We came home tonight to find our dwarf Siberian hamster on his back, laboring for breath, unresponsive to our touch. Is there any hope for his recovery?
Type of Animal: dwarf Siberian hamster
Age: 3 months
Name of Animal: Hammie
We have tried to give him water, but he is not responding, other than an occasional paw twitch.
Hello!Thanks for using JustAnswer.com, I'm Dr. Dan and I'll try to help you.This is very sad to see especially when coming home and especially if this is a young child's pet! It is very unlikely that he will survive this and the gasping you are seeing may be the startling death throws called agonal breathing. There is alway some small hope when an animal is still alive but these symptoms sound pretty hopeless. Unfortunately the only way to save him is with oxygen and life saving emergency drugs so a very fast trip to the vet is the only hope you have. If you wish to humanely euthanize him then again a trip to the vet immediately is needed. It is very unlikely he will make it until the morning. You can try making his environment warmer and continue to give him water mixed with some sugar or honey for energy. His best bet is the emergency vet but this sounds pretty bad. I hope this helps, best wishes.Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan,We thought it was pretty hopeless, and Hammie passed away about 5 minutes ago. What do you suppose might have caused his untimely death? Just this afternoon we all were playing with him and he was running on his wheel.
I am sorry for your loss and sorry I was too late to help, one of the significant disadvantages of internet time delay's! Hamsters these days are significantly inbred to provide all the colors and sizes and temperaments that we find in the pet stores. Any number of problems can cause failures like this. However with sudden death like this and gasping then the two things that come to mind are a heart birth defect and a heart attack, or something called per acute pneumonia. Pneumonia is just what it sounds like but per acute means that it is so fast moving that the animal (or person) affected with it die so quickly they seemingly have no symptoms until death. I am sorry again. Dr. Dan
8 years with dogs, cats, exotic, wildlife and zoo animals
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX
You are welcome, I wish I could have done more.