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Old 01-07-2022, 09:50 AM   #11
souffle
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

that sounds way too much unless they have diluted it down already. I'd say the drop sounds more like it. Maybe they meant .3mls diluted in a 100ml water bottle? If it's full strength and you gave 0.3 I think it could kill him!
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:08 AM   #12
Ria P
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

Yes, 0.03ml sounds right. That's the dosage Clarissa was on who was smaller and lighter than Ozzy who is on 0.05ml.

I think 0.3ml of dog Metacam would be a massive overdose.
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:30 AM   #13
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

It definitely would not be .3 mls of dog Metacam - that would be a massive overdose and far too big a quantity. You did right to query it with the vet and don’t hesitate to do so again if you’re not sure.

0.03 mls sounds about right. You should have been given a 1 ml syringe with the Metacam (the smaller one on the photo you posted). The end of this fits inside the larger syringe supplied with the dog metacam.

You draw up the Metacam in the larger syringe (about 1ml eg) then draw 0.03 into the smaller syringe from the larger one. Anything left in the larger one can be squirted back into the Metacam bottle. It stores well and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

The 1ml syringe has 10 markings. Each of these is 0.1 ml. Each of those 0.1 markings has 10 small markings. Each of those is 0.01. So the dose is three of the tiny markings.

“A drop” is not exact enough - drops can vary in size a lot - it needs to be measured out in the small syringe.

Doubling the dose is not a good idea at all - too much can cause kidney failure.

Once a day is standard. The full dose will give the relief needed. The important thing is to give it at the same time each day because it will start to wear off after 24 hours. Giving half a dose twice a day won’t give full relief at each dose. So stick to once a day.

Metacam is an anti inflammatory - it’s the equivalent of ibuprofen for humans - so although it’s an anti inflammatory it also acts as pain relief.

The dosage is partly worked out by weight but not as per the instructions on the bottle because the vet has to factor in the hamster’s metabolism in the dose. As such the equivalent dose for a hamster is higher than for a cat (if you had a cat the same weight eg).

So metabolism has already been factored into the dose. I actually think 0.03 sounds quite a high dose for the weight of your hamster. It is probably the maximum within the range. There is some leeway in the range.
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

Vectis has a very good visual example of syringe markings for doses on her web page. Metacam tastes nice and they will take it in food (some of them don’t like the syringe. I drop the Med on top of a pea sized amount of tasty food - eg baby food or porridge. Makes it a treat they look forward to.

Giving your Hamster Medication - Vectis Hamstery
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

If you’re drawing it up straight from a sealed bottle of dog Metacam it won’t have been diluted. But I would check with the vet again. Just say you want to check if the Metacam has been diluted or not and if the dose is 0.03 or 0.3 as 0.3 seems a large amount. If she still says it’s 0.3 and it’s not diluted then she has got it wrong! Then you have to be diplomatic and ask her to double check as the bottle says xyz. But just give 0.03.

It’s common to give Baytril twice a day (splitting the dose) because that is an antibiotic - works differently. Metacam is usually only given once a day. Once a day is standard.
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

To compare, our last Robo (who weighed about 25g) was on 0.01 mls. So 0.02 to 0.03 would be right. The range of dose is quite wide within it so 0.03 would not be too much - just on the high side of the range.

My vet explained a couple of years ago that it had been discovered vets had been under dosing hamsters on Metacam by not accounting for the metabolism and that practice has now changed. They used to say “a drop” but now it’s measured. 0.01 would be a drop - a tiny one. 0.03 would be more like 2 drops or a large drop and a half! Better to measure it.

To get bubbles out - draw up too much and tap the syringe till the bubble is at the spout then push some out into the big syringe to get the dose. It’s hard getting bubbles out of Metacam as it’s sticky. So I found drawing it back snd forth between the two syringes usually gets rid of them. You’ll get the knack.
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Old 01-08-2022, 04:47 AM   #17
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

Thank you so much everyone for all your help. I am shocked that the vet thought that was the correct amount and I knew in my gut it wasn't right!! I chose to see her because it said she specialised in exotic animals, never again!! My sister also couldn't believe it when I told her. She also couldn't believe that Loki's teeth weren't checked by the vet as this could be a possible reason for the weight loss?! It really saddens me that vets don't appear to have the same compassionate care for our tiny little pets as they do for cats and dogs. I'm sure there must be some out there but sadly I am yet to find one.

Serendipity2000 - Thank you so much for going into such detail in helping me to understand and get the correct dosage. I wasn't given a smaller syringe, but had one from his previous medication. The solution was definitely not diluted and I measured it out the way you suggested last night by using both syringes and that really helped, thank you. I then put it onto a little spoon and it worked out to be a drop and and bit. Loki loves the taste!!!
I totally understand what you are saying about once a day. My sister said that is what all vets prescribe but because their metabolisms are so fast it will most likely have worn off by 12 hours. She definitely said not to double the dose (her and I had a little misunderstanding early on) but to give just a drop morning and night.
I am going to continue with his measured out nightly dose for now as this morning I woke up to find him tucking into his bowl of food and then climbing up the bars to see me!! Such a great way to start the day and it put a big smile on my face!!
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Old 01-08-2022, 05:30 AM   #18
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

So pleased the Metacam is showing effect. I’ve always found once a day works well. The only time I noticed it wearing off by 24 hours was post surgery. Otherwise I think, as with taking paracetamol, there is a level maintained in the body by taking it regularly, so there shouldn’t be any “wear off” as long as it’s given daily. But see how your hammy goes.

It sounds as if your vet made a mistake (worrying!) but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. I had something similar once. Although the vet prescribed 0.03 ml she showed me the incorrect marking on the small syringe (0.3 marking). I also thought it looked rather a lot and checked on here! Vectis photos really helped.

It can be difficult to find a good exotic vet. I ended up staying with the same one as there was no other alternative in my area and she was good generally. And just double check everything re dosage! She had worked the dosage out correctly but showed me the wrong mark on the syringe. In your case it sounds like either the dose has been worked out incorrectly or there is a lack of knowledge about the doses.

Vets tend to only do what you ask them to do. And some vets now would even say it would need an anaesthetic to check their teeth. You can check teeth yourself. It’s not always that easy- I don’t like scruffing them to look - especially with an older or unwell hamster - it can distress them and can cause eye damage if done incorrectly. One way to check is when they yawn and have a look then. Of course they then don’t yawn when you want them to so another way to tell if their front teeth are too long is give them something like a nut. If they can open their mouths enough to pick up a nut in their teeth then their teeth are probably ok.

Just watch generally if there are any difficulties eating or taking a treat from you eg.

Having said that they can get arthritis of the jaw which can make opening the mouth painful as well. Even if the front teeth aren’t overgrown, they can get toothache in the back teeth as they get older which means they avoid eating hard food (or can’t eat it). So introducing soft food is a good idea.

Giving a bit of baby food daily goes down well and they love it - but still out the usual hamster mix out as well - they still like to pouch and hoard it even if they don’t eat it. But the baby food isn’t enough so I usually do:

Usual hamster mix
Some baby food
2 or 3 pellets of science selective soaked so it’s soft (they all seem to like that too).

Science selective is an all in one hamster food - contains everything they need - so you know their getting balanced nutrition if they’re not eating well.

I use the baby food lids for the “extras” as separate little dishes. So one baby food lid with the baby food in. One lid with the science selective in and a third one with a pinch of hemp seeds and a pinch of linseeds (they lick these up). Linseeds are good for fur and skin condition and eyes. Hemp seeds are supposed to contain all vitamins.

To soak the science selective you just put a tiny bit (a few drops) of boiling water on top of the 2 or 3 pellets in the dish and leave it about 10 mins so it’s cooled and has gone soft. It has a weird smell a bit like gravy! Maybe why they like it.

So probably time to start supplementing with soft food and help keep the weight on. Hemp seeds are also high calorie so help with that too. Pecan nuts are very high calorie so giving a half of one of those once a week would be a nice treat as well (not more often or they can have too much). They come in half shelled nuts so half of a half is probably about right for a dwarf hamster. And a test to see if they can take it from you in the teeth!

It would still be good to be able to see if the front teeth are overgrown though. As if they are they might need treatment.

If your hammy continues to eat well and eat all these extras and still loses weight then it is likely something else is going on (eg an internal tumour). Then it’s just tlc and Metacam.

A lot of vets don’t like treating older hamsters generally because of avoiding stress for them and just go with tlc - hence Metacam.

But keeping them comfortable is important so yes you do need to know if the teeth are overgrown.
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Old 01-08-2022, 06:10 AM   #19
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

Thank you so much taking the time to share all this with me!

I am definitely going to try everything you have suggested.... I hope you don't mind, I just have a couple of extra questions.

Which baby food do you use? I remember when I bought some to mix with his baytril medication, it had to contain no onions, garlic etc. Then there was the trouble of them saying 'once opened, consume within 24 hours' or 'do not freeze'. So a small portion is safe to give daily? Would you say that equates to about half a teaspoon?

I have taken a look on Holland and Barretts and they sell Roasted Hemp Seeds, is this ok, if not, where do you buy yours from?

In regards to his teeth. I put a new whimzee in his cage a couple of days a go and he has definitely been chewing that. If his teeth were overgrown would he still be able to chew things like this? He definitely takes treats out of my hand ok, but I will attempt to have a look at his them without causing him any stress.

The vet suggested giving Metacam for just a week, I know some people use it longer term for elderly hamsters. Is this more wrong info given by the vet?!

Thanks again SO much for all your help and advice, it is very much appreciated!!
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Old 01-08-2022, 02:15 PM   #20
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Metacam dosage?!

Sounds like his teeth are ok then . If they were overgrown a lot they can’t open the mouth properly to eat. Baby food. Yes the 4 months ones tend to not have onion, spices and tomato. I used to get two or three that were ok - the cow and gate chicken Sunday lunch is fine (that keeps 2 days in the fridge so you can use it for three days. Most are only 24 hours so you can only use them for two days (with 24 hours in between). So yes it can lead to wastage. Some people used to freeze small amounts of baby food in Ice cube trays and just take a cube out each day. But I’ve noticed some baby foods also say not suitable for freezing these days. So then you’re wasting some. It adds a bit to a weekly good bill as well. But you could give baby food for half the week and porridge the other half (cheaper). I just go with the wastage as it’s often bit for that long when they’re older (sadly) - maybe a few months. The other one I get is Hipp chicken and pumpkin. Some don’t seem to be available any more. I stick with the savoury ones as most of the sweet ones have lemon juice in.

I did get Ella’s kitchens strawberry baby porridge though (dry - you mix it) partly because it’s easier and quicker to mix.

I think any hemp seeds are fine but I get the Linwoods shelled hemp seeds. H&B sell most of the linwoods stuff - for humans to put on their cereals! It’s kind of fluffy and nutty and they seem to really like it.

Metacam - hmm. Vets vary on this. I think an older hamster should stay on it, if they improve with it. But I have had vets refuse to prescribe it long term. It can gradually affect kidneys if they’re on it a long time. But heck they are getting older and need the pain relief and their kidneys start to be affected anyway with old age.

Maybe the vet is hoping a course of treatment will right something. Other vets will be keen on using Metacam long term with an older hamster rather than risk them suffering as they hide pain so well.

Maybe you could find another exotic vet for another opinion. Or you could try just saying to this vet that you want to keep your hamster on Metacam for comfort as he perked up a lot with it.
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