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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11423
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Our 3 year old winter is shaking when walking. He also has a

Customer Question

Our 3 year old winter white is shaking when walking. He also has a red lump in his left ear that looked like it ruptured or he scratched it. Until today, he was acting fairly normal. Sleeping more soundly than usual.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Hamster
JA: OK. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the hamster?
Customer: We traveled across the country by car with them (we have two) for 6 days.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in pocket pet health. I'm sorry to hear your hamster is having a problem. I wanted to let you know that I'm working on some information for you and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience, and will be back shortly.

Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for waiting. At age three, your hamster is quite elderly, and a car trip like that had to be quite stressful for him. I can give you some first aid measures to try, but an in person exam by a vet would be the best thing to do. Shaking often indicates dehydration and/or hypoglycemia.

Put a drop of maple syrup, Karo syrup, or honey in his 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 drop at a time in the side of your hamster's mouth. Don't put it straight down his throat as that can lead to aspiration into the lungs. For the first hour, give some every ten minutes, after that, once per hour. You can also use a syringe to give him some baby food (with no onions in it). These measures may keep your hamster alive long enough to take him to a vet.

The lump in his ear may be an abscess or tumor that ruptured. It's not uncommon for these types of growths to rupture. You can put plain Neosporin on it twice per day. That won't make it shrink but can prevent infection in the open area.

You have apparently done a great job of taking care of him because a three-year-old hamster is the equivalent of a human well into their 80's. Because of your hamster's age, you'll have a decision to make. The lump could be due to cancer, an abscess, , or it could be a benign tumor. The only way to find out is to have a vet do a fine needle aspirate. When something like this happens to an older hamster, some people just let nature take its course and keep the hamster as comfortable as possible. Others want to treat if possible. If this is an abscess, it would be treatable. As hamsters get older, they do become more prone to some diseases that can't be treated. so, you'll have to decide how you want to approach this. If you decide on a vet, the following links will take you to directories of vets who treat small rodents. At the first site, you'll come to a log-in page. Sign in as 'member' and use 'member' as your password ***** well.

If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope the first aid measures will help your hamster feel better.


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