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Hamster injured in fight

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#1 Arie


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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:48 AM

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice on my daughter's hamster Fuzzy. I've been on Google for over an hour searching for information, with not much luck. Finally I found this site and I am desperate for some help. My kids have 4 hamsters, one belonging to each child. Nibbles and Fuzzy are long-haired, Whiskers is a short-haired, and Squeakers is a Chinese dwarf. They're all just under a year old, and all are separately caged. Fuzzy is a little more special to us because he only has 3 paws - his right front one is missing, instead he just has a little nub. We discovered this the day after we adopted him. Anyway, we keep all the cages on top of a long bookcase in our playroom. Late last night, Whiskers got out of his cage. We didn't notice this until I walked past and saw him at Fuzzy's cage, fighting with him through the metal bars. I ran into the room and picked up Fuzzy's cage to get him away from Whiskers, while my oldest son got Whiskers and put him back in his cage. Poor Fuzzy was bleeding profusely from his nose/mouth area, the blood running down his little chest. The kids were hysterical and we were all crying, we thought for sure that Fuzzy was going to die. I set Fuzzy's cage on the floor and we all sat down with him. At first he was just freaking out, running back and forth in the cage, on his wheel, up the tube to the second floor of his cage. He seemed absolutely frantic, bleeding all over himself and his cage. He was making loud, almost rhythmic, squeaking noises the entire time. Once he began to groom himself, I could see the injury was to his nose. I couldn't see any other wounds on him. It was too late at night to be able to take him to a vet, so we sat with him for a good couple of hours before we felt he was going to be alright. I woke up to check on him a couple times through the night and found him sleeping, but breathing. I'm trying to find a vet in our area that treats hamsters and can hopefully see him tomorrow, but in the meantime I'm worried he's not out of the woods. He's been sleeping all evening, but he is still waking to eat and drink. When I check on him, he's still off and on making that same sort of squeaking sound, whether awake or asleep. It sort of reminds me of hiccups, because his body jerks at the same time he's making that sound. His nose has scabbed up now and my husband and I cleaned his cage today to hopefully reduce risk of infection. My biggest concern tonight is that he's more injured than we are aware of. Are the noises because he's in pain, or because he's traumatized? Maybe both? As I said earlier, the attack was through metal cage bars, so not a full-on fight. If he'd have sustained more serious injuries, I wouldn't think he'd have made it through the night and all of today. He has had periods of normal behavior today, such as climbing, hoarding food in his pouches, even trying to climb out of the plastic bin we put him in while cleaning his cage. To me it seems that those are good signs that he's beginning to heal and it was just a superficial wound, but I could really use some advice or suggestions on how to help get him through this.

#2 Lucas


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Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:14 PM

You came to the right place, my friend. I think you'll recieve excellent advice for your situation, at least until you can find a good and trusted vet. :)
For now, I would just say keep doing as you're doing; I think you're doing everything right. If he is eating, drinking and overall as normal as he was before that is a really good sign. I would use some polysporin if you have some lying around, and apply it with a q-tip. It'll help with any infection that may already be present, if any at all. More so a better safe than sorry, kind of thing. It won't hurt him, and he probably won't like it, but he'll appreciate it in the long run!
I would maybe now, keep him separated from all other hamsters, even from site. He may become defensive even from smelling the others, and become stressed from his "post-tramatic" distress. This may send him into a state where he may act very strange, and not eat or drink for awhile.
Play with him normally as you would on any day, and make sure his movement is still normal. It sounds like the squeaking is due to his wounds. Hopefully he's just recovering from the superficial ones, as you had said. But, like I said, it might even be a safe bet to call a vet over the phone. Perhaps you have a 24 hour emergency one?

I also think I misunderstood what you meant; the wound is on his nose? Or?

Otherwise, I hope it all goes well for you!

#3 Arie


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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:26 PM

Thank you so much for the advice, as well as the encouragement. I do have some polysporin, but his wound is on the tip of his nose - but would it be safe to apply polysporin to the external nostril area? I did take your advice and moved his cage to an area away from the others. He definitely has moments of acting very strangely, almost frantic in his movements throughout his cage. Then in the next instant he's acting more like his old self, except for the squeaking and snuffling noises he's been making since the attack.

We do have a 24 hour emergency vet in the area, unfortunately they don't treat hamsters. I have located one that does, but they won't be open until 9am tomorrow. I don't know if there's anything they can do, but I have to try. It tears me up to think we could lose this sweet little guy.

#4 winternite


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Posted 14 March 2011 - 02:20 PM

missPixy has this thyme tea remedy hope this helps..

i use thyme tea to treat wounds on my dwarfs... it works very
well! you just use the fresh herb, thyme, to make the tea.

put a generous handful into a mug or teapot. pour boiling water
just to cover over the thyme, and lid the mug or teapot to prevent
the beneficial oils from escaping. let steep for 30 minutes, stirring

after 30 minutes, set up a towel where your hamster can stand,
and saturate the corner of a paper towel with the thyme tea.
hold the saturated area gently against your hamster's cut... the
longer the better. she most likely will move around, but try to
have 5 minutes overall that the tea is in contact with her cut.

afterwards, don't dry the area.... let it air dry.

repeat this 2 or 3x a day. you can refrigerate the thyme tea and
reuse it once by simmering on the stovetop (but don't bring to
a boil). after using it a second time, though, you need to make
up a fresh batch.

make sure all the bedding in her house is pristine... spot clean
daily. the area where she has this cut very easily becomes infected.

#5 missPixy


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Posted 14 March 2011 - 10:43 PM

thank you for pulling this up, winternite :nurse: :goodvibes: !

yes I recommend the thyme tea for treating all sorts of wounds.
it's very hamster-safe and works as an excellent antiseptic.

the area around the nose and mouth is extremely sensitive. also
because it's a "wet" area, it takes longer to heal. so he must be
getting little "stings" every once in a while, accounting for the

once you've cleaned the area with the thyme tea, you can also
buy something called UMF Manuka Honey to act as an occlusive
dressing. it's a bit pricey ($25 at whole foods) but works at
unbelievable speed to heal wounds. you would apply a tiny dap
from your pinky finger to his wounds each day. because it's so
sticky he won't be able to get it all off, and of course it's very
safe for him.

be careful with vets who don't specialize in hamsters. they often
prescribe antibiotics that aren't safe for hamsters because their
knowledge is so limited.

also, you might want to pick up some fresh kale and start shredding
it into tiny pieces to mix in his food. kale (along with spinach) is a
great food to stimulate proper blood production and will get his
blood levels back to where they belong.

#6 Arie


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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:34 AM

Thank you all for the information! I will be going to whole foods this evening to get some of that honey. Also going to pick up some kale.

Fuzzy is doing much better today. We just got home from the vet and he did put him on antibiotics. But he specializes in rodents and exotic animals, his nickname is the "Rat Doctor" and he was really great with Fuzzy. His heart and lungs sound great, no broken bones, and no other injuries besides the bite to his nose. The vet believes Fuzzy's strange behavior and noises are due to both his pain and the fact that he was so traumatized by the attack. He did recommend we permanently move Fuzzy's cage to another room away from the other 3 hamsters. On the advice of another poster, I did that last night and what a difference in his behavior already!

This site is a great source of information, and I'm so happy to have found a community where people care as much about their little friends as much as we do. Everyone so far thinks I'm crazy for spending $52 on a vet visit for a hamster, but our pets are a part of our family and we love them. :veryhappy:

Thanks again to everyone for all the great advice!

#7 jodeely


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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:59 AM

Phew, I'm happy to hear that your hamster is going to be just fine. :)
And don't worry, I'm sure that most members on this forum care just as much for their hamster as you do so I'm sure you're not crazy :P
Glad to see people genuinely care for their pets!

#8 LoveHammy


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Posted 09 August 2011 - 04:48 PM

this is so helpful thanks a lot! :reading: