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Old 04-29-2018, 02:19 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1
Exclamation Please help!

I have a female long haired Syrian hamster, she is around a year and 3 months old, and for the last 3 months she hasn't been looking well. She has this weird odour, and she constantly looks wet, like she has been licking herself. She has scabs in her ears and around her mouth, and sometimes her feet get swollen. She was on a hemp bedding, we thought maybe it was an allergy to this so we changed her to care fresh, but it hasn't got better, we have since taken everything wooden out of her cage but don't know what else to do! We have taken her to the vets, they gave her some antibiotics but didn't know what was wrong with her, the antibiotics didn't make a difference. What do I do?!
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:56 AM   #2
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Location: Wales UK
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Default Re: Please help!

Sorry to hear your ham is so unwell.
Scabs around her ears & nose could be an indication of mites, hamster can also get ringworm I believe but I'm not so sure of the symptoms of that, has you vet done any skin tests at all?
When you say she looks wet do you mean all over or in a specific place?
If she does have some kind of infection then it may be she will need more antibiotics, some conditions do tend to require more than one course.
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:20 AM   #3
ArcherMylin Hamster Care
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Join Date: Feb 2018
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Unhappy Re: Please help!

Sorry to hear your hamster is sick. Unfortunately, I do not know how to help, but I wish you the best of luck to get your hamster well again.
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:23 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 129
Default Re: Please help!

Hello and sorry to hear that your little one is doing very well,

As Cypher said, it sounds like she has symptoms of mites. Personally I would take her to vet and see what the diagnosis is. This could also be very irritating and sometimes painful for your hamster so get it checked out straight away. As for ringworm, hamsters do not show many external symptoms however if your hamster has random bald patches (this should be fairly noticeable on a long haired Syrian) then that is a symptom of ringworm. I really hope you can get your hammy restored back to full health!
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:37 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 22,728
Default Re: Please help!

Is the weird smell all the time or just every few days (they come on heat every 4 days and can have a smell at that time - apparently it's a musky kind of smell).

It's good your vet has given antibiotics in case there's any infection but it does sound like they don't really know much about hamsters not to test for things. Did they do a skin scraping? Suggest you google for an exotic vet in your area (you might need to travel a bit further than the nearest one but probably not too far). If there's more than one exotic vet then read the bios of the vets and see if there is one who specializes in hamsters or small furries. Exotic vets know a lot more about hamsters anyway.

To diagnose mites definitively it needs a skin scraping and that looking at under a microscope. Some vets prescribe for mites without a diagnosis and that's not good because any medication is strong for a hamster and should be reserved for if it's actually needed. If it is mites, an exotic vet would be able to give an injection rather than dousing your hamster with stuff that may or may not be effective.

I'd also suggest you try Fitch bedding. It's true hamsters can be allergic to any kind of wood - some hamsters have apparently also been allergic to Carefresh which is more processed than paper bedding. Fitch is just recycled food grade paper and hypoallergenic - doesn't smell of anything either. It's sold in bulk by the manufacturers and the smallest bag they sell is 10kg but it's not that big to store inside especially once you've taken some out to fill a cage base. I get the 10kg bag and squish it into the shape I want to fit under a chair or in a gao next to a wardrobe or something and have had it just in the corner of the room with a throw over it! (Looks like a child size beanbag chair then).

So that's one thing to rule out. Unfortunately the changes won't be helping her stress levels either but that should settle. Hide a few treats around the cage when you do the substrate change to distract her.

Boosting her immune system may help. A good hamster mix has all the required nutrients, vitamins and protein - some are lacking. As well as that giving a bit of fresh veg every day (start with every 3 days) is good and they enjoy it. Just a tiny bit the size of your thumbnail - broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber are all fine - best to have a little bit of variety. Broccoli and carrots keep for ages if you keep them in the fridge.

Other extras and treats can help too - I give half a brazil nut once a week as an extra - it's supposed to have something in that's good for immunity.

Assume it isn't mites until you've had a clear diagnosis - it could be something else. But I would take her to an exotic vet. At a year and 3 months it could be some other condition she is starting with also, which could be treated.
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