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Old 03-18-2021, 12:37 PM   #1
inflikted
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Question Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

Stitch is my Syrian hamster, I got him from where I work because when he first arrived he bit everyone in store and I decided I'd take him as no other customers would. Since then he's been brilliant and energetic, although he'd often obliterate any toy I gave him within minutes.

That is until last week, when he started getting more sluggish and would spend most of his time sleeping. I can't really tell if his belly's swollen or if he's just put on weight through inactivity, but he mostly only comes out of his house to eat or drink (which he still does plenty of) unless I get him out. When he is out, it's very sluggish, with that sort of half-awake look, ears back and his bottom lip hanging open, and when I let him run around he generally just looks for somewhere dark to sleep so I let him sleep on my bed while I'm laying on it, and he just settles under the cover next to me where it's warm. When I put him in his sand bath yesterday he ended up leaning back to clean himself and got stuck, and I noticed his testes seem to have retracted into him or something as they're nowhere near as pronounced as they used to be, and his penis and anus are more prominent.

Needless to say, I've booked an appointment at the vet this Saturday (couldn't get any earlier as I couldn't get the time off work at such short notice) and am keeping a close eye on him. I even asked the guy who does small animal husbandry where I work and he said it could be cancer but could just as easily be something like an ear infection, so I thought I'd ask the advice of people on here who'd know a hell of a lot more than me.
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Old 03-19-2021, 02:31 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

I'm sorry to hear that your hamster is unwell. It sounds like something abdominal but only a vet will be able to diagnose and hopefully able to treat him.
Let us know how you you're getting on tomorrow and wishing you all the best.
Stitch is lucky that you took him in and that he has you to care for him.
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Old 03-19-2021, 11:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I'm sorry to hear that your hamster is unwell. It sounds like something abdominal but only a vet will be able to diagnose and hopefully able to treat him.
Let us know how you you're getting on tomorrow and wishing you all the best.
Stitch is lucky that you took him in and that he has you to care for him.
Yeah, it's the whole cancer thing that's freaked me out because if the vet says it's cancer and they need to put him to sleep I'm going to have trouble dealing with that. If I were to get home one evening and find he'd passed away in his sleep I'd be upset but at least know he went in his own time. Having to put him to sleep would mean that it'd end his suffering if he was in pain, but I wouldn't be able to shake the feeling that I'd killed him so I'm really hoping it won't come to that.
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

Update: The vet believes it to be lymphoma. His liver and spleen are twice the size they should be, and he was very slow while they were checking him. They believe he has between weeks and months left to live, but because he isn't currently suffering I've opted to take him home for now. If/when he deteriorates to the point where keeping him alive is causing him pain, I will have to make that decision, but I'd rather he go peacefully in his sleep.
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Old 03-20-2021, 12:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

I am very sorry to hear this.

My Syrian hamster was on a daily dose of Metacam during the last weeks of his life to keep him as comfortable as possible which may still be an option for yours.
They are so good at hiding pain that it can be hard to tell.

I have a dwarf with a suspected problem of her lymphatic system. Her vet thinks that she's not in pain but i tried her on a small, daily dose of Metacam i had kept.
The once lively and inquisitive hamster had become very lethargic, developed a swelling and spent nearly all her time underground but has been out and about more since i've medicated her. The vet knows and issues a prescription when i asked.

I'm not saying that it would help your hamster but i find that sometimes we have to ask to get where vets are concerned.

Make the best of the time you have left with him as time is so precious when they get older or become unwell.
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Old 03-20-2021, 01:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

OK I'll ask about Metacam during the week, think the daytime service is closed at the vet now and the night time emergency number won't help so I'll try calling during my lunch break on Monday.
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Old 03-22-2021, 03:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

Update: Called the vet this evening about Metacam and the receptionist said the vet will get back to me tomorrow. For now also moved from his old food to the Pets At Home own brand stuff, the ingredients still look alright and it's a much smaller nugget so I'm hoping it'll be easier for him to eat. The senior small animal expert at work also responded to an email I sent at the weekend and suggested putting a small drop of warm water in with his food, turning it into a sort of porridge that would be more palatable for him and also ensure he gets some hydration in case he stops drinking from his bottle. So I've boiled the kettle and am waiting for it to cool off, then I'll try it because he seems unsure if he can eat solid food at the moment.

EDIT: The soggy nuggets work! Once it had cooled a bit I poured some water in with the nuggets and let him try it, he's currently on my lap eating.

Last edited by inflikted; 03-22-2021 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 03-23-2021, 03:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

I have noticed that there are scabs around the corners of his mouth, could that be a cheek pouch issue? Would Metacam help with that too?
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

Oh god now the blood has started around his rear. I'm genuinely worried he won't last more than a week now and am seriously having to consider end of life care now.
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Concerned about my 21 month old Syrian

Two of my hamsters have peed blood and both times Metacam helped. It is an anti-inflammatory/painkiller but i don't know if it would help scabs on your hamster's mouth aside from pain relief of course.

I'm very sorry to hear that Stitch is deteriorating. If he were my hamster i would seriously consider his quality of life now because what you don't want is for him to be in pain and suffering.

I'd ask his vet for advice asap.
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