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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 2225
Experience:  Dog, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Gerbil breeder / Reptile Keeper / Bunny-Ferret-Exotic Specialist
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My hamster has very large poops..bloated..her teeth..sores

Customer Question

My hamster has very large poops, seems bloated and her teeth are too long, she is scraching alot but I can't find any sores? Her haird seems to be getting light and she seems confused
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Gen B. replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for researching this very important question...I am so sorry that your Tiny Friend is having this difficult and distressing experience!

A Hamster's teeth are meant to grow continuously. Part of how this works is controlled by hormones. Many problems in the body (usually cancers in rodents) can cause the hormone balance to move too far to one side, as it were.

Hormones also have to do with skin health, metabolism, brain health, and the function of the digestive organs.

Although your pet is younger than the "average" geriatric Hamster, her individual genes may have predisposed her to develop an "old-age" type of problem earlier than other Hamsters might. Her symptoms are quite concerning.

In your place I would do the following:

1) Make sure there is nothing in her cage that would be causing her an allergic or other immune reaction...use a paper-based type of bedding instead of wood shavings of any kind.

2) Have her examined by a veterinarian who can help you keep her teeth trimmed properly, and who may be able to figure out if she has a tumor on her thyroid, her pituitary gland, or an adrenal gland. A stool sample should be analyzed for the presence of parasites that can cause diarrhea and other health complications.
Look for exotic mammal vet here.

3) Try offering her some baby food rice cereal or mashed potato flakes to see if this helps her get a firmer stool pellet. Just a pinch with her regular ration, and adjust in tiny bits from day-to-day.

If you need additional support at this time, please "REPLY" below.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

 

Her stools are not loose just big, her urine smells strong. I can't afford to take her to a vet

Expert:  Gen B. replied 3 years ago.
Normal Hamster stool should be tight and dry...anything large and wet is considered a form of diarrhea (even if it is not liquid).

You can nip her teeth yourself...you must have steady hands and be extremely careful to only take off about 1/16 of an inch at a time. Each tooth has a large blood vessel inside of it that will bleed a lot if cut and cause pain.

I prefer to use very sharp (new) wire cutting nips to do this. Cut one tooth at a time...cutting two together often causes irregular breaks.

Make sure she is drinking. If not, take the baby rice cereal or potato flakes and mix them with water...then feed about 1/4 of a teaspoon twice daily to encourage appetite, hydration and calorie-intake.

You can also offer her dried cranberries, dried blueberries and baby food squash to help improve her nutrition and immune function.

Let me know if you have other good questions about all this,



Edited by Gen B. on 6/27/2010 at 11:05 PM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She is drinking, I can'y clip her teeth-is she going to die of cancer, if so --when
Expert:  Gen B. replied 3 years ago.
When health problems are hormonal, pets usually perish from the side effects of the chemical imbalance (heart attack, infection, coma, wight loss, etc.) rather than from a tumor that might have started the problem off.

It is not possible to predict how long she might live...but from the symptoms you, describe she will not manage another 12 months.

You may be able to find someone at a pet rescue center tomorrow morning who can help trim her teeth for you for low or no cost. Overgrown teeth can cause injury and starvation if they continue growing out of control (eventually she won't be able to close her mouth to chew).

If you can support her with nutritious supplemental foods and keep her comfortable, then she might go a few months more. These pets are so dear, even when they live their full potential, they always leave us way too soon.

I have to run an errand for 30-45 minutes, but please let me know if there's anything more you need to talk about, and I'll find your message when I'm back.




Edited by Gen B. on 6/28/2010 at 12:07 AM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: It doesn't make sense.
It doesn't make sense
Expert:  Gen B. replied 3 years ago.
You have to say something more than that...what do you not understand?

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