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My hamster :( is it just old age? watch

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    Hi guys, my hamster is 2 years and 2 months, he's a Syrian. Yesterday I noticed he's got sticky eyes, like they are stuck shut, I have bathed them with boiled (and cooled) water and saline solution, which he seemed to hate me doing is this gonna help them get better?
    Also, he's really wobbly on his feet now, and seems frail and sort of unstable when he walks about, doesn't help that he can't see right now either! Eating slightly less, and he has lost a bit of weight I guess...
    It seems to have all come on quite suddenly, like in the past week. a couple of weeks ago he was running around perfectly well!

    Are these just all symptoms of old age? How much longer do you reckon he's got?
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    If you started noticing those symptoms only over the course of last week or two, it certainly is something to be worried about. It's definitely not because of the hamster aging! The aging process is much slower, even in hamsters.

    I found a good guide where you can check what could different symptoms mean, have a read:
    http://www.hamsterific.com/IllnessGuide.cfm

    I recommend taking him to the vet ASAP, it doesn't sound good at all.
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    (Original post by Chez87)
    Hi guys, my hamster is 2 years and 2 months, he's a Syrian. Yesterday I noticed he's got sticky eyes, like they are stuck shut, I have bathed them with boiled (and cooled) water and saline solution, which he seemed to hate me doing is this gonna help them get better?
    Also, he's really wobbly on his feet now, and seems frail and sort of unstable when he walks about, doesn't help that he can't see right now either! Eating slightly less, and he has lost a bit of weight I guess...
    It seems to have all come on quite suddenly, like in the past week. a couple of weeks ago he was running around perfectly well!

    Are these just all symptoms of old age? How much longer do you reckon he's got?


    yeah they are old age especially the sticky eye thing which ive noticed in males and not females (strange)

    one of my little ones died on boxing day and he had the sticky eye problem for about 6 months before he died, he also had a weak leg for about 8-9 months (he was 2 years 9 months when he died)

    his son is starting to get sticky eyes not but they arnt so bad, we just make sure his cage/bedding is always clean, we clean it every other day if needs be but hes going good, he will be 2 years 5 months on 31st jan and he still weighs close to if not 200g

    i dont know how long he will last it could be ages or he might go soon, theres no telling with hams one min they can be perfectly ok and the next they are gone, one ham we had she was fine one day, she was out running around pinching my bfs toast :rofl: then the next day when she got up she was VERY shaky, she died 7 days later, when a hamster gets ill/old it can all happen so quick

    make sure hes comfy and warm and has lots of his fav treats
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    The wobbliness happened to the hamster I found once. (In winter on the way to school, took it to school with me, left it in a tank in a biology lab all day and brought it home after - this probably didn't help)

    It seemed OK at first, but must have been old because it was quite big. :dontknow: The wobbliness became very exaggerated, it was soon unable to leave it's little house in it's cage, and died in the night a few days afterwards.


    I'd suggest keeping the hamster cage out of the way of any draughts, keeping the bedding fresh, and making sure there is plenty of it.
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    Sounds like old age, my first hamster got all frail and shakey before he died, was so heartbreaking cause he used to be so strong and active
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    Awww.
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Appreciate it. I just went to clean him out and spend a bit of time with him, his eyes are still stuck closed. I bathed them again and he managed to open them almost fully. His balance is still terrible tho, he fell down a little step bit in his cage and rolled onto his back. Its not nice seeing him so unstable.

    I'm just gonna keep his cage as clean as I can without disrupting him too often, give him lots of extra bedding and some food he may handle better than the hard stuff.
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    (Original post by Chez87)
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Appreciate it. I just went to clean him out and spend a bit of time with him, his eyes are still stuck closed. I bathed them again and he managed to open them almost fully. His balance is still terrible tho, he fell down a little step bit in his cage and rolled onto his back. Its not nice seeing him so unstable.

    I'm just gonna keep his cage as clean as I can without disrupting him too often, give him lots of extra bedding and some food he may handle better than the hard stuff.

    if he has tubes on his cage maybe consider taking them out to make it easier for him
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    should you not be taking him to the vet??

    surely obviously sick animal = vet.

    or is this just not done with hamsters as its cheaper to just replace them
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    (Original post by Chez87)
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Appreciate it. I just went to clean him out and spend a bit of time with him, his eyes are still stuck closed. I bathed them again and he managed to open them almost fully. His balance is still terrible tho, he fell down a little step bit in his cage and rolled onto his back. Its not nice seeing him so unstable.

    I'm just gonna keep his cage as clean as I can without disrupting him too often, give him lots of extra bedding and some food he may handle better than the hard stuff.
    Make sure he can get to water easily, I think that was part of the problem with mine when she got a bit wobbly.

    Try filling a bottle lid with water if he cant get around, and leave it near his sleeping area.
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    (Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
    should you not be taking him to the vet??

    surely obviously sick animal = vet.

    or is this just not done with hamsters as its cheaper to just replace them
    I've done quite a bit of reading on the net and it seems the general consensus from his symptoms is old age...
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    (Original post by aliluvschoc)
    Make sure he can get to water easily, I think that was part of the problem with mine when she got a bit wobbly.

    Try filling a bottle lid with water if he cant get around, and leave it near his sleeping area.
    Thats a good idea, he is a bit wobbly when leaning up on his back legs to drink, so will definitely try this. Thanks.
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    I wouldn't recommend regularly cleaning out the cage as has been mentioned above. It doesn't matter that he can not see, blind hamsters live normal lives because their sight is quite poor anyway - they rely more heavily on their senses of smell and sound. Their enviroment is very important to them, more specifically the way it smells. Frequent and thorough cleaning is very stressful for a hamster, as is being moved around too much. Instead you should only remove small areas of obviously soiled bedding and nesting material and leave most of the bedding for as long as it doesn't smell. Then when you do clean the cage, put back some of the old bedding anyway.

    It does just sound like old age and there is nothing you can do but make them comfortable, give them treats and softer foods and watch them. If they do suddenly go downhill and develope symptoms that suggest they might have something such as a respiratory infection - then they should really see a vet. Things like clicking when breathing and mucus around the nose. If they survive the infection for several days before they die, then it is likely that they suffered needlessly. Hamsters usually die within 24 hours if they were too weak to survive the illness even with antibiotics (usually, but not always). Painkillers and antibiotics can be given to help them if they are ill (rather than just generally de-generating with old age), it's a myth that there is nothing you can do so should just leave them for days on end.
    Vets in the UK are pretty cheap (compared to the US), if you go within working hours it should only be between £5-20. This is only if they become clearly sick, on top of their old age.
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    My hamster got like this (and she also had a massive tumour on her cheek) and we had her put down As I said, she had a tumour in her cheek but the vet said it was also likely she had a brain tumour because of the other symptoms (not walking about much, wobbliness, acting out of character).

    Consider if his quality of life is affected because if it is the kindest thing you can do is take him to the vet. :hugs: though xxxx
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    This happened to my hamster too. We took him to the vet and even with eyedrops they remained stuck so it does just seem to be a problem they get with old age.
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    take him to the vet

    the sticky eye is probably conjunctivitis, my sisters hamster had it, the vet will give you drops to put on your hamsters eyes, and keep wiping his eyes with warm water

    and the wobblyness is probably old age but check their stomach, has it gone blackish? because my hamster was wobbly when walking and wasn't eating alot and I found out she had a liver problem
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    (Original post by Ribbits)
    I wouldn't recommend regularly cleaning out the cage as has been mentioned above. It doesn't matter that he can not see, blind hamsters live normal lives because their sight is quite poor anyway - they rely more heavily on their senses of smell and sound. Their enviroment is very important to them, more specifically the way it smells. Frequent and thorough cleaning is very stressful for a hamster, as is being moved around too much. Instead you should only remove small areas of obviously soiled bedding and nesting material and leave most of the bedding for as long as it doesn't smell. Then when you do clean the cage, put back some of the old bedding anyway.

    It does just sound like old age and there is nothing you can do but make them comfortable, give them treats and softer foods and watch them. If they do suddenly go downhill and develope symptoms that suggest they might have something such as a respiratory infection - then they should really see a vet. Things like clicking when breathing and mucus around the nose. If they survive the infection for several days before they die, then it is likely that they suffered needlessly. Hamsters usually die within 24 hours if they were too weak to survive the illness even with antibiotics (usually, but not always). Painkillers and antibiotics can be given to help them if they are ill (rather than just generally de-generating with old age), it's a myth that there is nothing you can do so should just leave them for days on end.
    Vets in the UK are pretty cheap (compared to the US), if you go within working hours it should only be between £5-20. This is only if they become clearly sick, on top of their old age.

    Thanks for the tips on cleaning him out, I always put some of his old bedding back in after I clean him anyway, and he always pees in one place so I can just clean out that part when needed. And change the rest of his cage less often. I'll check him over later, I'm trying to disturb him as little as poss apart from bathing his eyes. He doesn't seem to have any other problems that you mentioned, no noises when breathing, or runny nose.

    I have a day off Thursday so maybe I could take him to the vet then if it doesn't cost too much.
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    (Original post by Chez87)
    Thanks for the tips on cleaning him out, I always put some of his old bedding back in after I clean him anyway, and he always pees in one place so I can just clean out that part when needed. And change the rest of his cage less often. I'll check him over later, I'm trying to disturb him as little as poss apart from bathing his eyes. He doesn't seem to have any other problems that you mentioned, no noises when breathing, or runny nose.

    I have a day off Thursday so maybe I could take him to the vet then if it doesn't cost too much.
    It sounds as though currently he doesn't need the stress of a vet visit, since he has no other symptoms. If you think their quality of life gets too low and they aren't enjoying anything anymore, then you might want to phone around your local vets and ask how much euthanasia would cost you - it's not that expensive where I am but it varies.

    Personally though, as long as they are still enjoying their food and cuddles and aren't in clear pain I let them live on. I have only ever euthanised one hamster, he was clearly suffering and had no hope, the others have been alright with their old age and seemed to want to fight on when they were ill.
    Good luck with him. xXx
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    Hope the trip to the vet went well. My hamster fell really ill suddenly a few months ago, she lost all her balance and unable to walk, the vet suggested putting her down after diagnosing it as a stroke I welled up at the thought so he said he'd try giving her a shot of something (cant remember what now) and then see if it helps... literally within a few days she was running around and completely normal again and still going strong

    Since then, I have to say if I notice her low on energy I give her bits of my meat and other foods and it really has a massively positive improvement on her general wellbeing and activity level. Oh and you can buy vitamin drops to add to their food which may help.

    Hope he's feeling better now
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    (Original post by .Mango)
    Hope the trip to the vet went well. My hamster fell really ill suddenly a few months ago, she lost all her balance and unable to walk, the vet suggested putting her down after diagnosing it as a stroke I welled up at the thought so he said he'd try giving her a shot of something (cant remember what now) and then see if it helps... literally within a few days she was running around and completely normal again and still going strong

    Since then, I have to say if I notice her low on energy I give her bits of my meat and other foods and it really has a massively positive improvement on her general wellbeing and activity level. Oh and you can buy vitamin drops to add to their food which may help.

    Hope he's feeling better now

    this is why i hate taking my hams to the vets as they are so quick to say 'oh just put it down' they might aswell say just get rid of it cause you can get another for less than a tenner :rolleyes:

    hamsters can recover from a stroke, in fact they can recover and be back to their normal selves providing they dont have another like my hamster did

    im pleased you ham recovered protien rich food is good, boiled egg, tuna, salmon (mine love all those lol) and those vitamin drops are good too but i suggest putting them in the water so you can be sure they are getting them
 
 
 
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