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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Thirty years experience in small animal medicine and surgery.
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Please can you advise me? My hamster seems really ill.

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Hi, please can you advise me? My hamster seems really ill. He is lethargic, his eyes won't open properly and he seems to have some bedding stuck where his genitals are which I have tried to remove with some cotton wool with cooled boiled water but it seems stuck fast. I feel really bad because I don't want him in pain or suffering and I'm worried I might be too late taking him to the vets in the morning.
Many thanks
Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and will try to help you and Chewbacca today. I'm so sorry to hear about his illness and the bedding that is stuck to him. The stuck bedding probably comes from the fact that he has been urinating and defecating and then not moving. Does he have eye discharge that has dried and is sticking his eyelids together? When was the last time you know that he ate and drank water? Is he breathing OK?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is breathing ok and I can't see any discharge from his eyes they are just shut but when I wipe them they open slightly. He has been drinking but I have been taking the water bottle to him.
Also I checked for wet tail, it looks slightly wet yesterday but seem dry today.
We tried to exercise him 2 days ago but he wasn't interested so we have left him.
He has moved all his bedding away from him and looks exposed in his bed which is unusual
I just can't bear thinking of him or any animal in pain
Thanks for your reply. I'm glad to hear that he is breathing OK, and that you have gotten him to drink some water.The only pain reliever you can give at home is aspirin. His dose is 100-150 mg/ kg of body weight. Do you have any idea what he weighs? Ounces or grams?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi he weighs 1.485 grams

Wow, that's great. . .thanks! So he weighs 0.0015 kg. This means his maxium dose of aspirin is 0.25 mg. There used to be a liquid baby aspirin available you could try, or if you crush 1/2 of a baby or low does aspirin in 20 ml of water your resulting concentration will be 2mg/ml and you could then give him 0.15 ml of that mixture.
Honestly, I think you have a much better chance of bringing Chewbacca some pain relief and of treating him if you could have him seen today. He may have an infection in his genitourinary tract or his intestines that can respond well to antibiotics. Your vet there will probably give him some fluids under his skin to help with any dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, and your vet could start him on some anti biotics. Your vet may also choose a different pain reliever, or may like the aspirin mixture I mentioned above.
One discouraging fact is that the average lifespan of a hamster is 2 years, so Chewbacca is middle aged to elderly.
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