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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11061
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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hi, my hamster feels cold and she keeps her eyes closed.

Resolved Question:

hi, my hamster feels cold and she keeps her eyes closed. when I hold her she starts to come around. when i but her back in her cage she will run around for a bit and start acting funny and she gets cold. she also is not clean under the tail. yesterday I gave her fresh water and food. she is one year old. any help would be great.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 8 years ago.

I'm sorry your hamster is ill. It sounds like she has multiple problems, and they are serious. The wetness on her underparts and associated diarrhea is probably the result of a disease called "wet tail." It is usually fatal if not treated. If you are to have any hope of saving your hamster, you'll need to get her to a vet for treatment as soon as possible.

Since it's Sunday, you may not be able to find a vet until tomorrow. There are some steps you can take to support your hamster until then. Remove her food. Eating more will just trigger more diarrhea. She may not have an appetite anyway. Dehydration is a danger, and you need to do something about that right away. The best thing to do is to give her some unflavored Pedialyte (made for human infants) from a syringe. Pedialyte is available in most drug stores, supermarkets, and discount stores. Some convenience stores carry it, too. If you can't get any Pedialyte, give her lukewarm water from a syringe. Put it in the side of her mouth. If you put it straight down the throat, it can be aspirated into the lungs. Give her water or Pedialyte about once an hour. Your hamster must be kept warm, so the heating pad is a good idea. Just make sure that it is positioned so she can't chew any electrical parts. It's also important to keep the cage clean. These are all supportive measures, not intended to take the place of veterinary treatment.

To read more about wet tail:

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I hope you're able to quickly get some treatment for your hamster.


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thank you for the fast reply. she is not wet under the tail and her stoll looks normal. it looks like she pee and did not clean herself. I did change her diet from human food back to hamster food this past week. when she walks/runs her ears are back and her eyes will open half way. her nose is not moving when she breaths.
If she is on her way out is there anything I can do for her?
Expert:  Anna replied 8 years ago.
OK, I thought by "not clean under the tail" you meant stool was sticking there - the main sign of wet tail. I'll have to ask you some more questions to try to get to the bottom of this.

Is there any discharge at all from her nose or eyes?

Is her breathing faster than normal?

What human foods did you feed her?

Is she passing any stools at all?

Is she both eating and drinking?

Are you interested in taking her to a vet, or are you only interested in home treatments?

Thank you!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Is there any discharge at all from her nose or eyes? No there not.

Is her breathing faster than normal?
she looks to be breathing normal.

What human foods did you feed her?
breads banana apples and a taste of chicken

Is she passing any stools at all?
not sure

Is she both eating and drinking?
Expert:  Anna replied 8 years ago.
That information rules out several more health conditions. There are two possibilities i can think of that are left. If your house is chilly, or if the temperature is lowered at night, she may have gone into hibernation. It only takes a night time drop of a few degrees to trigger that. when hamsters wake up from hibernation, even a short one, they act strange for awhile. However, once they warm up for several hours, they should be fine. It sounds like you've had the heating pad there for some time.

Dwarf hamsters can also get diabetes. Symptoms include being cold, drinking and urinating excessively (which could explain the urine on her), and sometimes going into a coma. In hamsters prone to diabetes, a poor diet can trigger it. Hamsters with diabetes can't be treated with insulin or medication, so diet is the only therapy. There should be no sugar. recommended foods include a high-quality seed mix, alfalfa, carrots, potatoes, and boiled egg. Commercial hamster treats are often high in sugar and should be avoided.

Do either of these ailments sound like what's going on to you?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
they are both possibilities it dose get very cold at night. Also she has had a poor diet. so what do you think i should do. theres times when she looks like she is on her way out, then the next min she is runing around.

Thanks Randy
Expert:  Anna replied 8 years ago.

I would keep the temperature consistently warm - 70 to 75 degrees day and night. You don't want to overheat her, either, so use a thermometer to be sure. Feed the diet recommended for diabetic hamsters. If she's not diabetic, it won't hurt her. Perhaps with a good diet and consistent temperatures, she'll recover. She doesn't have any symptoms of common infections, so it won't do any good to use antibiotics.

Hamsters can also have a variety of congenital disorders, including cardiomyopathy. There are no treatments for these, and hamsters who have them don't live a normal lifespan. I think if you feed your hamster a good diet and keep her warm and clean, you're doing all you can. That's what I would do if she were my hamster.

Again, if you have more questions, let me know. There's no additional fee even after you've accepted as long as you post as a REPLY to this question. I'll be hoping for the best for your hamster.


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