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Old 02-03-2022, 11:58 AM   #1
Alyssa0411
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
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Unhappy Sick Hamster

Hello,

I have an 11 month old Syrian hamster. 4 days ago she suddenly started acting “off.” Lethargic and stumbling around a little. I thought we were going to lose her because she was acting like every other hamster I’ve had right before they pass. All she wanted to do was sleep in my sweater. She was still open to eating though. The next two days she seemed a little better, just more tired than normal. Then she went back to being very lethargic again. She also started getting runny eyes with a brownish/red thick fluid. So I gently wiped that away with a tissue. She was clicking her teeth so I could tell she was stressed and upset.

I took her in yesterday to the local exotic vet. They did a physical exam on her. She was alert because she had been transported in a box and brought to a new environment. Once she was left alone in the exam room, she curled up and was trying to go back to sleep…not trying to escape at all. She was not aggressive at all and didn’t mind being handled and turned on her back. The doctor checked her lungs, they were clear. No heart murmur but they thought she was a little dehydrated. They offered to give her some IV fluids which I agreed to because I haven’t been able to get her to drink from her bottle. They really couldn’t tell what was wrong with her so they said we should try some antibiotics. They offered to keep her overnight for observation and more tests like blood and kidney function, plus an X-ray. I simply didn’t have the $600 they were going to charge for that. If I had that I would definitely have spent it on her….she deserves it. I got a prescription of Enrofloxacin and I made an appointment for next week for a follow-up.

This morning, she’s still in rough shape. She’s sleeping on me curled up in my sweater. Her fur is dirty looking and unkempt. It looks like she drooled at some point over night. She has no appetite. I’ve offered her a little bit of a banana and she didn’t want it. I’m so worried about her. I don’t know what to do. I hate seeing her like this. Does anyone have any suggestions or have you been through something similar? She’s not even a year old. She doesn’t share a cage with any other hamsters and her bedding is recycled paper bits that you can buy in the rodent section at the pet store. She has always been very healthy up until now. I’ve had several hamsters over the years and I’ve never run into an illness like this before.
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Old 02-03-2022, 12:46 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Sick Hamster

I think all you can do is to make sure that she gets the antibiotics and wait for them to start working.

Fluids would help and you could offer her cucumber or melon if she's too ill to drink from her bottle.

I hope she'll get better soon. Don't feel bad about not having the money for the overnight stay. Vets usually prescribe a course of antibiotics first to rule out an infection and she's getting that from you. Not only that but the warmth of your sweater will give her the comfort she needs right now. A strange environment without you could have scared her.
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Old 02-03-2022, 01:11 PM   #3
Alyssa0411
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Default Re: Sick Hamster

I think she’s dying. I’m holding her in my hand, she’s on her back. She is breathing but completely limp and not responding now. I’m heartbroken. My daughter loves this little girl, she’s going to be devastated.
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Old 02-03-2022, 01:32 PM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: Sick Hamster

I am so so sorry that this is happening and have been in the very same situation myself. If she's not responding she won't be feeling any pain and you are there with her. Just keep her warm and keep talking to her gently.
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Old 02-04-2022, 04:52 PM   #5
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Sick Hamster

I'm so sorry. She is clearly not very well. If it is infection and she keeps going on the antibiotics, it might improve. Female hamsters can get pyometra (womb infection) but antibiotics aren't always enough - sometimes they work temporarily and then you can try having them spayed.

But it might be something else entirely. I'm surprised the vet didn't give her an injection of antibiotics straight away. That may or may not have helped.

Sometimes they can have a tumour and cancer, and there's nothing you can do except keep them comfortable. Other things it could be could be congenital - some weakness internally that shortens their lives.
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