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My hamster is very weak with both eyes closed. what should I

do?...
My hamster is very weak with both eyes closed. what should I do?
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Answered in 1 hour by:
10/18/2009
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hello,

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Is your hamster just one year old, or is she 1 1/2 or more?

Is there any discharge from her eyes? Nose?

Is there any swelling on the face or neck?

Has she lost her appetite? If yes, when did she last eat?

When you say she's weak, what exactly is happening? Shakiness, wobbling, can't get up, falls to one side, etc.?

Thank you.

Anna
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
She is breathing hard, no discharge, stopped eating yesterday, its hard for her to get from one place to another, her eyes are shut, her cheeks are filled with food. the carrots i gave her last night are gone so she either ate them or hoarded them. her genital appears to be a little red and the surrounding fur is a little dirty like dry blood. She is a year old no older. She is not walking normally, she is sort of wobbling. She can't really get up. Is there any type of medication of some sort we should give her?
Thank you for getting back to me. At this point, your hamster is critically ill. She has so many different symptoms that seem unrelated, and that makes it difficult to determine what may be wrong. Once a hamster starts wobbling, the illness has become life-threatening. The best thing to do would be to see a vet as soon as possible. These sites have directories of vets who treat small rodents:

http://www.rmca.org/Vets/index.php?action=list

http://www.ratfanclub.org/vetref.html

Wobbling can be a sign that the hamster has become dehydrated or hypoglycemic. I'll give you some first aid measures to take. Put a few drops of maple syrup, Karo syrup, or honey in her mouth. Repeat this once per hour. Get some Pedialyte (made for human infants and available in discount stores and pharmacies). Use a syringe to put a few drops in the side of your hamster's mouth. For the first hour, give some every ten minutes, after that, once per hour. You can also use a syringe to give her some baby food (no onions in it). These measures may keep your hamster alive long enough to take her to a vet.

I'll also give you a few ideas of what the various symptoms could mean. Swollen genitals with dried blood around them can indicate a uterine infection or tumor. Swollen cheek pouches can mean there's an impaction (the hamster can't get the food out), infection, or a dental problem. These can all also cause eye problems, but so can infection. Lethargy and appetite loss can accompany any type of illness. The difficult breathing could be due to pneumonia, or it could simply mean that her other health conditions have progressed to the point that it's hard to breathe. You can see how complex her health picture is. A vet would probably examine her and put her on prescription antibiotics. The antibiotics available in pet stores are old-fashioned, and most bacteria are resistant to them. They seldom do any good.

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your hamster will recover.

Anna
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Right now I am with my hamster. I gave her maple syrup and water. She drank a lot. her eyes opened. they are not wide open but half way opened. she seemed more energetic when I held her and was walking better. Now she is resting in my lap. My mother went off to get pedyalite and baby food. I will continue to give her maple syrup every hour.
I'm glad to hear that you're seeing some improvements. The first aid measures I gave you will treat dehydration and hypoglycemia, but the problem with the bleeding from the genitals will need to be taken care of by a vet. I hope your hamster continues to improve.

Anna
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I was just doing some research concerning hypoglycemia and dehydration and came across and article about diabetic hamsters. i read it and found all diabetic hamsters have the same symptoms as my hamster. It says that diabetic hamsters tend to urinate a lot more than usual. I have a hamster potty that my hamster goes in and everyday it is filled with urine. Also symptoms include dehydration. I think my hamster might be diabetic. Also a girl who had a diabetic hamster had the symptoms of mine now. she said her eyes were shut and was very weak. Shut eyes are supposed to be a warning of organs being shut down. She aslo recomends to give hamsters baby food with these symptoms. Any thing you might know of diabetic hamsters?
I can give you more information, but first, would your hamster happen to be a Campbell's dwarf?

Anna
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
My hamster is just a dwarf hamster. At the pet store it said "dwarf hamster". some were chinese dwarfs and some russian but mine was just dwarf hamster
Thank you. Diabetes is most common in Campbell's dwarfs.There is an inherited form in the Campbell's, which usually strikes young adult males. This link will tell you more about that:

http://www.hamsterific.com/diabetes.cfm

There are no diabetes medications for hamsters, so diabetes is usually treated by changes in diet. Diabetic hamsters are fed a quality seed mix, alfalfa, carrots, cooked potatoes, and boiled egg. They shouildn't get sweet treats like yogurt drops.You can read more about diabetes in hamsters here:

http://www.hamsterific.com/IllnessGuide.cfm#Diabetes

While your hamster may have diabetes, other illnesses can produce similar symptoms. I'm especially concerned about that appearance of dried blood around the genitals. Urinary tract infections and kidney disease are other possibilities. Closed eyes often accompany any serious illness. I still recommend that you see a vet.

Anna
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I just wanted to let you know that I'll be going offline. I'll check to see if you need anything else as soon as I return

Anna
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
How much do you think a trip to the vet for my hamster would cost?
That will depend a great deal on where you live. Veterinary fees are lower int he Midwest and Plains states, and higher on the coasts. No matter where you live, fees are higher in bigger cities. In the Midwest, an office would run between $25 and $45, depending on your exact location. Most vets will tell you their basic office visit fee if you call them, so that would be the best way to find out. soem larger pets stores have vets on staff, and the fees there, are often less, so that might be worth checking into, as well.

Anna

(If you've found my answer helpful, please click once on the green accept button. Thank you.)
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Verified
Anna and 87 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you for your help. I would like you to know my hamster, Kiki, just passed away. Thank you for helping me
I'm so sorry to ehar that you lost KiKi. You can be assured that you did everything possible in some very difficult circumstances.

Anna
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I thank you for all your help.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
11,581 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.

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