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Old 07-21-2022, 05:17 AM   #1
babel
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 11
Question Hamster lost weight, help!

I recently (17 days ago) brought home a 3ish month old long haired Syrian hamster. He ate well for the first week and a half or so and we didn't notice any issues. But after I brought him to my grandparents house to visit for a couple of hours one day, he seemed to have felt stressed because there was some construction noises going on in the background. The trip was of walking distance (5 minutes?) and we stayed there for 3-4 hours max. He had access to both food and water during the duration of the visit.

After that visit, he seemed to eat lesser than usual even after we brought him back home to his usual spot where we kept his main cage. The trip to my grandparents house was the only change in the usual routine of everything so I can't think of any other possible causes other than maybe health or teeth issues which would have to be checked by a vet.

I'm not sure what his weight was when we first got him as I didn't have a weighing scale at the time, but he felt a bit plumper in my hand back when I first brought him home. I bought a scale today to begin recording and monitoring his weight and found that he weighs 89.2grams. According to google, the healthy weight of syrian hamsters should be at least 100grams so I'm a bit worried.

If anyone has any advice on what I should do, I'd be very thankful if you could share them with me! Thank you very much for reading this post regardless and sorry if there are any formatting issues, I'm posting from my phone ^^;
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Old 07-21-2022, 02:53 PM   #2
Stanza
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Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Essex
Posts: 354
Default Re: Hamster lost weight, help!

Hi Babel, I’m fairly new to hamster owning myself. Sorry to hear your hamster does not seem himself. It’s still early days for him settling into his new home with you, perhaps he thought he was on the move again with the house visit. Think I’d just keep an eye on him for a few more days and let him settle and only disturb him for feeding time. Does he sit and eat any food in front of you, say fresh veg, fruit? You could call a vet to make an appt as it maybe a few days before they can fit you in by which time he maybe more himself and eating well again. Sorry I’ve not really any other ideas.
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Old 07-22-2022, 03:04 AM   #3
babel
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Join Date: Nov 2018
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Default Re: Hamster lost weight, help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanza View Post
Hi Babel, Iím fairly new to hamster owning myself. Sorry to hear your hamster does not seem himself. Itís still early days for him settling into his new home with you, perhaps he thought he was on the move again with the house visit. Think Iíd just keep an eye on him for a few more days and let him settle and only disturb him for feeding time. Does he sit and eat any food in front of you, say fresh veg, fruit? You could call a vet to make an appt as it maybe a few days before they can fit you in by which time he maybe more himself and eating well again. Sorry Iíve not really any other ideas.
Thank you for your reply! He does sit and eat in front of me, and behaves normally when we take him out to play daily. He accepts food from our palms when offered, and eats it in front of us as well! I will give your suggestions a try, thank you very much!
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Old 07-22-2022, 03:21 AM   #4
sushi_78
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Location: London
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Default Re: Hamster lost weight, help!

Hello, If you don't have weights on the scale to compare, it's possible he's just growing and changing shape. Similar to how human toddlers are very chubby and then change shape as they get older.

Now that you have a baseline weight of 89g, I'd suggest weighing him once a week for a while to make sure he's still gaining weight.

You may be able to check his teeth yourself by holding him on his back and parting his lips slightly. He should have two top ones and two bottom ones, and each pair should be the same length and straight. However you might prefer to have this checked by a vet, especially if he isn't very tame yet. You can also watch him eating to get an idea of whether he might have a tooth issue. A hamster with tooth problems may not be able to eat hard foods at all, or they may just take a very long time over them, especially ones they have to shell like sunflower seeds. My gerbil recently broke her tooth and I watched her take 8 minutes to eat a sunflower seed (she's fine now - it grew back perfectly).

As he's very young, 89g could be fine for him. He will continue to grow for some time.

Hamsters do find changes in environment stressful so I wouldn't suggest taking him on any more visits. But it might not be what caused this issue (if indeed there is an issue).

You could take him to a vet for a check for your peace of mind and to be more sure he's ok. Alternatively if looks well you could give it a week and weigh him again.
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Old 07-22-2022, 01:25 PM   #5
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Hamster lost weight, help!

They can get quite stressed by noise like construction work, and a change of environment - generally they don't like being taken out and about and even a trip to the vets can be stressful - which is probably a shorter amount of time.

And he's only young and just settling into his new environment at yours.

So probably now is to let him settle in well. Change of environment can even be moving his cage to another room and that can cause some stress as well.

So best to keep the cage in one place - if you've found a good place for it, and maybe go back to a settling in routine for a while, plus give him healthy treats and extras to perk him up a bit and maybe for some extra calories.

A settling in routine is usually - that you leave them alone for 2 or 3 days and dont' clean or change anything round in his cage for the first two weeks. If it gets a bit whiffy you could spot clean the pee after a week - if he's got a pee corner in the cage that's easy to see. That's just taking out a handful of pee'd on substrate and replacing it with another handful.

But basically don't do weekly clean outs - if you've been told to do that - that always stresses them and it isn't necessary if you get things set up well. I go 3 to 4 months before changing the substrate and just do other bits and pieces as and when needed. It's our human instinct to clean everything at the same time but for hamsters it's better to always have something smelling familiar so partial cleans are better.

So the key is to have plenty of depth of substrate - the more there is, the longer it stays clean. And use a litter tray. I get the corner ones and put chinchilla sand in it. They will use it and then you only need to empty the litter tray once or twice a week and the rest of the cage stays clean and dry. They will use it if you put it in the place where they've chosen to pee - usually a corner of the cage. Younger hamsters sometimes pee in their nests at first as well but tend to grow out of that.

Ideally you should always leave their nest and hoard and not remove them They are very precious about the nest and hoard! If they're pee'd on then obviously you have to - but not every day. The key then is to always leave something smelling familiar so try and leave a tiny bit of old nest that's dry behind and replace any hoard you've had to remove, wiht handful of new food in the same place.

Our current Syrian was only 97g when I got him and I thought that was very low weight. I thought he must be just a very small Syrian - but he hadn't finished growing. He is now 157g four months later! Part of that is not just him growing though, it's him flourishing - he;s happy with his cage set up and environment.

So diet is another important factor. Is he getting the right nutrients? Some hamster mixes are very poor and hamsters need a lot of protein in their first year of life - to help them put on muscle. So a mix needs to contain 18 to 20% protein.

You can't go wrong if you get Harry Hamster as it includes everything needed and has the right protein levels. Then supplement that with a tiny bit of fresh veg daily - they love that and will eat it all and not hoard it - it can be something for them to look forward to. About 1cm cubed size. Eg cucumber or broccoli are favourites. But just a tiny bit.

Initially just give the veg every third day till their stomachs adjust or they can get diarrhoea - then after a week or so of that you can start giving it every day.

I also give an "extra" or treat every few days - maybe half a walnut or a few pumpkin seeds scattered in the cage - they like foraging for things scattered in the cage, so they can have normal behaviours.

Just reading back - as you've only had him 17 days, he probably hadn't quite settled into his cage environment to feel at home, before his trip out and the scary noises!

So give him the settling in period again perhaps. Give him lots of nice hamstery treats (things like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, half a cashew nut or walnut - unsalted). Maybe the occasional blueberry or bit of strawberry if you happen to have some. Keeps life interesting!

If he shows signs of wanting to come out you could let him walk into a tube or hamster ball and carry him to a safe area for some out of cage time and hand taming - that can be a slow process the first couple of months, Eg set up a playpen area or use the dry bathtub with a couple of toys in.

Meanwhile just talk to him through the bars so he becomes familiar with your scent and voice. Everything is new to him. Usually after two weeks being in the cage, without upheavals or changes, they visibly seem more confident and self assured.

Weigh him weekly and you should see his weight improving. He's just a baby still really.

An easy way to weigh them, without stressing them, is if you have those flat electronic scales. Just put them out in the playpen or bathtub with a smelly treat on top (eg cucumber). Zero the scales after adding the treat. The hamster should just walk on and sit there eating the treat and you can check their weight while they're on there for a minute.
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Old 08-22-2022, 01:35 PM   #6
karlh
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Notting Hill, London
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Default Re: Hamster lost weight, help!

Hi. I have not been on here for a while. I now have two RWW sisters, who are just about 14 months old. I weigh them once a week. Hetti is 61 g and Mitzi is 81 gs.
Interesting about the fresh veg. My girls always go for the kale I put in every evening at 6. It would seem that they know it is their dinner time, as they hover around their respective cage. Sadly, had to separate them at 6 weeks. Mitzi became very territorial.
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