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Dwarf Hamster Arthritis?


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#1 Janelle

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:12 AM

This has been happening for a few months now. At first I thought it was her bedding, so I tried all different kinds, but it never stops. She has trouble getting around in all bedding, and falls on her side and back and twists her body all around everytime she tries to walk and she basically has to pull herself around on her front legs to get around. When on a hard surface, her bags legs sprawl out, but she'll pull one back up and try to push herself forward. While a few weeks ago, she was quite chubby, now she is very scrawny. I rarely, if ever, see or hear her eating anymore, but she does still drink water. Along with no appetite and her possible arthritis, she has a very bad, hunched back.

I'm wondering, where she's at least 20 monthes, if I should just put her out of her misery and euthanize her? I love the dear, but it's hurting both of us.




#2 missPixy

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:43 AM

as an elder dwarf, she may be having trouble with her regular daily seedmix
especially if it has lots of hard bits. as they age, hamsters may have jaw or
tooth pain that prevents them from eating hard foods. what's her current
diet?

scruff her and examine her teeth. are they all in place, aligned? are they an
orange-y/yellow color? or are the white?

we want to figure out why she suddenly became so thin. when she was
chubby, did you notice an unusual amount of peeing or drinking?

as far as arthritis, there is a medication called Metacam that's an anti-
inflammatory drug used for dogs that can be diluted down for hamsters.
you just need to have a veterinarian experienced with hamsters to do
this. the Metacam will give her some relief from the discomfort and
make it easier for her to walk.

#3 Janelle

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:52 AM

Currently, she is given two bowls (one in each cage) of Hazel Hamster mix. She just kind of picks at it as she pleases. Also, once or twice a week, I give her some fresh food (normally broccoli or cucumber). Nothing outrageous, just a bit for a treat.

Her teeth are an orangey-yellow, but more orange (I just checked for the first time in a while to be sure).

She did pee and drink quite a bit before. She has a lot of spots that would just be drenched in pee, generally tubes. That has stopped in the past few weeks, too, along with her getting scrawny.

I will call a few vets and see if any can do this, but thus far I haven't been able to find vets in my area that are really *experienced* with hamsters.

#4 missPixy

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:10 AM

the peeing and drinking lead me to believe she may be diabetic. Posted Image
especially the "drenched" comment. there are urine test strips
sold, Bayer Keto-Diastix is one, that allows you to dip into a fresh
urine sample, and see how much glucose is in it.

there are some ways to deal with this. she may be very advanced
in how far the diabetes has damaged her body; but the urine test
strips will give you a clue. I've used, with my vet's assistance, the
human type2 diabetes drugs Glipizide and Glucotrol to treat my
own diabetic dwarfs; the vet doses down based on weight.

losing weight is often at the end of the cycle, but we may still be
able to at least relieve some of her symptoms and get some weight
on her.

have you ever used probiotics? there's one sold in Petco called
"benebac" which is a powder that can be sprinkled over the food.
I'd recommend adding this every day to her daily food. and I
would up the amount of high-fiber veg in her diet to something
every day. broccoli can be 2/3x a week; maybe another day you
can add a dark green leafy like kale or spinach; chopped apple
with the peel another day.

what kind of veterinary resources do you have?

Edited by missPixy, 10 July 2012 - 05:13 AM.


#5 Janelle

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:44 AM

Thank you for all of your help so far! I'll try finding something similar to or if I'm lucky, purchasing benebac at PetSmart or Pets Unlimited (my only resources).

I already was fairly aware of her diabetic symptoms, which is why I never really bothered to test her. I would have done something about it, but my town has terrible small animal vets - they're clueless especially about hamsters. They barely know anything, but I'll try calling around again tonight.

#6 Christmas_hamster

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:25 AM

Thank you for all of your help so far! I'll try finding something similar to or if I'm lucky, purchasing benebac at PetSmart or Pets Unlimited (my only resources).

I already was fairly aware of her diabetic symptoms, which is why I never really bothered to test her. I would have done something about it, but my town has terrible small animal vets - they're clueless especially about hamsters. They barely know anything, but I'll try calling around again tonight.


There are other ways to treat diabetes if you have too. There is a thread pinned about fenugreek seeds for example and some extra thought into your hamster's diet can help too. Ignoring it won't make it go away either, doing what you can is important, even if it is considering all possible routes and going along the one that will best help your hamster. :)