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Old 02-22-2013, 06:15 AM   #11
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Default Re: How to make a hamster first aid kit

Super idea. Thanks for sharing that with us.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:15 PM   #12
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Default Let's Discuss What You Keep in a Hamster First Aid Kit

So what do you keep in your hamster first-aid kit? What do you think everyone should have? What would you love to keep around the house if only you had the money? I'll start, but please note that I always think taking your hamster to the vet is a good idea if you are worried about his/her health, and even a well stocked first-aid kit is not a substitute for a good vet

Things I have in mine:
- Vet phone numbers (including ours in town, the amazing exotic vet an hour away, and the absolute last resort vet that is kinda awful)
- Saline Solution
- Cotton Swabs
- Vinyl Gloves
- Baytril (dry pills, we always take them to the vet ASAP, but we like to have this on hand because sometimes the vet just won't see us/isn't in the office quickly enough, and we have medically fragile and elderly hamsters)
- Veterinary Textbook "Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery"
- Syringes (for giving oral medicine)
- Nail clippers
- Styptic powder
Pytherin (for mites)
- Urinalysis dipsticks (mostly for testing for diabetes but also good for testing if there is blood in the urine)
- Hand sanitizer
- Critical Care
- Pedialyte
- Probiotics
- a good gram scale to weigh them regularly

Things I would love to have but don't or can't for one reason or another:
- A nicely set-up medical tank that has heating, and a hook up for an oxygen tank
- A supply of meloxicam (we have quite a few elderly hamsters in our care and I would like to have it on hand so we don't have to deal with pain in their final days when I know it would do no good to take them to the vet)

There's probably many more things I would like to have, but I can't think of anything else at the moment.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:47 AM   #13
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Location: Southampton, UK
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Default Re: Let's Discuss What You Keep in a Hamster First Aid Kit

In my hamster health drawer I have:

*1ml, 2ml and 5ml syringes (for mixing meds, and giving oral meds and water)
Glass dropper bottles (for storing mixed medications)
Heat mat with thermostat
Comb and brush (for any fur issues)
*Nail clippers
Bird feeder (for reluctant hamster nail clipping)
Cotton buds
*Digital scales that read to 1g (I don't weigh my hams regularly but do before vet visits)
*Glass bowls (for water bowls)
Measuring spoon
*Small plastic hospital tanks (I find these easier than the glass tank as they are more portable to prevent disruption to sick hams)
Small cotton 'hamster blanket' (for very sick hams or post op)
Small soft pet cushion (for very sick or dying hamsters)
*Towel (for covering carriers on the way to the vet or wrapping up grumpy hams for meds/injections - comes to the vet with some animals)

Supplements/food/over the counter meds
Dr Squiggles
ProC Probiotic
*powdered baby porridge
*Sweet baby food jar (to tempt very sick hams who need energy)
Electrolyte mix (for ketotic diabetics, not pedialyte/dioralyte due to the sugar content)
Permethrin spray (for mites/fleas)
Cage flea spray
Cod liver oil (for my elderly ham with arthritis)
Arrowroot powder (for poorly tums and nicked nails)
*Johnson's tea tree cream (for dry skin or wounds)
*Small lip balm-sized Vaseline pot (various uses including squeaky wheels)

Medications (to be used under vet supervision)
Glipizide (and honey/syrup - see below)

I have many hamster health books but the ones I've found most useful are Hamsterlopaedia, Diseases of Small Domestic Rodents and the BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets

*Vet fund

I've put little stars by the stuff I use most commonly and find of most use when the vets are shut - my vet number is so well used that I have it committed to memory! Most of the rest of the bits are things that could be picked up as and when the need arises.

I regularly clear out any old prescribed medications as most of them would be ones I'd need the vet to see the animal prior to starting, e.g. furosemide, Galastop. I wouldn't want oxygen tanks or the like due to the potential insurance/transport implications plus if one of my pets was sick enough to need oxygen then I feel that they ought to be at the vet surgery. Despite having some medications at home, I still seek vet attention for my hamsters - the meds are more for the situations where a hamster becomes sick out of hours and needs something to tide them over until the next day to see my excellent vet.

I don't feel there is anything additional I would want in my first aid kit. I did want a heat mat for ages but since getting one find the Snugglesafe far more useful. If I have hamsters on diabetic meds, I always make sure I have some honey or syrup in the house in case of hypos (it's only happened to me once, but I was glad I had something on hand).
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: Let's Discuss What You Keep in a Hamster First Aid Kit

Yes, everyone should remember that even the most well stocked first aid kit isn't a replacement for vet care.

Also, the only reason I would love to have a set-up for oxygen is that we have had hamsters go into respiratory distress before and we live more than an hour away from the vet who is actually set-up to deal with serious problems in hamsters (we take in a lot of medically needy rescues so it's probably more common for us than the average hamster owner). Our vet in town, while great, doesn't do emergency care, and isn't equipped to handle anything more than a minor infection in a hamster. Unfortunately in the U.S. there are just not a lot of vets who will even see hamsters and we are incredibly lucky to live even an hour and a half away from a vet who can deal with the life threatening illness and actually do surgery.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Let's Discuss What You Keep in a Hamster First Aid Kit

The only thing we rely on for emergencies is the vets phone number (which is on my mobile and on the vets business card which I keep in my wallet) and the hams pre-prepared carriers which always have susbtrate and bedding in them ready to get the ham out in a hurry if needed. We also have a carrier for the mice that we keep ready. That way if there is an emergency we can just put the pet in their carrier and get going - my OH can ring the vets while I drive if it comes to it.

We do have other things around though
We have...
Baby nail clippers for ham claws
A stypic pencil incase a claw gets cut too low when clipping
Keto-diastix and multistix
Digital scales (that weigh to 1g)
Dr Squiggles
Needle-less syringes
Smaller cages if needed as hospital cages
Rocks/ceramic toys (can go with the ham to the vet on a hot day)
Two old blouses for covering carriers to give shade in the car or to help protect them from the worst of the weather
Larger fabric dog/cat carriers for if we need to take more than two carriers somewhere
Tea tree cream
Frozen veg (means we always have veg avaliable if a ham needs the vet)
Clean jars for health checking less tame pets
Cotton buds

And currently metacam cause a ham is on it, ronoxan cause a ham is on it, baytril cause the mice were on it until recently, and a few other meds we should return to the vets for disposal cause we don't need them around now.

Oh and I have a fairly well stocked human first aid kit, which we can use for the hams if we need it but thats unlikely.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:58 AM   #16
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Location: Bedfordshire U.K.
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Default Re: Let's Discuss What You Keep in a Hamster First Aid Kit

I'm feeling a bit deficient here because I don't have a first aid kit specifically for hamsters. That is unless we consider Exner Petguard, Beaphar Spot on and Snugglesafe Units and covers as first aid. We have our household first aid kit which would double in an emergency for a hamster. But in the case of injury or illness the vet would provide what is needed.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:09 AM   #17
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Location: Manchester / Preston UK
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Default Re: Let's Discuss What You Keep in a Hamster First Aid Kit

I don't have a first aid kit for my hamsters. But I will start one. Pet shops should sell them.

Mum to Daisy born November 2012
and Teddy born January 2013 and Rosie born March 2013 and Autumn born July 2013 and Wally born February 2014
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:54 AM   #18
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Location: UK - West Yorkshire
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Default Re: How to make a hamster first aid kit

A lot of the stuff is shared within our family, consisting of 2 humans, a dog, 4 hamsters, a gerbil (and previously her 2 friends RIP), a snake and a snail. Obviously I need to be cautious that I don't use something unsafe for that animal (including us) but I do find it easier to keep most of the stuff together and anything frequently used is in a cupboard in the kitchen but most of it is stuff our dog needs on a daily basis, some of which I dip into regularly.

Where do you get your multi-test strips from? I was going to get some keto-diasticks but if I can get something reliable and trustworthy that tests more then it seems a good idea to do that, or have both.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:49 AM   #19
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Location: UK - West Yorkshire
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Default Re: How to make a hamster first aid kit

I now have some keto-diastix, I have the Bayer brand, 50 sticks for 4.75 from my local boots. I rang them yesterday, ordered them, picked them up at lunch time today. Would still love to have some urinalysis sticks, but not sure which brand are worth it.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:34 PM   #20
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Default Re: How to make a hamster first aid kit

This is a brilliant idea! I have a human one but I never though of a hamster aid kit. I'll put one together ASAP!
Owned by one lovely Syrian named Fersken

Forever in my heart: Rosie ♥
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