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How to tell if she's getting old?


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#1 Chocolate Hamsters

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

Hello everyone :wave: ,
I apologise if I haven't been on much lately, I've been very busy.
Muffin will be a year and six months in april, and she's starting to show a few signs of
aging.
Firstly, if I lift up teeny weeny, then I lift up muffin, there is an enourmous weight difference
between the two. Muffin is light as a feather, where as teeny weeny is very heavy in comparison. Muffin used to
be a nice, plump little hamster, the spitting image of teeny weeny. She has lost alot of weight over the past couple
of months, but she eats quite well. When I say quite well, I mean that she does still eat and all, but if I offer her
the favourite food, she spits it out, and refuses to eat it. But if I put the food in different places around the cage, they are gone in the morning.
Muffin has lost fur too. On her back, she is practically bald, from the top of her head, to three quarters of the way down her back. There are no visible fleas, ticks or mites, and Teabag and Teeny weeny show no signs of what Muffin has. She scrathes alot, but there appears to be nothing to scratch at. Again I have come to the conclusion that this is caused by old age.
An old habit of Muffins used to be where she would run at full speed, and flatten herself down, close to the floor. It was very comical, because her little hind legs stuck out at the sides when she was running. I'm using the past tense, because she appears to be unable to attempt this habit anymore. You see, the odd time, when I put Muffin on the floor, her back legs are unable to work.
They look like they are almost paralized, but when I pick her up, and ever so gently squeeze the back feet, they appear to work again. Muffin's other problem though, is the fact that every time she walks, or tries to run, she wobbles around like a drunken Irishman. Her back sways, and she always seems to walk on her heels, though I have checked her nails, and none appear to be digging into her feet. This seems to be another sign of her old age creeping up on her.

Muffin's balance used to be very good. She could climb the bars of the cage, and jump back down again, landing on her feet. Now she can scarcely climb the first three rungs, without falling back and being unable to get up again. This problem probably ties in with being unable to walk correctly.
When she was younger, Muffin used to seek out the most secretive place in her cage, and burrow right down, invisible to the human eye. She now sleeps right beside the water bottle, ontop of the bedding, making no attempt to conceal herself from anyone. I have a feeling this is because she is getting too old to come out every ten seconds all the way across her bin cage, through the tube, into her wire cage, take a drink and go all the way back.
She drinks much more frequently, and for longer periods of time. She is also very near her food bowl, which is also in her wire cage, but I think its the water bottle she is more concerned about.
If you take her out of her cage, for thirty seconds, even, she will go straight for the water bottle when you put her back in.
I think all of these little problems all tie in with getting old don't you think?
Thank you for reading,
Sophia xx




#2 emilystar

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:02 PM

How fast did you notice this decline?

#3 missPixy

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:24 PM

actually since she's a dwarf, I'd check her urine for glucose
and see whether she has diabetes.

if not, she may have a thyroid issue.

fur loss to that degree is definitely not a symptom of old
age... in fact my dwarfs lose no fur anymore, well into
2+ years old. I attribute this to keeping them on a very
high fiber, low protein diet once are over 1 year old.

have you checked inside her ears to see if there are any
obstructions? that may be the reason for her lack of
balance.

if her ears are clear, she may be experiencing a bit of
arthritis that prevents her from standing up with balance.
when she walks across a surface, do her hind legs splay
out to either side? or do they support her?

#4 nef

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 03:15 AM

I dont know about the fur problems, but those issues with her legs and walking issues sounds like how 2 of my females roborovskis behaved when they got a tumour on theur uterus. Have u tried pressing his belly to check for lumps or some abnormal hard mass?

#5 Chocolate Hamsters

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:33 PM

How fast did you notice this decline?


I noticed it about one month ago, and simply thought she was getting old.


actually since she's a dwarf, I'd check her urine for glucoseand see whether she has diabetes.if not, she may have a thyroid issue.fur loss to that degree is definitely not a symptom of oldage... in fact my dwarfs lose no fur anymore, well into2+ years old. I attribute this to keeping them on a veryhigh fiber, low protein diet once are over 1 year old.have you checked inside her ears to see if there are anyobstructions? that may be the reason for her lack ofbalance.if her ears are clear, she may be experiencing a bit ofarthritis that prevents her from standing up with balance.when she walks across a surface, do her hind legs splayout to either side? or do they support her?


How do you check the urine for gloucose?
What do you suggest for a high fibre and low protein diet?
How will I be able to see if there are obstructions in her ears?
At first her hind legs support her then she sort of runs out of steam, and starts dragging her legs behind her.



I dont know about the fur problems, but those issues with her legs and walking issues sounds like how 2 of my females roborovskis behaved when they got a tumour on theur uterus. Have u tried pressing his belly to check for lumps or some abnormal hard mass?


I will check her tummy for lumps and bumps right now.