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Suggestions for treating a hamster with an infection?

infection cheek pouch swollen eye missing incisor abscess

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#1 maddie

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:10 PM

Hello everyone i'm new to this site, i have used it before as a non member to read forums and i was able to correctly diagnose my hamster because of it so thanks! Natalia is a russian dwarf hamster i love her very much and have had her for almost a year now. recently i took her to the vet because she had an impacted cheek pouch (she got a big piece of corn stuck right in the very front of her cheek underneath her eye which had caused they eye to bulge out) a week after the corn was removed and even though she was on antibiotics the tissue surrounding her eye turned pink and is swollen. i took her to the vet again and they said she has an abscess where the corn had been stuck. i have to deliver her antibiotics orally, by a syringe as i did with the last round which didn't work. i didn't have much luck getting her to take it i can't hold her still and get her mouth open. i was squirting it onto a little piece of cheerio bc she loves cheerios and she would eat it. i don't know how effective this method is though i wanted some advice about how to get her to take it and if i should give her yogurt or probiotics along with the antibiotics? also she recently took a big fall and is now missing one of her top incisors :( i noticed she hasn't been eating as much and i wanted advice about what foods would be easiest for her to eat. she still eats cheerios but she needs a balanced diet. i apologize for the length of this message! any advice on anything would be greatly appreciated.




#2 emiee7

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:29 PM

First of all you shouldn't give dwarfs corn. It's high in sugar and causes diabetes. It's not an infection

#3 Freep

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:38 PM

What hamster food is she currently eating? :)

#4 maddie

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:11 PM

well emiee7, i know for a fact that it is an infection seeing as she has an abscess inside of her cheek. thanks though.

and Freep she is currently eating a mix called Fiesta Max by a brand called kaytee

First of all you shouldn't give dwarfs corn. It's high in sugar and causes diabetes. It's not an infection



Also i dont give her fresh corn its the rock hard corn that comes in every hamster mix. i do take it out now though since it got impacted in her pouch

Edited by maddie, 03 April 2013 - 11:07 PM.


#5 missPixy

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:16 PM

hi Maddie,

you should definitely be giving her yogurt or probiotics 3-4 hours
before each dosing of antibiotic. you can also use Benebac, which
is a probiotic sold at petstores in gel or powder form.

how do you currently hold her when you're trying to give her the antibiotic?
and what's the name of the antibiotic?

#6 maddie

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:53 PM

the package says it is a baytril injection and looking at the syringe it looks like .1 ml. she gets one dose every 12 hours and i tried holding her a few different ways i tried scruffing but honestly i gave it a pretty timid try (i hate thinking i'm hurting her) and i tried holding her in a washcloth like they did at the vet but she would move her head all around and wouldn't open her mouth. i ended up just putting it on a piece of cheerio and she ate that (she actually ate it didn't store it) is that effectivve? and thank you i will definately try yogurt and/or benebac i'll see which one she takes best. i also just discovered a hard lump that is inside of her under neath her mouth where i guess her neck is. :( i'm very worried about her.

#7 maddie

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:05 AM

Also missPixy i really respect you because you comment on every ailment forum i have looked at and you give such expert advice and see it through until the hamster is better or passes. Thanks for commenting on my topic i really appreciate it, as i appreciate anyone who wants to help anothers' pet. :)

#8 missPixy

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:15 AM

thank you Maddie for the nice words Posted Image .

many vets will prescribe antibiotic in the drinking water, but that
problem is you don't know for sure how much of it your hamster
is getting.

if she ate the whole cheerio, and she will continue to take cheerios
with the antibiotic on it, then that is fine. when you read the info
about baytril for animals, Bayer contends it's best "on an empty
stomach" for absorption purposes. however, they're talking about
cats and dogs here. hamsters and guinea pigs have a different
kind of digestive tract that "technically" should never be "empty"
and not working, because that's how "bad" gut flora develops.

so I would say the cheerio is fine.

I am concerned too though about this new lump you've found.
it's hard to know if it's also some kind of abscess? could it be
a cyst or something else?

do you consider your vet very experienced with hamsters?

#9 maddie

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:24 AM

that's interesting that they would put it in the drinking water bc when i was about 8 i had a hamster with wet tail and being a little girl i just put the meds into his water bottle and he actually healed!
but yes i would consider the vet very good with hamsters in fact the first time my hamster went to the vet and after they removed the huge piece of corn from her cheek, she stopped moving and breathing and the vet gave her cpr and started vigorously rubbing her back and after a few minutes natalia came back! i was so grateful.
but this new lump is very concerning i only noticed it this morning. i could see that area looks swollen (it isn't red though) and when i rub it i feel something hard. i don't think it can't be food because its around her throat not cheeks. i hope its not a tumor i would rather it be an abscess but it must be one or the other. :/

#10 missPixy

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:43 AM

do you have a follow-up appointment scheduled with the vet?
if not, I'd make one for them to examine this new bump. it
sounds like it may be a tumor, but it may also be related to
the dental problem she has, have you checked inside her
mouth to see that the other front teeth aren't overgrowing?

when she fell she may also have jarred the lower incisors
and this *may* be an abcsess related to that. so the vet really
should examine this.

#11 maddie

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:53 AM

man i really wish i had noticed this when i took her to the vet yesterday. this 11 dollar hamster is really raking in the money for the vet!! but of course she is worth it i love her so much. the vet said if her eye doesn't looks better in five to seven days after using the antibiotics that i could consider bringing her in, having her gassed and then dr.louis said she would (i'm trying to remember) either make an incision from the outside of natalia's cheek and drain the abscess or just drain it from the outside. the abscess is on the inside but i know she said she would treat it from the outside i just can't remember exactly how she said it. but she said the procedure had a 50/50 shot of working to clear the abscess and have it stay away. she also said Natalia might not survive the procedure due to stress. i was wondering what you opinion of surgery was; if its worth the risk.

also the tooth was knocked out a week or two ago at the most i don't think her teeth are overgrowing yet. she used to chew the heck out her cage bars but has stopped doing that for the most part. everytime ive ever given her a chew toy even flavored ones she ignores them. i think the vet would have told me if her tooth looked like they were overgrowing but how can i check?

#12 missPixy

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:05 AM

well, if she has something she likes to eat and you hold it right near
her mouth, she'll open her mouth and maybe you can peek inside
to see if her teeth look straight and not look like they're growing
into the inside of her mouth. although the vet would've noticed that
yesterday if she examined her mouth.

surgery is dependent upon the experience of the vet. if your vet is
very experienced with hamsters (and from the sounds of it, seems
to be) then I would go forward with this. if she uses gas anesthesia
then she has experience. and if she makes the incision from the
outside, you can use Manuka Honey UMF+16 on the wound to help
it heal without infection.

Manuka Honey UMF+16 is sold in natural food stores like Whole Foods
and can also be bought online on amazon.it is amazing in how it gets
rid of infection and heals wounds.

#13 maddie

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:24 AM

i fed her a cheerio but pressed it against the bars vertically so she would open her mouth to try and bite it but couldn't and her bottom teeth look fine for now from what i could see. and okay i have read other forums where you suggested that honey and it had worked great for others! i guess i will just keep an eye on her eye and cheek and the lump under her mouth to see if they are getting better or worse and if anything worsens i'll bring her in to the vet again. and have her do the surgery and/or look at the new lump. thank you so much for your advice! i'll also get her some yogurt and/or benebac.

#14 emiee7

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:37 AM

well emiee7, i know for a fact that it is an infection seeing as she has an abscess inside of her cheek. thanks though.

and Freep she is currently eating a mix called Fiesta Max by a brand called kaytee




Also i dont give her fresh corn its the rock hard corn that comes in every hamster mix. i do take it out now though since it got impacted in her pouch


Sorry it just didn't sound like it. Again thats the corn you shouldn't give. That's what I was talking about ;)

#15 tbiM20

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:53 AM

also she recently took a big fall and is now missing one of her top incisors :( i noticed she hasn't been eating as much and i wanted advice about what foods would be easiest for her to eat. she still eats cheerios but she needs a balanced diet.


I'm just chiming in here :) I think you can use a blender, coffee grinder, or just smash up the food you normally give her, with a tad bit of water, to create a softer mixture that is easier to eat with a missing tooth.

The corn issue, it still contains starches that digest very quickly and cause a blood sugar spike, hence why it (and peas) are advised against for diabetic-prone hamsters (and diabetic humans too.) So you could check out the Master List for other foods or for recommendations about your food. Right now, though, the priority is the abscess, so I'll bow out here.