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Old 01-18-2022, 02:33 AM   #1
Azula
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Exclamation Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

Hi guys!
I'm in desparate need of help. First let me introduce my hamster Aloy. She's a russian dwarf (most likely a hybrid) and she's over two, but barely.
She started behaving strangely couple of days ago as in doesn't run in her wheel anymore or when she does it's in minutes at best. She's been doing a lot of clicking noise lately. She's still eating normally and since she pees in her sandbox I can see she pees regularely.

Her tummy is a bit bloated so I've taken her to the vet yesterday and he examined her, but unfortunately said he can't really feel anything in that bloatness and didn't prescribe her anything since she's still eating normally and other than that behaves normal (but I fear she might have masked her symptoms). Unfortunately I live in a s**thole where we don't have exotic vets and the vet I've taken her to is actually a vet who has done hamster surgeries before such as tumor removal. He said it's really hard to tell exactly what's wrong with her since non of them have apropriate equipment for examining hamsters sicne almost no one ever takes a hamster to a vet here... I have a "hamergency" fund for vet trips and would gladly pay whatever needs be, but he ended up charging me nothing cause he felt he wasn't much help. That was my worst fear - not being given any meds.
He said she is well behaved as in didn't panick like some hamsters do when being examined and that her fur is good looking for a hamster her age.

I recorded a video of her so in case anyone might resognise what this behaviour is (maybe coughing) and if I should go to the vet again and try to get some meds (even tho idk if they give hamsters here anything other than baytril).

You will notice how she sways back and forth in the video when eating. That's something she started doing recently. Also she has had that bump on her back since she was little, so that was always there.

Thanks in advance peeps!

VID_20220118_101200.mp4 - Google Drive

EDIT: I'm probably gonna take her to another vet to get a second opinion, but if you could let me know what to ask them as in if you think she's coughing or maybe needs painkillers do let me know cause I can almost guarantee you awesome peeps here know more than these vets do about hamsters.
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Last edited by Azula; 01-18-2022 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 01-18-2022, 05:06 AM   #2
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

Iím not going to be much help and I think a second vets opinion might help. I just wanted to make a suggestion, a lot of vets now do zoom calls. I know this wouldnít allow tests to be taken or allow a vet to feel your hammie, but I was just thinking maybe if you could video call an exotics vets they may have more experience and give some ideas of what it might be. Then get medication/ confirmation from a standard vet. I donít know if that would help, but just an idea, hope she gets better soon x
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Old 01-18-2022, 05:35 AM   #3
Azula
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

That's actually a really neat suggestion, but I'd have to see if they do zoom calls like that cause here they're all still working normally.
I found a second vet who said they do hamster checkups and issue out meds if needed so I'm going there today. Apparently they're bit more expensive cause they seem a bit more modern than the vets I've been to before, but I don't mind as long as they do the job properly.
Thanks for your comment! Will write an update after we return.
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Old 01-18-2022, 08:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

Back from the vet and they were fricking great! I can't believe I didn't know about them before.
The vet examined her thoroughly and gave her anti inflamatory meds, antibiotic and vitamin B. I need to give her that for a week and then we have another checkup to see if that helped her tummy! I'm so happy!!!
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Old 01-18-2022, 09:10 AM   #5
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

Oh thatís fantastic news! Iím glad something could be done, itís a shame not all vets are trained with experience of hamsters as they are fairly common pets. Always is a worry, glad everything turned out well x
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Old 01-18-2022, 03:12 PM   #6
Azula
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

Even if this doesn't help at least I'll know I've tried something which is immeasurably better than what the previous vet said which is sit and wait.

Does anyone know when the painkiller meds should kick in? I know antibiotic takes couple of days.
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Old 01-18-2022, 04:14 PM   #7
Ria P
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

Finding a good vet is like finding gold dust.

The painkillers work very quickly. I'd say within the hour. Once they get old or ill, i keep my hamsters on the painkiller permanently. Seems to give them a boost.
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:53 AM   #8
Azula
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

I gave my hamsters their meds orally before, but none of them have cried and Aloy does a lot. It's not screetching out of fear, but crying an in squeaks.
I don't know what to make of that other than she really hates it?
I can't realy disguise it in baby food cause she doesn't really like it which is super weird.
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:27 AM   #9
Ria P
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

Baytril antibiotic tastes bitter. Only way i was able to give it to my hamster was by drawing the dosage up in a small syringe followed by some undiluted strawberry or blackcurrent Ribena cordial. I then gave it to him directly into the corner of his mouth but slowly so he wouldn't choke on it. I couldn't rely on him taking it in food.

The painkiller anti inflammatory Metacam/Loxicom tastes sweet so they like it. I either gave it from the syringe or on a bit of Shreddie cereal.

I'd try something crunchy like cereal if she doesn't like baby or soft foods.
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Old 01-19-2022, 02:44 PM   #10
Azula
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Default Re: Bloated tummy / possibly coughing?

Maybe she's just beign dramatic cause she starts crying right before I touch her mouth with a syringe (before I administer meds). I'm also making pauses giving it to her bit by bit, not all at once for the same reason you said. I don't trust her to take it any other way than me giving it to her directly.
I tried putting some on dried bugs and she wouldn't go near it *sigh*
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