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Old 12-21-2014, 06:03 AM   #1
crazyc4tlady
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Exclamation Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

REALLY URGENT!

I found my Syrian hamster Harry lying motionless in her cage this morning, she is believed to be around a year old.
My brother and I have been trying hardest to keep her warm with towels and blankets but she is limp and still hasn't warmed up.
There is no signs of breathing.

WHAT DO I DO?!?!
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:12 AM   #2
DrKMcK
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

When a hamster passes away their eyes will cloud over. If the hammy is clearly not breathing at all, it has passed. A hybernating hammy will have some movement and some muscle tone as you watch it over time. A hamster who has passed will begin to stiffen up too. It would have to be fairly cold for a hamster to hybernate. How cold is it in your house? This has to be so distressful for you.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:17 AM   #3
crazyc4tlady
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

Okay, her eyes seemed to be open when I first picked her up, also there was a bit of movement, but sort of like heavy slow breathing then it stopped.
She hasn't stiffened up although its been a couple hours now, this is what concerns me?
My house is cold, but not crazy cold, I have another hamster in the same room and he is completely fine and lively
Thanks for replying!
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:17 AM   #4
velma
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

I have no first Han experience with this & DrK's advice is very good. I also remembered seeing this video this week from Erin's Hamsters explaining about torpor (the hibernation like state hamsters can go into to) & how she has dealt with it in the past. Like she says, this isn't the definitive right answer just how she coped with it. Also explains about difference between a hamster in torpor & one that has past away.
http://youtu.be/o66s2INAAGI
Hope this helps you.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:21 AM   #5
DrKMcK
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

I just went online and found this explaination. I hope this helps.

Do hamsters hibernate: No!! Hamsters are not true hibernators. Hamsters like to be in the range of 65 75 degree Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit they may go into a temporary hibernating state. This temporary hibernating state is called torpor: Torpor is a form of dormancy that is very similar to hibernation. But the difference between hibernation and torpor is how long the animals sleep times vary and how much the animal's bodies slow down. Torpor is a state of regulated hypothermia in an Endotherm: An Endotherm is an animal that is capable of maintaining its body temperature above the temperature of the external environment. Torpor may last just a few hours but usually no more than a day. Some mammals that live through cold periods when food is hard to find especially very small mammals have the ability to let their body temperature drop. Hamsters can go into this hibernating state and they have retained the ability to do so in captivity.
A true hibernation is a state of dormancy that allows an animal to conserve energy during the winter months when food is in short supply. During hibernation animals slow their metabolism to a very low level, this allow them to use their energy reserves stored as body fat at a much slower rate.
What does a hamster look like when hibernating

What does a hamster look like when hibernating? If you have a hibernating hamster in this sleeping (torpor) state it may appear that all life is extinct in the hamster and it may appear to be life-less (dead). It will not respond to sound, handling or touching. A hibernating hamster will curl up into a ball in the nest, this is to conserve heat in the abdominal region. You will be able to pick the hamster up without him knowing it, and will not wake up on handling. But close observation will reveal the hamster’s whiskers (vibrissae) are still twitching. The hamster still has to breath when in torpor, although very very slowly this can be seen on close observation. The hamster must be aroused by slowly warming and gentle handling and stroking. After the arousal period it may be noted that hamster will be little groggy and trembling this will last only for a very short time.
hibernating hamster

Why do animals hibernate?

Animals that hibernate, or go to sleep temporary (torpor) is to escape the cold and when it is really hard to find food during the winter months. By going into this deep sleep it means the animal is able to survive the cold winter. But before hibernating the animal will eat more food than usual, and this is stored as excess fat. Their bodies will then live off that fat as they sleep through the winter. The animal may appear life less (dead.) During hibernation the animal’s heartbeat and breathing slow down. This is when that stored fat that the animal piled on before the winter comes in handy. This stored fat will last them longer because their bodies slow down so much that they don’t need much energy. This is how the animal can survive through the whole winter on the stored body fat. This is something that hamsters don’t do and therefore the hamster will die of starvation or hypothermia if allowed to continue any length of time in the state of hibernation.

In captivity there is no need for a hamster to hibernate as food and warmth is plentiful. Hamsters in captivity should ‘Not’ be allowed or encouraged to hibernate. To prevent a hamster from hibernating it is suggested to keep your hamster warm. Keep the temperature above 15C (60F) and keeping them well lit for at least 12 hours a day. Provide plenty of food and handle regularly. If the temperature drops below 5C (40 F) they may go into temporary hibernation or dormancy, a torpid state. A hibernating hamster may die of hypothermia or starvation if left in hibernation for any long periods of time.

Keep hamsters warm during the winter months. It may be an idea to leave them in the warmest room of the house if possible. The same room as you normally use during the day and evenings. Give them plenty of nesting material to make them a good size nest. Using a heat lamp above the cage in cold rooms will keep them warm.

Aestivation: or Estivation is another form of dormancy (sleep) similar to hibernation except this is used in the summer to protect the animals from high temperatures and drought and the potentially harmful effects of the season. Some animals aestivate to conserve energy when their food and water supply is low.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:25 AM   #6
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

Crazyc4tlady,
How's Harry? I hope he's OK!
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:31 AM   #7
crazyc4tlady
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

We are still warming! It has been about two hours now and she is still limp, but cold and really no signs of breathing??
Has she passed?
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:39 AM   #8
DrKMcK
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

I'm afraid she has passed. 2 hours is too long for there to be no reaction at all. I am so sorry.

Have you tried the spoon idea that Erin talks about? Hold a spoon up to her nose and mouth. If there is any breath you should see the condensation.
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:47 AM   #9
crazyc4tlady
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

I tried the spoon thing and nothing.
What are the signs of death from wet tail?
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:58 AM   #10
crazyc4tlady
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Default Re: Urgent! Dead hamster or hibernating!

So I'm coming to terms with it now, I really don't think she is coming back, she is still lifeless.
What exactly do I do now?
Thanks for all your replies
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