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Breathing difficulty with clicking noise

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#1 Ippo456


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Posted 10 May 2009 - 09:10 AM

1. Breed of hamster? dwarf RC.

2. Age of hamster? Not sure, but she's at least a year old.

3. Bedding used? Aspen (which has no aromatic oils), but changed to Carefresh since tonight as a precautionary measure.

4. What kind of food do you feed? Oxbow Regal Rat mixed with Oxbow Healthy Handfuls.

5. What type of cage are they in? a 2-storey Crittertrail.

6. Has there been any recent cleaning with chemicals or air fresheners near the hamster cage? Yes, but I only use plant-based cleaning products.

7. How often do you clean the cage and how? Spot cleaning every week, entire cage once every 2 weeks (I take the cage apart & soak everything in plant-based cleaning solutions & wipe everything down).

8. Any odd or unsusual odors? None at all.

9. What symptoms are they showing? My hamster is experiencing all the symptoms that describe respiratory/breathing problems: clicking noises whenever she breathes (looks like she's having a hiccup), difficulty breathing, lethargic (she even refuses food), wetness around the mouth, & eyes are closed most of the times.

10. Do you feed fresh foods (lettuce, carrots, etc)? How often? When are they removed from the cage? Yes, once a week with only a small piece of vegetable, e.g. carrots; because the piece is so small, my hamster always finishes it.

11. Have you added anything new to the hamster's cage? No.

Maybe this helps.


ps: this is the same RC who has cataract in one eye, hopefully this problem she's having now is just a sign of aging.

Edited by Ippo456, 10 May 2009 - 04:21 PM.

#2 Missithedog


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Posted 10 May 2009 - 06:46 PM

I would get her to the vet asap. It sounds as if she has a respiratory infection? Possibly pneumonia...which needs veterinary attention asap as it can be fatal if not treated.
Your vet will put her onto a course of antibiotics to treat the respiratory infection and treat/prevent pneumonia. Has she been in contact with anyone who has had a cold or the flu?

Keep her in a warm environment and make sure she is getting enough fluids. You may want to purchase some electrolytes from your vets to help keep her hydrated or flavourless childrens pedialyte from your local store ( 50% pedialyte to 50 water%).

All the symptoms you are describing strongly suggests a respiratory infection: the discharge from the nose, the lethargy , the noises she makes when she breathes and the laboured breathing. I really cant stress how important it is to get her to the vets to start the antibiotics treatment.

I really hope she gets better.

All the best, Missi.

#3 Ippo456


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Posted 10 May 2009 - 11:25 PM

Yes, unfortunately vet isn't open until Monday.
I did give her that thyme tea. She hasn't been in contact with anyone who has a cold or the flu.
I did blanket her with tissue & move her to a warmer room, but she always tried to move away from the tissue.
This morning when I try to give her the thyme tea again, she's more feisty, which is a good sign (because last night she was so lethargic she wasn't even able to fight my hand). She's also still able to move around, from upstairs to downstairs. I'm just hoping this is a sign of aging.
I'll try to get her some Pedialytes.
I have some baytril at home, will this help?

Edited by Ippo456, 10 May 2009 - 11:31 PM.

#4 missPixy


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Posted 11 May 2009 - 02:09 AM

with the thyme tea, it's essential to not only give her the tea as directed, but to
also crush the fresh herb directly under her nose a few times during the first 24 hours;
also, monitor very carefully her body temperature; you don't want her to start
feeling cold because she can't recover on her own for that. that's why i recommend
to hold her in your hands, and gently cuddle/massage while blowing on her with
your breath (if she's cold.)

if she's feisty that's a very good sign! but don't stop with the thyme. give her at
least 2 more dosings today.

how old is the baytril? it only has a shelf life of 3 months. if the thyme is working,
i'd stay with that. the baytril might be old, and it might affect her digestive flora
since she's already feeling ill.

#5 Ippo456


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Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:21 AM

I honestly can't tell if her body is warm or cold, & I don't have a thermometer either.
Actually I do have a new baytril (prescribed this past Friday), but I don't want to give this to her if it will upset her appetite.
I am continuing to give her the thyme tea. I'll keep on crushing the thyme under her nose, too.
I'll give her some pedialytes tonight.

#6 missPixy


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Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:38 AM

if you held her in your hand, she would feel cold. as if the blood had
stopped moving through her. it's a very distinct difference.pick up
any of your healthy hamsters and feel the heat of their body. her
body should feel the same.

#7 Ippo456


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Posted 12 May 2009 - 01:26 AM

I took her to the vet and vet diagnosed her with pneumonia. She's on a 7-day course of antibiotic.
Hope that will help her.
Vet looked at her & determined that she's an older hamster, so her immune system might have been weak & that's how she caught pneumonia.