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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11065
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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A few days ago, my Chinese hamster (female, 1 1/2 years old)

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A few days ago, my Chinese hamster (female, 1 1/2 years old) became incredibly ill. She was fine on one day and then suddenly, the next day her eyes were closed and she seemed unable to move without immense effort. She has been continuing to live with her eyes closed and her movements labored for the past few days. She is dragging her back legs around. I have been giving her water and vegetable baby food but I am unsure if she would be able to eat or drink anything on her own. She does not have wet tail as there is no diarrhea. I also considered heat stroke since the weather has been quite hot, but I didn't think the symptoms of a heat stroke could drag on for days. I'm not sure what is wrong with her and I don't know what to do to help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.



I would still like assistance if possible.






Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX continue to look for a professional to assist you. Since the professionals log in at different times, it is very difficult to predict when one will come on with your particular area of expertise. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.




I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with a special interest in small animal health. I'm sorry to hear of Raindrop's problem.

As hamsters get older, they become more prone to some diseases that can't be treated. Stroke is one of those. Two of the more common causes of hind leg paralysis are a spinal injury and stroke. Since Raindrop is getting a bit up there in age, a stroke seems the most likely possibility. But whether it is a stroke or an injury, the measures you can take are the same.

Many hamsters recover from strokes over a period of 2 to 3 weeks. You should remove the wheel and any other toys she may attempt to climb on to decrease the chances of injury. It's important that during the recovery time, your hamster be kept warm enough, and gets plenty of food and water.since she can't get around well, you may have to hand feed and water her for some time. You can give water from a syringe into the side of his mouth. She may be able to drink on her own if the water bottle is low enough. You should place the cage in a quiet area of the house and let her sleep all she wants. The less she is disturbed, the better.

Strokes do sometimes leave permanent effects, such as a tilted head, and sometimes hamsters do die from strokes. There isn't anything else you can do beyond the above steps because there is no veterinary treatment for strokes in hamsters. If you feel that it may not have been a stroke, then you may want to have a vet check your hamster over, but the symptoms you're seeing do point to a stroke.

Other possible causes of a hamster dragging its back legs include a broken bone or severe constipation. Check to be sure Raindrop is passing normal droppings. If not, that would also be cause for a vet visit. Treatment for a broken leg would be similar to that for a stroke. Hamster's legs are too tiny to set.

If you decide to see a vet, the following links will take you to directories of vets who treat small rodents. At the first site, you'll come to a log-in page. Sign in as 'member' and use 'member' as your password XXXXX well.

If you have further questions about this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope Raindrop will make a full recovery.


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Anna,


Thank you so much for your input - it was very helpful! I just have one further question: what do you think is the cause of her eyes being consistently closed? Is that a common symptom of stroke as well?

You're welcome. Because a stroke affects the brain, and the brain controls every function of the body, almost any symptom can be caused. so that is a possibility for the cause of her closed eyes. sometimes hamsters just keep their eyes closed because they don't feel good or if light hurts their eyes (which could be due to a stroke, as well). If there's no discharge, I would suspect one of these causes. If there's a discharge, something else could be going on. An eye infection, the beginnings of a respiratory infection, a dental problem, a difficulty with t he cheek pouches, or even a tumor behind the eyes could result in closed eyes with discharge. Regardless of what the problem is, you can put in each eye a few drops of saline solution (the kind made for contact lenses) several times a day. Even if the eyes are closed, some will seep in around the eyelids. You might also want to keep lights dim in Raindrops' room. Short of seeing a vet, these measures will be all you can do.

If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask.

Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11065
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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