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Old 10-02-2023, 07:58 AM   #1
Bellbaby
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Join Date: Oct 2023
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Default Sick or old Syrian hamster?

Walter is a rescue hamster at or around two years old. I was in hospital for a month and had not seen Walter be very active the month prior to my return home or two weeks post. Normally, Walter will come to the side of his cage and ask to be held etc.

The last few times I cleaned his cage, he was asleep in his coconut. I moved him, coconut and all, to his playpen and cleaned his cage. He did not come out to play with his toys as he usually would.

The housekeeper said she cleaned his cage, but the house had a strange smell on my return. Animal smell. Not necessarily pee ammonia. But an animal or barn type smell. I do have two dogs as well. I washed the walls in my house and cleaned Walters cage myself. It didnt look as clean as it normally would. Im not suspect that my house keeper only cleaned the cage one or two times, not weekly.

I finally saw Walter last night. In total, its been ten weeks since Ive had a good look at him. And my god, did he change. His beautiful fur is missing. He is barely opening his eyes. He looks boney to me. And he bit when I picked him up. This is not my Walter at all. Hes actively gone for naps with me and nuzzled in. Hes the sweetest fella, normally.

Is this old age? Or I suspect he could be ill from ammonia burn. This is my first hamster and I've never seen an old one before

Walter - senior or ill? - Album on Imgur

Last edited by souffle; 10-02-2023 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 10-02-2023, 08:40 AM   #2
souffle
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK but my heart lies in Scotland!
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Default Re: Sick or old Syrian hamster?

At over two years he is a very old hamster I'm afraid. The behaviour changes are worrying and do indicate some underlying illness. He does look to have possibly Cushing's disease which causes these symptoms. There is no cure for this.
If he's not having a good hamster life and doing his normal things he may be in some pain so a vet visit would be needed but don't be surprised if nothing can be done sadly.
If you feel he is in pain then the gift of peaceful rest it the last great act of love.
I'm sorry you are going through this x
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