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Old 04-25-2021, 07:58 AM   #1
Hamster Pup
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 202
Red face Diabetic Roborovski

It seems I only ever make threads when my hamsters are ill. Oh well.

Roughly a month ago, I noticed my 7-8 month old male roborovski, Tiny, was drinking and peeing a lot; he has a long cardboard tube behind his wheel that he often potties in, and the underside of it was soaked. I waited a week to see if he'd get over it, as something similar had happened in the past, but it didn't, so I ordered some keto-diastix to test.

Two weeks ago, the sticks came, I tested, and confirmed high glucose and trace ketones. We went to the vet the next day. The vet asked me why I thought he was diabetic (I said about the keto-diastix result), asked how much he was drinking (10-12ml/day), then went and checked his weight (48g - he's always been very chunky) and general condition (bright eyed, friendly and happy enough, just fat), and just said to not give him sugar and try to get him to lose weight.

So, here I am, looking for advice. I have read the stickied posts, a few other threads, and the info on the Vectis site, but was wondering what else I can do, or if there's something I have misunderstood and should change, to keep my little one as happy and healthy for as long as possible. I would like to note that, other than the drinking/peeing, he isn't showing any other symptoms (no rapid weight loss (?, see below), no squinting, no hunched back, no irritability/aggression, no excessive exercising or sleeping).

Since the vet visit, he has gone down to 44g (4g over 2 weeks). He seems to be drinking the same amount, but given he gets cucumber, it could be more than that. I have removed as many old treats as I could find, and will be doing a full cage clean next weekend. I have been giving him fenugreek seeds daily (around 10-15; he seems to like them, but doesn't always eat them all). I have been giving him linseeds (a...pinch? Not very accurate, I know. I scatter the seeds around his cage every other day) and mealworms (P@H ones advertised for small animals, maybe 5 a couple of times a week) to increase his protein intake.

He gets fresh cucumber constantly, fresh broccoli a few times a week, and the occasional salad leaves (a pre-washed/bagged mix of spinach, red/green babyleaf, and chard). All of his treats are now dried herbs and seeds only (thankfully he's always liked those over the sugary things, although I think he'll miss the Nibblots). His main food is the Rodipet dwarf mix, with some Harry Hamster mixed with it, but I have now ordered the hybrid mix (the vet said the dwarf mix was was fine, but given it has corn, carrot and parsnip in it, I've decided to err on the side of caution) and will swap him over as soon as it arrives.

Is there anything else I can do, or anything from the above information I should change/stop doing?

I'd also like some advice about the 'no sugar' thing. A lot of things have sugar, (e.g. linseeds have 1.3g sugar per 100g, broccoli has 1.7g per 100g), so is there a 'safe' limit to how much natural sugar they can have from these foods? Or is it simply a case that the positives outweigh the negatives?
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Old 04-25-2021, 09:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Default Re: Diabetic Roborovski

Hello. I think it’s unusual for a Robo to have diabetes but not impossible. No sugar diet is the way to go yes. I wouldn’t worry about seeds having a small amount of natural sugars. The benefits of linseeds would outweigh that. They help keep things in balance and are chock full
Of healthy vitamins especially vitamin E etc (coat and skin). The Rodipet hybrid mix sounds good and is sugar free. Harry Hamster is sugar free. Veg is fine but don’t give fruit (fruit sugars). Also I wouldn’t give salad leaves - I can’t remember why that is not good but can be the water content partly. Broccoli is fine. Spinach if you can get it. Not cabbage or lettuce. Carrot is a sweeter veg so maybe not. Cauliflower ok. I just used to keep cauliflower, broccoli and cucumber on the fridge (they last ages if kept in the fridge).

It’s possible that things might improve as well with the salad leaves stopped - it may be overloading her kidneys possibly.
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Old 04-26-2021, 09:00 AM   #3
Linda 123
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Hampshire England
Posts: 18
Default Re: Diabetic Roborovski

Hi, I 'm so sorry that Tiny is unwell. I used to have a diabetic dwarf hamster. I got some great advice from the forum, also from Anton Vets by email.

Here's a picture of my Saffy trying out all of the good wholesome foods I could think of, and finding out which ones she did and didn't like.

Best wishes to you and Tiny.
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Diabetic Roborovski

Aw Linda, what a love!y idea!
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Old 04-28-2021, 11:14 AM   #5
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Location: UK
Posts: 202
Default Re: Diabetic Roborovski

Thank you for the responses.
I'm aware that diabetes in robos is really rare, but it seems Tiny and I were just unlucky. The salad leaves were just an occasional treat (see; maybe once every few months), but I wont give any more. Otherwise I'll just keep going as I have been with him, and hope the hybrid Rodipet mix comes soon.

On natural sugars in foods; I was mostly wondering about a possible 'absolute limit' in regards to things like babyfood, which all my hamsters loved (and Tiny was fond of the C&G pumpkin and chicken food, and baby porridge, before he started having symptoms), as well as other veggies and things for him to try. But, well, I suppose I'll indeed just keep him on a strict diet of hamster food and aforementioned foods from now on. Thank you again.
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