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Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20593
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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We think our little hampster has had a stroke as very little

Customer Question

We think our little hampster has had a stroke as very little movement down left side. Also very laboured in its movements. Only drinking water from a syringe and mushed up pellets by hand. Also, strange grinding noices from its mouth. Any recomendations as she seems to be in lots of discomfort
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Dr. B. :

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Dr. B. and 2 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hi again,

I see you are offline, so I will change over to the Q&A function as opposed to the chat.

 

Now David, I am very concerned about Po. You are right to be concerned that she is in discomfort both because of her labored signs and the "strange grinding noises". The latter is actually her teeth grinding and it is a very common sign of pain in our pocket pets. It doesn't mean she has oral pain, instead it tells us that she is generally painful. And this suggests that the underlying cause for her "stroke" is not just a blood clot causing paralysis (where she'd feel nothing) but instead likely has an entity (ie spinal tumor, etc) causing her pain.

In this situation, you have done well with your supportive care. Still I am very sorry to say that she is in a state where home treatment alone will not be enough for her. At the very least, she will need injectable pain relief from her vet. (There is nothing safe or of equal strength that can be given at home). That said, I do have to warn you that if she has severe pain and paralysis, it is quite possible that the vet's exam will yield something untreatable. Therefore, if she is suffering like this and her condition is not caused by something the vet can treat, then letting her go may be the most humane option to allay her pain.


I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Please take care,

Dr. B.

 

PS- I see you have rated me for the above before I had a chance to give you my thoughts. Still I do hope you check back and see my further thoughts here about the gravity of Po's signs.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi there.


Thanks for that. She is still the same tonight. What if she has broken a bone in her back leg as she is always climbing on the roof of her cage and falling. Would that just mend with time ?


 


Thanks, David

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Good evening David,

You are very welcome. I am sorry to hear that poor wee Po is still so uncomfortable. In regards XXXXX XXXXX mention of a fracture, it is possible that a hind limb fracture could make use of her left hind leg difficult. Still your history did sound like she didn't have use of any of her left side (which wouldn't fit with a back leg fracture). As well, most fractures would not cause a loss of nerve function, therefore she certainly would be painful but should be able to move her hind toes, feel touch there, and not have limb paralysis.

If you check her leg and she can move her toes and feel your touch, then we'd have to consider the pain associated with a fracture being a potential here. If that is the case, fractures can mend with time (usually 4-6 weeks with split/casting and hamster safe pain relief). Or in some cases, when fractures are too severe or hamsters no keen on casting of the leg by their vet, amputation can be a consideration for them. The recovery time is much less and many do just find with three good legs.

All the best for Po,
Dr.B.