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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24397
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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All...just wondering if anyone can help me. My hamster

Customer Question

Hi all...just wondering if anyone can help me. My hamster Truffle is a 1 and a half year old Syrian...she is active, bright eyed and her appetite and behaviours appear to be normal. Over the past week, she seems to be urinating much more frequently, the odour is stronger and she feels a bit skinnier. As previously mentioned, her appetite is fine as is her consumption of water. She has vitamins in her drink and a healthy diet. She is very friendly and seems more than happy. Only she seems to be getting a wet back. It's not constant... Almost as though she cleans herself up. But I'm just wondering what could be causing it? Perhaps incontinence as she's old? It's very strange. I took her to a vet this evening who said she appears to be healthy, so try avoiding sugary treats as this can affect an older hamster's body due to their ability to absorb nutrients decreases with age? Can anybody shed some light? I would be very grateful!! Thank you, Jenna

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner, Jenna. Weight loss accompanied by polyuria (increased volume of urine) most often indicates renal failure due to amyloidosis in older hamsters. One research report described amyloidosis in 88% of hamsters above 18 months of age. It's the principle cause of death in long-term research studies and female hamsters have a higher incidence, increased severity, and earlier age of onset of amyloidosis than do male hamsters. Unfortunately the prognosis is poor and treatment is lacking. You might recognize amyloid as the protein that accumulates in the brains of Altzheimer's patients. It can be thought of as a genetic error in metabolism. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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