the reason this works is because thyme is a natural antibiotic and decongestant. i found this remedy very late one night, when i found one of my babies in the middle of a very bad respiratory attack, and in desperation flipped through an herbal book i had. this was in the children's section of the book, and i knew at that point i had nothing more to lose. it worked!!
what you'll need to have on hand:
an eyedropper bottle, or oral syringe
when your hamster comes down with a respiratory problem, do this:
take about 10-12 sprigs of the fresh thyme and put them in a mug. boil some water.
while the water is boiling, make a little emergency nest for your hamster. get some more thyme leaves by stripping them from the sprigs and mix them into the bedding.
hold your hamster and massage him or her. make sure you keep them warm. mine are always cold to the touch when they get respiratory problems. take some more sprigs of the fresh thyme and start crushing it under your hamster's nose. this will help to start the decongestion process.
return to your tea. when the water boils, pour it to cover only over the thyme. stir it occasionally, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. after 5 minutes, put some paper towel over another, clean mug, and pour the tea into this new mug. the paper towel will filter out the leaves.
with your eyedropper or syringe, take up a couple of hamster mouthfuls' worth. let this sit for about 30 seconds or so until it is not hot (you don't want to burn your hamster's mouth). test by a few drops on your hand first.
give your hamster a few drops of the tea. continue massaging and crushing the thyme leaves under his nose. i have found that, after the tea, you will need to massage him and crush the leaves under his nose for at least an hour to ensure adequate recovery.
what do i mean by "adequate" recovery? i mean 1) your hamster doesn't feel cold anymore; s/he is beginning to regulate body temp on their own; 2) your hamster starts moving in your hand, and can walk a few steps, or even completely away from you; 3) his or her eyes start to open a bit.
until you see all three of these recovery signs, your work is not done. this remedy WILL NOT work in 5 or 10 minutes. you may need to bring your hamster to work with you or take the day off to stay with your hamster, until your hamster responds in the ways i've described. you'll probably want to monitor him or her for another 24 hours even after the recover signs happen, just to make sure there isn't a relapse.
some may object to holding the hamster and massaging him during this stressful time, saying it is better to just let him rest. i disagree. i have found the hamster's metabolism is so fast that, as quickly as they get sick, they can recover just as quickly if encouraged to metabolize it out of their systems. but only do this in conjunction with my above steps... you want to help him clear his respiratory passages and get warm, first.
i have successfully used this treatment with 3 of my hamsters and have not lost one of them since i discovered this. i only wish i'd learned about it sooner, because i could've save 3 more of my babies...
Edited by missPixy, 10 June 2004 - 02:36 AM.