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Old 02-02-2022, 04:42 AM   #1
Peanui
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Default Help regarding hamster supplements (Oxbow Joint and Urinary support) ...

Hello,

My Syrian hamster Peanui (photo attached) is just over two years of age. A little over 50 days ago, he met with a fateful accident in the hands of his vet and broke one of his hind legs. His leg is now somewhat healed, albeit a somewhat wrong angle. He is walking with his four legs now and is on the way to his recovery. He's also having a UTI issue since these last 2 months. He is on antibiotics (as suggested by his vet). I just wanted to have a third opinion as to whether the following two products from Oxbow are safe for hamsters.

1. Oxbow Natural Science Joint Support: Oxbow Animal Health | Oxbow Animal Health | Natural Science Joint Support Supplement |

Ingredients: Product Facts Per 1 Tab (2 g)

Active Ingredients: Glucosamine (Plant Based): 90 mg, Manna Oligosaccharide (MOS): 40 mg, Turmeric Powder: 22.5 mg, Ginger Root: 18 mg, Yucca Schidigera Extract: 9 mg, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): 2 mg

Inactive Ingredients: Timothy Grass, Barley Flour, Oat Groat Flour, Cane Molasses, Flax Seed Meal, Guar Gum, Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Rosemary Extract

2. Oxbow Natural Science Urinary Support for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and More: Oxbow Animal Health | Oxbow Animal Health | Natural Science Urinary Support Supplement |

Ingredients: Product Facts Per 1 Tab (2g)

Active Ingredients: Glucosamine (Plant Based): 45 mg, Marshmallow Root: 45 mg, Manna Oligosaccharide (MOS): 40 mg, Astragalus Root: 18 mg, Cranberry Extract: 18 mg, Dandelion Leaf: 18 mg, Pumpkin Seed: 9 mg, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), 2 mg

Inactive Ingredients: Timothy Grass, Barley Flour, Oat Groat Flour, Cane Molasses, Flax Seed Meal, Guar Gum, Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Rosemary Extract

Upon contacting Oxbow, I received the following message.

"Thank you for your patience while I collected the most updated information for you. Both of the supplements are appropriate for hamsters but we do recommend working with your veterinarian to see if they would suggest your hamster use the supplements. Your vet has that personal relationship with your hamster. If your veterinarian suggests that you move forward with the two supplements then the dose to start with would be 1/8 of a tablet, this can be increased up to 1/4 of a tablet if no reactions are noted and it is recommended by your veterinarian. The DHA for both tablets is algae derived."

My hamster's vet also thinks that these are safe for him. However, I am unsure about some of the ingredients.

Do you think I can give these to my hamster, once every few days (or even daily), the 1/8th of the tablet, each?

Many thanks.

Best regards,

Shankha.
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Old 02-02-2022, 06:03 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Help regarding hamster supplements (Oxbow Joint and Urinary support) ...

I honestly don't know the answer but both supplements contain glucosemine which is beneficial for joints but don't really understand how it can help to prevent utis'.

Personally, i don't give supplements to my hamsters because everything they need should be in their food.
I do sprinkle hamster herbs for foraging and give a daily pinch of brown linseeds additionally to their hamster mix, treats and fresh food though. Aside from the glucosamine, it seems that the other ingrediets can be found in dried hamster herbs.

I would look into any possible side effects of glucosamine, especially when given as the listed main ingredient in two separate supplements.
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Old 02-02-2022, 07:25 AM   #3
sushi_78
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Default Re: Help regarding hamster supplements (Oxbow Joint and Urinary support) ...

I imagine it's the cranberry and possibly the dandelion root that's supposed to help with urinary health. Cranberry can help to prevent bacteria attaching to the bladder wall and dandelion is a diuretic.

I used dandelion root and cranberry when one of my gerbils had some urinary issues (crystals/sludge and blood in her urine, pain when passing urine) last year, in conjunction with prescribed antibiotics and pain relievers, and had some success.

I agree that I would look into glucosamine more closely more giving them. I think supplements can be useful in some cases but need to be used carefully. They are essentially medicines albeit naturally derived ones, and have risks and side effects as well as potential benefits.
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Old 02-04-2022, 12:21 AM   #4
Peanui
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Default Re: Help regarding hamster supplements (Oxbow Joint and Urinary support) ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I honestly don't know the answer but both supplements contain glucosemine which is beneficial for joints but don't really understand how it can help to prevent utis'.

Personally, i don't give supplements to my hamsters because everything they need should be in their food.
I do sprinkle hamster herbs for foraging and give a daily pinch of brown linseeds additionally to their hamster mix, treats and fresh food though. Aside from the glucosamine, it seems that the other ingrediets can be found in dried hamster herbs.

I would look into any possible side effects of glucosamine, especially when given as the listed main ingredient in two separate supplements.
Thanks a lot for your message. The only reason I want to give (or try for a while) him supplements is because he is recovering from a broken bone and has recurring UTI issues. However, I will follow your advise and add a daily pinch of brown flax seeds.

I tried looking for potential side effects of glucosamine, but couldn't find any. Thus, I wrote to the company to seek clarification.

Once again, I really appreciate your help and care.
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Old 02-04-2022, 12:25 AM   #5
Peanui
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Default Re: Help regarding hamster supplements (Oxbow Joint and Urinary support) ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushi_78 View Post
I imagine it's the cranberry and possibly the dandelion root that's supposed to help with urinary health. Cranberry can help to prevent bacteria attaching to the bladder wall and dandelion is a diuretic.

I used dandelion root and cranberry when one of my gerbils had some urinary issues (crystals/sludge and blood in her urine, pain when passing urine) last year, in conjunction with prescribed antibiotics and pain relievers, and had some success.

I agree that I would look into glucosamine more closely more giving them. I think supplements can be useful in some cases but need to be used carefully. They are essentially medicines albeit naturally derived ones, and have risks and side effects as well as potential benefits.
Thank you so much for your suggestions as well. I ordered some dried cranberries from Oxbow as well. Where I live, I don't find fresh cranberries. I do give dandelion roots as chews for my hamster. But, should I make a paste and feed it to him? My baby was on an anti-inflammatory (meloxicam) while he was recovering from his broken bone, which is now looking much better. He still has the UTI issue and I am giving him antibiotics as prescribed by his vet. However, fortunately, the plugs that came out from his urinary tract aren't stones, as tested by his doctor.

I couldn't find any links where side effects of glucosamine were listed, for hamsters. Thus, I wrote to the company again to seek clarification. I will await their response before giving it to him. I will run by both of you once more as to what they have to say.

Many thanks for the care.
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Old 02-04-2022, 03:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Help regarding hamster supplements (Oxbow Joint and Urinary support) ...

I personally wouldn't give it. There are natural foods you can give to support healing and if your hamster is on antibiotics, those are quite strong and anything could interact with a conventional medicine. Sorry. It's also now debatable whether cranberries are good for uti's or not. All herbs are medicines so even though I'm a believer in some herbs being helpful medicinally, I'd never use them at the same time as conventional medicine.

Best thing is to support his diet so his body has the best support to heal naturally - which it sounds like the leg is doing already. If you can get some hemp seeds, they contain all the vitamins and minerals needed - hamsters like them and lick them up. Just a pinch on a separate little dish. Also linseeds (which they also like - which are good for fur, skin etc and probably bones too due to the natural oils. A pinch of those too. I used to use a jar lid as an extra dish and put the hemp seeds on one side and the linseeds on the other side (brown linseeds). They're not expensive.

Giving a blueberry as a treat once or twice a week (or as a substitute for a piece of veg) is healthy too. Full of antioxidants. That's fine for a Syrian but wouldn't do that for a dwarf hamster due to the sugars in fruit. If you keep blueberries in the fridge, they last for ages - 2 or 3 weeks usually.

Assume the antibiotics are a course and not permanently. When the course is finished, your hamster should no longer have a uti. But if she continues to appear to have urinary problems then dandelion can help - but you can buy dandelion roots which are woody and they can enjoy chewing. Bearing in mind though that a 2 year old hamster will start to drink and pee more as their kidneys start to not work as well as they get this old.

Hope that helps! I think there are too many ingredients in the Oxbow supplements and they're unnecessary - the timothy hay could cause more harm than good.
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Old 02-04-2022, 01:10 PM   #7
sushi_78
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Default Re: Help regarding hamster supplements (Oxbow Joint and Urinary support) ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanui View Post
Thank you so much for your suggestions as well. I ordered some dried cranberries from Oxbow as well. Where I live, I don't find fresh cranberries. I do give dandelion roots as chews for my hamster. But, should I make a paste and feed it to him? My baby was on an anti-inflammatory (meloxicam) while he was recovering from his broken bone, which is now looking much better. He still has the UTI issue and I am giving him antibiotics as prescribed by his vet. However, fortunately, the plugs that came out from his urinary tract aren't stones, as tested by his doctor.

I couldn't find any links where side effects of glucosamine were listed, for hamsters. Thus, I wrote to the company again to seek clarification. I will await their response before giving it to him. I will run by both of you once more as to what they have to say.

Many thanks for the care.
I just gave her whole pieces of dandelion root for her to eat or not eat, as she chose. I wouldn't want to force feed anything unless it's definitely necessary (e.g antibiotics for an infection) I think they helped with her specific issue which seemed to be related to very concentrated/sludgy urine but it may not be suitable for your hamster's issue (it was more of a general example than a specific recommendation). Anything with a diuretic effect is going to put some strain on the kidneys so you need to weigh that up with any expected benefit.

My gerbil has some complex issues that vets didn't understand, and prescribed medications weren't always enough to help with, so I tried various things for her after consideration of the possible risks etc. I think if you're using supplements it's important to research how they work and what effect they have on the body first so that you can make an informed decision on whether to use them. A lot of things are marketed quite generically as for "urinary health", "general health" etc but they work in different ways and some might help and some might harm, or they might do nothing at all and just cost you money.

I bought the cranberries frozen and defrosted them individually in a cup of boiling water but I wasn't feeding many so I'm not convinced it made any difference. However fresh cranberries are fairly benign (not likely to worsen most health conditions or interact with most medications) so it was a case of "it might help but it almost certainly won't harm" and fruit helped to stimulate her appetite anyway!

Have you watched him pee recently? I was wondering whether a deformed or painful leg could affect the way he crouches or squats to pee which could affect how well he empties his bladder. Inadequate bladder emptying can cause infections
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