My pet is like one of my family members. He gives me company, affection, and many exceptional memories. Two years ago my friend gave me a hamster, ‘Puffy’ although I was not interested in pets and no other person wanted him. So had to take him but with time I became interested because he was so friendly, had a good spirit, and with his snuggle affection anyone would have admired to have him. In spite of him being too little, he was full of adventures, affection, and joy.
When he was 3 years old it came to my attention that he was inactive, low appetite, and even drinking less. My effort of luring him with peanut butter and some treats which were his favorite could not work anymore. I contacted the vet and when he came over, he gave me the shocking news that my pet was old. I didn’t know where to start from because all I knew was that ‘Puffy’ was very joyous. Nevertheless, my pet needed me most and I had to comfort him.
Below are 5 ways on how to comfort a dying hamster.
Just like any other pet a hamster requires water and food to survive. Hamsters are naturally small in size and consume small amounts of food. Both lack of enough water and low appetite can cause death to my hamster. Surprisingly hamsters have no sensation of thirst or even hunger. It has come to my attention that my hamster can go for a number of days without consuming anything and they are much ok with that. This is because food is no longer crucial to my hamster. In spite of this, dehydration can make my hamster feel some discomfort which can possibly make him succumb painfully.
A hamster’s body weight should determine the amount of water he or she should drink. For instance, my hamster which is 200g in weight, dinks approximately 20ml (4 teaspoons) of water on a daily basis.
How to check if My Hamster is dehydrated?
- First and foremost thing I check my hamster’s eyes. If I find them to be dull, droopy, dry, and sunken then he is likely dehydrated.
- If I find out that my hamster tongue is swollen, out of experience am able to tell he is seriously dehydrated and hence I contact my vet right away.
- Since I am very vigilant on my hamster, I gently pinch the nape of my hamster’s neck to check if it’s ok. If the skin moves back slowly or does not move back into place, my hamster is dehydrated.
- Every day I check my hamster’s water bottle to see if the water level has changed, if the water level hasn’t changed I will definitely know he has not been drinking, he could possibly be dehydrated.
- I visit my hamster’s cage and when I find out there is less urine or no urine at all, or the urine is dark-tinged and has a strong, offensive smell my hamster may be dehydrated.
- Again if my hamper is struggling to breathe, he may be dehydrated.
How to prevent my Hamster from dehydrating?
- Sometimes I lure my hamster to drink water by placing a scoop of peanut butter on his bottle so that he can drink quite a bit of water in the process.
- Every time I am feeding my hamster I make sure the food is moisturized, food such as apples, watermelon, and cucumber. I always get rid of the cucumber and watermelon seeds and peel the apples. This causes diarrhea if eaten in large amounts.
- When I notice my hamster is not interested in the peanut butter, I take off its bottle from his cage; I hold him and “foster” him by slowly pressing the bottle into the mouth. In case I notice any discomfort I stop the process.
- Once all the above has failed, and my hamster is reaching 24 hours without any drink I contact my veterinarian immediately.
If your vet is around try to experiment with some of the basic things following his instructions.
- Take a clean 10ml syringe, place drops of water mixed with a small amount of sugar and salt or Pedialyte, into the mouth of your hamster.
Avoid forcing the whole syringe into your furry friend’s mouth, because you are likely to force the fluid into his lungs, which can easily cause death
I would advise you to be very careful not to give your dehydrated hamster water straightaway, because only the sugar, already- reduced amount of minerals and salt will be diluted in your hamster body, making the condition more serious.
Keep Them at an Optimal Temperature
I have kept hamsters as pets for 2 years they sometimes adjust their body temperature. Hamsters are forced by some circumstances to adjust their body temperatures by striving hard for instance when they get sick or if they get old. Sometimes when it’s too hot, they tend to suffer from heatstroke, or heat stress which can make them succumb painfully. On the other hand, when it’s too cold they tend to hibernate which can possibly lead to hypothermia.
How to Prevent a Hamster from getting Cold?
- Try to fill your hamster’s room with plain tissues paper and they should be unscented and should be torn. This will keep him warmer and even provide a comfortable resting bed for him.
- Get a heat lamp that will keep their cage warmer. But again ensure the cage is specious in order for them to avoid too much heat if they need to. Make sure the thermometer is available so that to regulate the temperatures in the cage because too much heat is not good for their health.
- Try to create a heating pad out of rice grains or linseeds because it’s safer than when you put it in a cage, the hamster can chew on the pad which is very disastrous.
- Regulate the temperatures in your hamster’s room to keep him warm to temperatures ranging from 69°F to 72°F (20°C to 22°C). Because when the temperatures go below 60F (15°C) your hamster will hibernate.
Give your Hamsters Attention
The fact is that hamsters are naturally solitary in spite of this they are able to grow attached to their owners. A year ago one of my hamsters died and as death was approaching, he really needed my full attention in order for him to feel secured and most important all for me to give him comfort.
If this happens to be your case you should stay close to them, but on the other hand, learn their actions.
Just like human beings, my hamster may require to be alone for some time, in order to store energy for later use. And even if I try handling him he tends to get away from me or even start biting me.
Moreover, your hamster’s condition of illness can sometimes depend. For instance, he can be ill and when you try to handle him, your hand can be hurting him without your knowledge.
Provide your Hamsters with a Clean, Calm, and Quiet Sleeping Quarter
Hamsters require comfortable sleeping quarters as they approach death, this is because during this time they tend to sleep more maintain the little energy they have.
Your hamster should be provided with a comfortable resting place, a noiseless, damp, dark, and clean.
Make sure you take out all climbing toys, wheels, and tubes outside the cage so that to avoid injuring your hamster or using the little energy they have conserved. This is because hamsters do like to exercise even when their health condition is not good. But if you feel your hamster is still capable of using the toys, first confirm with your vet.
In case you have more than two hamsters in one cage and one of them is unwell, isolate the ill hamster to prevent the spread of disease to the cage mates, and also interfering with the cage mates’ activity and also to avoid stress.
Ensure you consult your vet and work together to ensure your hamster is happy and does not have any discomfort.
Provide Pain Management Medication
This is the most important step to maintain the comfortability of your dying hamster. But be very cautious to only provide your hamster with medication prescribed by a qualified veterinarian.
Caution!! Never try self-prescribing any medication, because this can make the condition more severe.
If you are looking forward to owning this joyous and wonderful creature, but have fear about its short lifespan you and maybe you never knew how to comfort him when approaching its rainbow bridge. Fearless since you now have the ways to comfort your dying hamster. Again when you own it be very vigilant in its actions because this pet requires great attention from its owner.
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