How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question

Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 5835
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I also have a female hamster that is bout 2 years old whos

Resolved Question:

I also have a female hamster that is bout 2 years old who's body has blown up to almost tice its size. The only thing that remains the normal size is its head every thing behind that has blown up. it happened suddenly after I changed the shavings to a different kind. I checked it everyday or 2 weeks and it was fine but I checked it yesterday and it was blown up.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome to Just Answer/Pearl. I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

It is unlikely that the shavings are directly responsible (unless she has eaten them and obstructed). But can you tell me what kind of shavings these were?

Can she pass feces and urine as normal?
Is she passing either at all? Or increased amounts of either?

Has she been drinking more?
Eating more or less?

Any hair loss?

Does Samantha appear lethargic, restless, or collapsed?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
OOh, it looks like two of my questions got cut off.

As well, has there been any change to her breathing?

Does this bloated belly feel hard or like a taut water balloon?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

I didn't hear back from you and you do appear offline now. Therefore, I do want to leave my thoughts about your wee one since her situation is quite serious.

First, if you haven't noticed her passing any feces, then constipation must be on the top of our list for your wee one. And if that is the case, this would be something that you can address at home. The offering of foods with high water content is a good start. Further to that, you can also treat her with a bit of kitty hairball medication (ie. Catalax). This is available from the vet or the pet shop. It works to lubricate the gut and can facilitate the movement of feces out of the rectum. Alternatively, you can administer a small volume of Miralax, lactulose (LINK) or mineral oil orally (ideally offer in food or if given via oral syringe then take care to avoid aspiration, since that would cause problems we'd best avoid) as a GI lubricant. Furthermore, if she is eating you can mix in some canned pumpkin or a pinch of unflavored Metamucil. Just like people, these can restore fecal output regularity. For ease of administering and getting some more fluids/nutrition into her if she is not eating properly, you can give this in veggie baby food.


Now if she is passing feces, then we have other issues to consider for the bloating. Because to have a hamster that is unnaturally bloated but is passing a normal amount of food and feces through her guts, this means that gastrointestinal based disease is less likely for her. That means we need to consider conditions of other organs of the abdomen.

The reason I have asked about her urination is to determine if she is 1) able to urinate (and doesn't have a blocked bladder causing distension) or 2) if her urination had increased (therefore leading to larger bladders more often, which could be a hint of hormone disease like diabetes or cushings).

Otherwise, enlargement of any other organ in the abdomen would like be due to a cyst or tumor (benign or malignant). These can arise on any organ within the abdomen (ie kidney, liver, etc). It can also arise from fluid accumulation in the abdomen which can be seen with organ diseases (like those of the heart or liver).

And as she is a female, we can also see distending diseases centered around the reproductive tract. This can cysts/tumors of the ovaries or uterus. Or we can see uterine infections called pyometra manifest in this manner. In the case of pyometras, we may see pus like discharge at her vulva if it is an open infection but if it is a closed infection then the distension may be all we see.

In Samantha’s case, without knowing when you last saw any urination and how long she has been bloated for, we cannot rule out urinary blockages. If this is all recent in onset and you haven't seem her urinate (or wet bedding), then you want to have her seen as soon as possible since urinary blockages can be fatal.

Otherwise, even our other differentials would really value from her being examined by her vet.
This is because there is no benign reason for abdominal distension and all of these differentials are quite serious for your wee lass. The vet may be able to identify which of these is causing distension in the abdominal region or they may be able to pop the ultrasound probe on her belly and tell you if this is fluid (like a cyst or a bladder issue) or if she does have a mass growing in his abdomen. Furthermore, then can rule out uterine infection, which often needs at least antibiotics if not surgery to spay her and remove the infected uterus. Depending on the findings, they will be able to give you an idea if she can be treated and what her overall prognosis is for the long term. But as most of these are quite serious, it would be prudent to be proactive to give her the best chance here.

I hope this information is helpful.
Please do let me know if you have any further questions.
If you have no further questions, feedback is always appreciated.

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please remember to only rate my answer when you are satisfied. IF you have any lingering questions or concerns, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. If you are satisfied, please click the 4-5 stars or associated happy face so that I may receive credit for my assistance.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 5835
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Dr. B. and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't know if it changes anything but I have the answers to your las t 2 questions. Her breathing has not changed and her belly is like a taut water balloon though slightly hard as well.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,

Unfortunately, that wee bit more information alone does not allow us to rule out any of the concerns that I have listed above. That said, if she is breathing normally, this does tell us that the situation has not yet reached such a severe point where the distension is preventing her taking full breaths. Therefore, this is a wee positive that means that addressing the underlying cause now may allow us to get her through this sudden bloat inducing condition.

Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Amanda,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Samantha. How is everything going?

nekovet

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2337
    Vet Tech for 30+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    273
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    157
    12 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Expert/Biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2916
    40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    Voice for your pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    1132
    Veterinary Technician for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.

    Satisfied Customers:

    884
    15 years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist