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Jamie, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 159
Experience:  special interest in pocket pets:ferrets, rabbits, rodents, and hedgehogs
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my hamster is lifeless, breathing rapid and shallow. tried

Resolved Question:

my hamster is lifeless, breathing rapid and shallow. tried warming him up and he opened eyes, took a little water via cotton bud then resumed his lifelessness. he did what only can be described as a cough just before also
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Jamie replied 7 years ago.
This sounds quite serious, and I recommend immediate veterinary attention if possible. Hamsters are quite small and don't have much reserve, so they can go downhill quite rapidly. The fact that he is breathing shallow and rapid is a serious sign. He could have a respiratory infection, as rodents are quite prone to these. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics. If your hamster is dehydrated, and not eating, he could benefit from fluids to help rehydrate him. Your vet may also prescribe something called critical care by oxbow, to syringe feed him. Here is a little more information about rodent respiratory disease.

I hope your little guy feels better soon! If this has been helpful, please click accept. If you have any further questions, please click reply. Thank you.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
hi thanks for that. he appears to have taken a turn for the worst as i cannot see visible signs of breathing and his mouth has gone all stiff. no whisker twitching either. sorry to ask but has he "passed on" as dont want to tell my daughter that he's gone to "hamster heaven" if not needed to. thanks. will glady click 'accept' for your next answer
Expert:  Jamie replied 7 years ago.
If you cannot see his chest raising and falling, if he is not moving, if he starts to feel cold and stiff, and if you place a hand/fingers behind his left armpit area and can't feel a pulse/heartbeat, it is likely he has passed on. There is likely nothing you could have done, these little guys can take a turn for the worse so quickly, and as they are prey animals, they hide sickness very well, so you couldn't have known sooner. I am very sorry for your loss.
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