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Old 02-20-2021, 01:55 PM   #1
Margaret the dwarf
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Default Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

Well I finally had some free time to shoot a quick video and upload it of Gracie. Our Syrian we rescued back in June of 2020. I had a old thread about her issues and the problems we had. I dont know how to link that thread but ill do a quick over view. She started bleeding vaginally around late October 2020. Took her to couple vets. Then she got really sick and lost some use of her legs around Thanksgiving. Took her to Vet again. Then she got super sick around Xmas/New year and we thought she was gonna pass. But she made a miraculous recovery and had been fine ever since except the use of her legs didn't come back. We took her to Vet again, a hamster specialist and they wouldn't operate on her because of her age. She has a Tumor on her left side(u can see it on video). But none of the Vets thought she would still be living by now but she isn't on any meds anymore and doing great. Here is quick video of her in her closet foraging and building nests, then cuddling with my girlfriend. Just wanted some opinions on her loss of use of her legs? Syrian hamster (Gracie) - YouTube
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:02 PM   #2
Jim
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

Even in humans there are many reasons that paralysis can occur. The Christopher Reeve foundation has a whole section on that.

Causes of paralysis - Reeve Foundation

I'd focus more on the fact she's doing great and doesn't need any medications. Her health is obviously fine, and that's what matters most.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:26 PM   #3
Margaret the dwarf
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

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Originally Posted by Margaret the dwarf View Post
Well I finally had some free time to shoot a quick video and upload it of Gracie. Our Syrian we rescued back in June of 2020. I had a old thread about her issues and the problems we had. I dont know how to link that thread but ill do a quick over view. She started bleeding vaginally around late October 2020. Took her to couple vets. Then she got really sick and lost some use of her legs around Thanksgiving. Took her to Vet again. Then she got super sick around Xmas/New year and we thought she was gonna pass. But she made a miraculous recovery and had been fine ever since except the use of her legs didn't come back. We took her to Vet again, a hamster specialist and they wouldn't operate on her because of her age. She has a Tumor on her left side(u can see it on video). But none of the Vets thought she would still be living by now but she isn't on any meds anymore and doing great. Here is quick video of her in her closet foraging and building nests, then cuddling with my girlfriend. Just wanted some opinions on her loss of use of her legs? Syrian hamster (Gracie) - YouTube
Sorry, the video didn't upload. Have terrible time on this site uploading pics and video. Its just a link to a YouTube video. Ill try later.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:22 AM   #4
Amethyst_ice
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

Hello,

Im sorry to hear little Gracie is still struggling and it sounds like you have certainly done as much as you can.

A few things concern me from your video aside from the obvious.

I think I can see fluffy bedding in the corner and then that leads to my other concern where she is lying down and is having quite some time unpouching something, it looks like it may be some of the fluffy bedding?

Fuffy bedding is extremely dangerous and sadly we have had quite a few HC hammies suffer from it, some even fatal. It can get wrapped around outside parts but also when they pouch it, they can swallow the fibres which can get caught up internally also.

Her ears are also quite flat back and eyes slightly closed which isn't generally a sign of a happy hamster. You mention she is off pain meds and hamsters, being prey animals, do hide their pain well.

It could be the tumour is pressing on her nerves effecting the legs. I'd be concerned about her ability to groom herself and to keep clean. Also with pressure sores dragging herself around.

While tempting to think she looks cute snuggled up to your gf, she realy is struggling and showing discomfort whatever she is trying to unpouch. Her closed eyes also suggest this and also the fact she is in that position at all.

It is clearly obvious the love you both have for her however there are a few things from her behaviour in the video which suggest she may be struggling quite a bit.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:30 PM   #5
Margaret the dwarf
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst_ice View Post
Hello,

Im sorry to hear little Gracie is still struggling and it sounds like you have certainly done as much as you can.

A few things concern me from your video aside from the obvious.

I think I can see fluffy bedding in the corner and then that leads to my other concern where she is lying down and is having quite some time unpouching something, it looks like it may be some of the fluffy bedding?

Fuffy bedding is extremely dangerous and sadly we have had quite a few HC hammies suffer from it, some even fatal. It can get wrapped around outside parts but also when they pouch it, they can swallow the fibres which can get caught up internally also.

Her ears are also quite flat back and eyes slightly closed which isn't generally a sign of a happy hamster. You mention she is off pain meds and hamsters, being prey animals, do hide their pain well.

It could be the tumour is pressing on her nerves effecting the legs. I'd be concerned about her ability to groom herself and to keep clean. Also with pressure sores dragging herself around.

While tempting to think she looks cute snuggled up to your gf, she realy is struggling and showing discomfort whatever she is trying to unpouch. Her closed eyes also suggest this and also the fact she is in that position at all.

It is clearly obvious the love you both have for her however there are a few things from her behaviour in the video which suggest she may be struggling quite a bit.
I appreciate the advice but that wasn't her cage/enclosure. Thats just her play closet where we let her out of her cage to run around, forage, and build nests. She has a huge bin full of bedding were she spends most of her time and sleeps/eats. Also the cuddling/depouching she has done with my girlfriend since we rescued her back in June. 5-6months before she even got sick. Thats just how she is, she is the nicest tamest hammy we have had.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:41 PM   #6
Margaret the dwarf
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst_ice View Post
Hello,

Im sorry to hear little Gracie is still struggling and it sounds like you have certainly done as much as you can.

A few things concern me from your video aside from the obvious.

I think I can see fluffy bedding in the corner and then that leads to my other concern where she is lying down and is having quite some time unpouching something, it looks like it may be some of the fluffy bedding?

Fuffy bedding is extremely dangerous and sadly we have had quite a few HC hammies suffer from it, some even fatal. It can get wrapped around outside parts but also when they pouch it, they can swallow the fibres which can get caught up internally also.

Her ears are also quite flat back and eyes slightly closed which isn't generally a sign of a happy hamster. You mention she is off pain meds and hamsters, being prey animals, do hide their pain well.

It could be the tumour is pressing on her nerves effecting the legs. I'd be concerned about her ability to groom herself and to keep clean. Also with pressure sores dragging herself around.

While tempting to think she looks cute snuggled up to your gf, she realy is struggling and showing discomfort whatever she is trying to unpouch. Her closed eyes also suggest this and also the fact she is in that position at all.

It is clearly obvious the love you both have for her however there are a few things from her behaviour in the video which suggest she may be struggling quite a bit.
In your opinion do you think she should be euthanized? I've read alot on this forum and it seems like the consensus is that if she can still eat/drink and move around ok and go to bathroom she should be ok? She also does groom herself just not to the extent she used to.
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:19 PM   #7
Amethyst_ice
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

I didn't assume that was her cage but the dangers of fluffy bedding still stand.

It is not for any of us to make that hard decision for you. While that is a basic "checklist", each hammy is different and we have to also consider quality of life. The ears back is an indicator of pain or discomfort though, they have them flat upon waking but should perk up quickly so I'd be concerned she may be uncomfortable from that. As I said as prey animals, they hide things welk

It is hard decision to make and we have all been there. Often you get a feeling and just "know", but sometimes our love is so strong it can muddy our instincts.

We are all here to support and offer advice x
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:05 PM   #8
Margaret the dwarf
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

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Originally Posted by Amethyst_ice View Post
I didn't assume that was her cage but the dangers of fluffy bedding still stand.

It is not for any of us to make that hard decision for you. While that is a basic "checklist", each hammy is different and we have to also consider quality of life. The ears back is an indicator of pain or discomfort though, they have them flat upon waking but should perk up quickly so I'd be concerned she may be uncomfortable from that. As I said as prey animals, they hide things welk

It is hard decision to make and we have all been there. Often you get a feeling and just "know", but sometimes our love is so strong it can muddy our instincts.

We are all here to support and offer advice x
I appreciate your input, thank you. She is super attached to Gracie and its a unbelievable hard decision.
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:40 AM   #9
Amethyst_ice
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

It is but it's also a sign of love if you can put your own wants aside and say goodbye if it's time.

Souffle has always said to me "a day too soon is better than a day too late" and sadly, there have been a few pets I've left too long and then felt awful and guilty afterwards.

I keep rats and they are prone to HLD, hind leg degenration, where they gradually loose the use of their back legs.

I recently had an old man who was energetic, eating, drinking, grooming all fine but was dragging his legs around and would tire easily. It must be very energy consuming to have to drag yourself around like that, espcially when in the twililght years.

He seemed happy enough but as soon as I saw he had a facial cancer developing, I decided to let him go with some dignity before the legs and face got worse. It was really hard as he seemed perfectly happy and almost 3 years old.

Quality of life is always my consideration when making these decisions. I imagine myself as my pet and how they are living and whether I would be comfortable.

If her ears are flat back like in the video and you don't feel it is time, I'd ask your vet if she could have some pain relief like metacam at least as she may be uncomfortable
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:46 PM   #10
Margaret the dwarf
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Default Re: Syrian with loss of use of back legs, (video included)

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Originally Posted by Amethyst_ice View Post
It is but it's also a sign of love if you can put your own wants aside and say goodbye if it's time.

Souffle has always said to me "a day too soon is better than a day too late" and sadly, there have been a few pets I've left too long and then felt awful and guilty afterwards.

I keep rats and they are prone to HLD, hind leg degenration, where they gradually loose the use of their back legs.

I recently had an old man who was energetic, eating, drinking, grooming all fine but was dragging his legs around and would tire easily. It must be very energy consuming to have to drag yourself around like that, espcially when in the twililght years.

He seemed happy enough but as soon as I saw he had a facial cancer developing, I decided to let him go with some dignity before the legs and face got worse. It was really hard as he seemed perfectly happy and almost 3 years old.

Quality of life is always my consideration when making these decisions. I imagine myself as my pet and how they are living and whether I would be comfortable.

If her ears are flat back like in the video and you don't feel it is time, I'd ask your vet if she could have some pain relief like metacam at least as she may be uncomfortable
Absolutely, we have some left over from when she was sick. I will definitely try it to see if it helps her.
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