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Old 08-05-2013, 05:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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Question An Aging Hamster

Hello all,

My little Petunia just turned 2 this July, and she's definitely in her golden years. Though she's still full of energy, I've noticed that she's a little wobbly/off-balance and definitely likes to get in a few naps throughout the day.

Anyway, I was wondering if you all had any tips on how to keep her comfortable in old age. I just want to play with her as often as possible to keep her happy!
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: An Aging Hamster

I have a few little oldies at the moment, and have dealt with many over the years now. They all age differently, and you really have to take your cue from them. Be more vigilant for any signs of a creeping health issue, keep an eye on mobility and whether she is able to comfortably reach all areas of her cage if she has lots of climbing areas. You will eventually likely have to make cage adjustments, but be careful not to age her before her time, as I say let her show you what she needs.
Food wise if you feed higher levels of protein, cut down a little as the ability to process it reduces, make sure you keep teeth well checked, and just a general eye on whether she is eating and drinking as she should be.

Hopefully although a little bobbly, she will be happy and energised for a long time yet
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: An Aging Hamster

Thank you for the tips! Last month, she went to the vet because she had gas built up in her system, and it could've killed her (who knew?!). She's all better now (and looks much smaller, haha), but we've changed her diet according to our vet's advice since then - no kibble with "fun" colors or various nuts. Basic old ham diet - all natural - with just pellets and a bit of dried veggies.

She's definitely still active. Her back is arching a bit - but she's lost quite a bit of weight so this might just be her body, adjusting to its new size.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: An Aging Hamster

We tend to try and make sure the hams can definetly still access the important things in their cage (e.g move the food/water to the bottom incase they can't get up a ramp in old age)
When they get less active downsizing the cage can also help sometimes
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: An Aging Hamster

Most things have already been covered above. I have two Syrians over 2 years old at the moment, and whilst the younger one is still full of energy, the other has slowed down significantly. He sleeps almost all the time and has stopped wanting to come out of his cage. He'd rather go back to bed! I try to get him out if possible a couple of times a week just to keep him active, but he tends to just find a corner and go to sleep anyway. He's still eating, drinking and going to toilet with no signs of illness so I think he's just showing his seniority. He's about 2.5 years old now.
As we stand at the edge of barren desolation
Fight for the future of our generation
Fearless we stand, brave we defend
For a thousand years gone by
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