. Watch it carefully as it tends to foam up and boil over. As soon as it boils, take the pot off the heat and add the pinch of sea salt. Let this cool. Strain the tea through a wire strainer, I use a tea strainer, to remove jelly-like fenugreek.

Then add one more cup of water. Stir it up and store in a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid. This must be kept in the refridgerator. This recipe is enough for about one week. It should smell sweet. If it begins to smell bad, then throw it out and make a new batch.

Do not try to put this in a water bottle. The tea turns rotten very quickly. Use a small ceramic or glass bowl and make sure you give fresh tea every day, washing out the bowl each time.

This should be the hamsters only source of water.

Test your hamsters sugar levels every couple of days until it tests negative for any sugar at all.

Once you have stabalized the sugar levels you can check their urine once a month or so.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:29 AM   #5
Pouchy
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Between them the dwarves drink approximately 30ml of water in a day and a half i.e about 15ml each. This is after as much of the sugar in their diet has been removed as possible. Compared to my Syrian hamster who barely has 5ml/day and similar for my gerbils it seems excessive. However, a website suggested that 12 - 15 ml/day was O.K. - unless I read it wrong.

A looking into a better diet but not living in a city or near any sort of wholefood shop etc and not wanting to pay excessive postage if it can be helped is making the search difficult.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:03 PM   #6
Christine Yule
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It is hard to say what is considered normal. Are they drinking more just because it is excessively hot? Who really knows for sure?

Since diabetes is such a common problem with Campbell's and Hybrids, I would recommend that you invest in some urine test strips. They are inexpensive and I would recommend that anyone with Campbell's test all their hamsters at least once every 3 months. I buy the test strips from the pharmacy or drug store. Here, we have to ask the pharmacist because they are not kept on the shelves. They are standard sugar level urine strips. You can explain to the pharmacist that you want to test for diabetes in hamsters and I am sure he/she will know what you need. I pay $8 for a package of 50 strips. You can test for sugar levels and also for ketones. But you can just test for sugar levels if you don't want to buy two different kinds of strips.

If your hamsters test negative for sugar in their urine then I wouldn't worry about changing to the seed mix recipe I gave you but if they have high sugar, I would recommend that you try to find a hamster food that is recommended for diabetics. That is where the HoneyHams group can help since it is international.

Hamstermama
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:32 AM   #7
Pouchy
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I was hoping someone would know the correct amount of water that a dwarf hamster should consume in a day???
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:32 PM   #8
Christine Yule
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I would say that it depends on the weather and activity level of the hamster.

However, if you are wondering about the drinking and diabetes, I would say that excesssive urination is a better indication of diabetes. It is not the only one, but the most noticeable. When one of my dwarves would start to urinate a lot, it was almost a guarantee that they had developed diabetes. When I say excessive, I mean a hamster could soak 25% of it's cage shavings in a few days. That is pretty hard to miss. Of course to pee that much a hamster needs to drink A LOT.

I don't want to nag but I hope you will decide to purchase the strips when you can. If a hamster develops diabetes, I beleive it is very, very painful. I have seen some of mine not respond to treatment and they are clearly in extreme distress. It is best caught as early as possible.
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:10 AM   #9
Pouchy
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Default To pea or not to pea....

Is it O.K. to feed diabetic dwarfies peas, either yellow, dried green or split peas. Chickpeas are Ok and what about pearl barley.
Some of the info is contradictory depending where you look. A dowloaded pdf on Diabetic Rodent Mix suggested that various types of peas were OK but sweetcorn etc was not.

Have got the test sticks, now its how to administer the test. There is usually a puddle on one of the platforms in the morning but this won't tell if both are diabetic. Placing a strip on their 'wotsits' and giving a little push does not work with them. No urine is released.
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:13 AM   #10
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If the dwarfs are in such distress you may be better off having them put down and relieve their suffering especially if they have not responded to any treatments.
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