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Old 04-22-2021, 11:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Prague
Posts: 49
Red face Adopted hamsters Yggrid and Gudrun

Hello everyone,
I am looking for an advice of someone, who has experience in adopting older hamsters. First, I will explain the conditions my hamsters lived in.

On the image you can see Yggrid (golden) and Gudrun (white hamster mum together with her daughter). The cages were filthy, they were eating bird food with old bread, and they were basically just a toy for 5 year old kid without proper sense of how strong she is holding them. There were 4 hamsters, 2 got adopted by another kind owners, and 2 are with me.

Girls should be around 1 year old. I took them to a vet specialist, and I discovered following:
Yggrid´s heart is enlargened and she cannot have a wheel, because she can have a heart attack. Also, she had strong UTI.
Gudrun has a cyst on her liver. She is overally very tired and even though she is not loosing weight dramatically, I think she is not eating enough.

Girls are with me about 4 weeks now.
Yggrid is in Detolf, and Gudrun is in bin cage.

So my question is about Yggrid. She is taking antibiotics for 10 days now. Vet said 2 days ago, that they still found some leukocytes in her pee, but in a minimal amount and that I should continue with the antibiotics until her pee clears out. Her pee does not smell so strongly anymore and changes from pink to yellow.

However, she still seems stressed out. A week ago I started to let them out for play for about 20 minutes every day. She runs around all the time. She is always trying to get out of Detolf. She sleeps calmly during the day, but when she wakes up, she is restless.

Is there something I can do to make her feel more comfortable? Is it normal for adopted hamsters, to be so stressed even after 4 weeks? Or can she still be in pain? I had paid for all the hamster tests I could, for parasites also, and except from UTI and heart problems she is healthy.
I would also like to ask, if I should remove her sandbaths because of the UTI, or it they could stay. She absolutely loves them, but can they make her uncomfortable down there?

Also I would appreciate any advice on how to make Gudrun eat more.

Thank you,
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Last edited by yasmin_the_hamster; 04-22-2021 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 04-23-2021, 12:36 PM   #2
Ria P
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Adopted hamsters Yggrid and Gudrun

It's heartbreaking to see hamsters living in such terrible conditions. Well done you for rescuing those poor little souls.

Like humans, hamsters can get traumatised by their past and it can affect their mental health and behaviours longterm. They haven't lived a normal hamster life so it's impossible to say what is normal. I have a hamster i rescued from a bad situation and he was very nervous and scared at first but he was a baby which helped him to overcome his past and establish new and more positive behaviour patterns in a matter of about 6 weeks with a lot of input from me.

I don't why Yggrid is still so stressed after 4 weeks but i can voice a few guesses and they could all be wrong.

She is generally stressed and affected by her past but time, reassurance and patience should help with that.

She has a lot of unspent and built up energy because she doesn't have a wheel. I had a foster hamster who jumped up the walls of his cage frantically, tried to get out all the time and raced around like crazy when out. He had a wheel but didn't know what it was for until i taught him to run on it. He calmed down then.

After living in a very small cage for half her life she may feel overwhelmed by the large space of a detolf. You could try sectioning part of the detolf off and then gradually increase the space as she adjusts.

As i said, i could be completely wrong and i'm also aware of the reason that she has no wheel.
I wouldn't take the sandbath out because she loves it and it would upset her.

As for Gudrun, you could give her things like porridge or scrambled egg. Maybe some babyfood as well as her regular hamster mix.

Sometimes with rescue hamsters it's easy to think that there is little hope for them to live a stressfree and happy life because they are so traumatised but time really helps. As time goes on their trust grows and eventually most of them start to relax. It is a wonderful thing to watch when it happens.
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:14 AM   #3
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Location: Prague
Posts: 49
Default Re: Adopted hamsters Yggrid and Gudrun

Thank you Ria for your kind answer and for all the advice. I hoped that you will reply, since I know that you have so much experience with fostering animals.

I really adore you for that. It is not only financially, but mainly emotionally exhausting. I basically cried the whole first week I got them, because I was still thinking about the terrible conditions they were living in and also how many other hamsters must live like that. I guess fostering is not for everyone, or at minimal it needs some psychological training to deal with the pain.

I am also very active on Czech hamter forums, trying to educate people. I see the same things all the time, unethical breeders, hamsters held together in one cage, even people saying how they will let the hamsters into the wild if someone does not adopt them. Do you please have some tips on, how to say it properly, I guess do some mental hygiene? It makes me happy that I can help people for example not to use dangerous wheels, but on the other hand, there is a lot of negativity out there.

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