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Old 02-06-2014, 03:01 PM   #1
HelenaandHoratio
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Default Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

Dear all,

I posted about my just-about-2-yr-old Syrian hamster Horatio the other day, but now he seems to be deteriorating. I'm looking for some advice. About 3 weeks ago he started getting more frantic and begging more for food, chewing more on the bars, and trying more to escape. Then about 5 days ago I noticed he has diarrhea.

On Tuesday I took him to the vet, because he's just so frantic and the diarrhea wasn't improving even after stopping fresh food and thoroughly cleaning his cage. She said she couldn't see any physical issues other than that he is underweight and dehydrated. She gave him fluids and also gave me some antibiotics to use if the diarrhea doesn't stop.

Last night (Weds) his diarrhea did seem to be improving considerably, BUT he's incredibly underweight. He seemed a little less frantic, but I think it might just be due to weakness. He also is seeming less coordinated the past couple of nights (he climbs the bars even a little and falls onto his back) and may be a little confused. His ears have been pinned down every time I've seen him the past few days. He does still run on his wheel.

I spoke to the vet and she suggested I try the antibiotics, even at the risk of making his diarrhea return. She was indicating it's a last-ditch effort. She thinks if his neurological condition worsens I should have him put to sleep (

What do you all think? Any suggestions for anything I can try?
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:33 PM   #2
souffle
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Default Re: Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

It does not sound as if he is feeling at all well. The frantic behaviour could have been because he was feeling pain in his tummy like cramps or such like. There could be something inside going on like a tumour or other organ problem which is very hard to diagnose. If he is getting worse then I would be inclined to take the vets advice and try the antibiotics. Hamsters usually tolerate them very well. He is an old hamster now remember and he will be less fit to fight off problems so will need careful nursing, warmth and fluids and for you to listen carefully to any whisper that indicates he may be in pain.
I do hope he is helped by the meds but don't hesitate to go back to the vets should he get worse over the next day or so.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:11 PM   #3
KWsHamstery
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Default Re: Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

Souffle has given you great advice, it sounds like your little fellows old age is catching up to him. I would do as the vet asked you to, and if the condition worsens, take him back to the vet. They may suggest having him humanely PTS, and honestly, if he is suffering that may be what is best. I am so sorry you have to make such hard decisions regarding your little fluffs life, I do hope he improves. You and he both are in my prayers. x
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:05 PM   #4
HelenaandHoratio
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Default Re: Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

Thank you both very much. Assuming he's still with us this evening or he's not markedly improved, I'll begin the antibiotics. Poor little guy
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:21 PM   #5
DrKMcK
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Default Re: Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

Hello Helenaand Horatio. It's pretty awful when they get older and an illness strikes. I also agree with starting the antibiotics. When you consider risk/benefit, the benefit may very well outweigh the risk here. There have been many hammies here on HC whose hammy really benefited, by feeling much better and being able to stay with their owner for a longer time than expected. To encourage him to eat you can try giving him some cooked and cooled oatmeal, some cooked chicken and some cooked pasta. My guys love all three foods. I hope Horatio is feeling better soon.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:17 PM   #6
HelenaandHoratio
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Default Re: Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

Hello, he seemed a little better this evening . I gave him the first dose of antibiotics, some nuts (he loves nuts, and I'm trying to get some meat back on his bones!), and some cold oatmeal (which be seemed to enjoy). His ears are down still, but he seems a little less frantic and more coordinated than yesterday. He's so thin though. We'll see. Thanks so much everyone for your advice.

Helena
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:05 PM   #7
Mama2six
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Default Re: Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

Antibiotics brought one of my hamsters around within a few days. He was wobbley, had diarrhea, ears back, nearly everything you described. The vet did the same as yours, prescribing antibiotic and gave him fluid to re-hydrate him (a shot), after determining there was no noticeable blockage or anything.

I hope that it turns out well for your Horatio!
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:05 AM   #8
Tutu
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Default Re: Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

Hope he will improve soon. He might enjoy baby food. My hamster likes hipp organic porridge or rice pudding
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:26 AM   #9
HelenaandHoratio
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Default Re: Hamster who had diarrhea, very underweight and now behaving oddly

Mama2Six, that's very reassuring! I noticed that his diarrhea had returned and was bad this morning, but I think I maybe gave him a little more than the 1-2 drops last night (the syringe is confusing!). I held off on this morning's dose, but will resume this evening (being careful not to give too much!)
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