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J E Harrison
J E Harrison, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1022
Experience:  UK small animal vet and acupuncturist with an interest in rabbits,geriatric patients and surgery.
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Hi, In the last week, our hamster has become very anxious,

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In the last week, our hamster has become very anxious, has lost weight. Doesn't eat what he is use to. Doesn't want us to hold him or pet him. He is weaker and not steady on his feet. We don't know what to do. He is no doubt suffering, but we feel helpless.

Any suggestions?

Hi there,


Is Herbie drinking any water?


Is he passing urine and faeces? Any discharge or nasty smell coming from the back end?


Is he trying to go in circles or falling over to one side?


Are his eyes clear and open, or are they crusty and closed?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Doesn't drink much water. He is falling over on his side, wobbles when walks. We have found urine in potty, but doesn't appear to be much fecas. No scent from back end. One eye seemed to be watery and closed more than the other one. We thought he had scratched it.

Hi there and thanks for the extra information.


I agree with you that Herbie seems to be very poorly. The fact that he can't stand up or get around very well could be an indication that he is very dehydrated and weak, but could also be due to a neurological problem that can be similar to a stroke in humans. At 2 years old, he is reaching the average lifespan of a pet hamster and very often when things start to go wrong to this extent at this age, it is something that doesn't get better. Hamsters that are sick tend to get their eyes sticky and closing a little too, this tends to indicate that they are poorly, dehydrated and in poor condition.


My advice would be to get him to see your vet as soon as you possibly can - it may be that supportive treatment can be given, but my main concern at the moment would be that his quality of life is very poor and that he may well need to be put to sleep in order to prevent any unnecessary suffering. Your vet is the only person that can do this.


If you cannot get to a vet now, then in the meantime try to keep him warm and quiet, give some warmed water with a little sugar mixed in with a dropper if you can and offer as much of his favourite food as you can. Fruit baby food can be good if they are feeling poorly.


I hope this helps,


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