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My daughter's dwarf hamster is acting sick. We thought it…

My daughter's dwarf hamster is...
My daughter's dwarf hamster is acting sick. We thought it was hydration; his water bottle was empty. We discovered that last night...he was shaky and his eyes were shut. We helped him drink some water and filled his bottle. He seemed to rebound this morning and was full of energy. But now he is wobbly and his eyes are half closed again. He is trying to eat but he can't function well. He can't walk; he wobbles. He pees when my daughter holds him. I see from your article that holding him causes stress. She is having trouble looking at her pet now; he seems so out of it. We don't have an exotic pet vet around.
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
11/26/2014
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,927
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest on small animal health. I'm sorry to hear of your Tootsie Roll's problem. Once a hamster starts shaking, it is usually in very bad shape. Dehydration can cause damage to the internal organs, which may not show up right away, and that is probably what has happened. I will give you a couple of first aid measures. You will have to hold him, and if he is not used to that it can be stressful. But if you don't do anything, he has no chance at all, so it's better to try to help him.
Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Use a syringe to put a couple if drops at a time into the side of his mouth. Wait for him to swallow, then give him a couple of more drops. Do this every 10 minutes for the first hour. After that, repeat once per hour. He may also be hypoglycemic, so add a little honey, maple syrup, or even sugar to the Pedialyte the first time you give it.
You don't necessarily need an exotic animal vet - just one who is familiar with small rodents. If you'll give me your location, I'll see if I can find one for you. In summary, begin Pedialyte, add something sweet the first time, and consider having me look for a vet for you. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope Tootsie Roll will be able to recover from this.
Anna
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The following sites have directories of vets who treat small rodents, so you can look for yourself. Just copy and paste these URLs to your browser window.At the first site, you'll come to a log-in page. Sign in as 'member' and use 'member' as your password ***** well.
http://www.rmca.org/Vets/index.php?action=list
http://www.ratfanclub.org/vetref.html
Anna
My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need, so I may receive credit for my time.  Thank you!
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
There weren't any vets near our house but thanks for sending the link. We have been giving tootsie roll pediasure and see some minor improvements. He willingly drank the last time. I think it helps my daughters morale to be doing something for him even if he doesn't make it. Thanks for your advice! BTW my daughters name is ***** *****!!!
Tell your Anna hi from me! Yes, even if Tootsie Roll doesn't make it, it does help kids to feel they are doing something. It also give them faith in their parent who is doing all they can. I was a teacher for many years, and I often saw how much it meant to kids to have a parent who cared about their little pets.
As you go through this, I'll be her if you need any moral support. Even after you rate my answer, you can come back and reply (at no additional fee). I hope Tootsie Roll survives, but if he doesn't, let em know. I have some little things you can do with your daughter to help her through it. I hope that won't be necessary.
Anna
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
To be honest I was a little worried about this site being a scam. I will definitely leave very positive feedback for you. Anna is already contemplating what we would do with his little body if he doesn't make it. We live in Minnesota and the ground is frozen here. If he doesn't make it, what do you do with the body?Caring for a tiny critter is a good life lesson for kids!!! We has purchased a clear water bottle but the water leaked out completely. Wish they had better options out there. The bottles aren't translucent and difficult to open and close. Frustrating.
There are two options for what to do with the body. Most towns have a veterinarian who offers cremation services. The cost varies around the country, but because they have to fire up the crematorium regardless of the size of the animal, the cost can be prohibitive for a tiny creature. What I have done with small pets is wrap them in a cloth or tissue, then place in a Zip-loc bag. I put the bag in a plastic container (like from Cool Whip or margarine), then place it in the freezer until spring. When the soil thaws you can bury the pet. The plastic container keeps us from having to look at our little pet all winter, but if that doesn't bother you, you can just use the bag.
I've run into that problem with water bottles, too. You can get transparent ones, but may have to mail order them. With rabbits and guinea pigs, I use water bowls, but hamsters just fill bowls with litter.
I agree that kids learn a lot about life from pets. Many studies even show that kids who care for pets are more responsible, kind, and compassionate. They learn about the life cycle, and how to deal with loss. Pretty valuable lessons from little creatures.
Anna
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,927
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 3 years ago
Tootsie Roll seems like his old self now ! No shaking. Very active. Very social with Anna. Thanks so much for your help. Hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
That's amazing! Apparently the dehydration/hypoglycemia hadn't progressed to damage internal organs. I seldom see a hamster that is shaking recover. I'm so glad it happened for you. Thank you for the good news!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.
Anna
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