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soapdragon

Sending Hamsters off to the Big Wheel in the Sky

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I have two male Chinese hamsters who are brothers and so have been together from birth. The curl up together and snuggle and hardly ever fight (unlike ES and YS!) One is very feisty, always inquisitive and the first to come out to eat while the other is much more timid and tried to hide behind his brother!

 

We got them from a rescue centre almost exactly two years ago and staff told us that Won Tun and Hoi Sin were between 6 and 8 months old then so they are now positively geriatric in hammy years. They are always very lively although I noticed on Sunday that Hoi (the timid one) had a dirty bottom (those of you familiar with male Chinese hamsters will know that their rear ends are not their best feature tho' possibly their most prominent :shock: ) I cleaned him up with cooled, boiled water and cotton wool ( :roll: ) and checked him over; bright eyes, not dehydrated and twitchy whiskers - no hunchig and behaving completely normally. So I guessed probably not wet tail. I took out the cucumber and lettuce and have kept them both on dry food since then. Both are eating and drinking normally and giving it hell on their wheel!

 

Wun is unaffected (nice clean bottom still) but Hoi is still a bit 'runny' tho otherwise unaffected. Therefore, given Hoi's otherwise normal demeanor, I don't feel a visit to the vet is on the cards just yet but I am checking them both twice a day and monitoring food and water. Obviously, should things change I will whip them both vetwards at once.

 

I guess my worry and quandry is, should it come to it, do I get the vet to treat or PTS, given the advanced age and the fact that Hoi is so nervy and would find any additional handling, feeding medication etc very stressful? Equally, should Hoi be PTS do I PTS Wun as well as they have always been so close? Again, Wun would find it stressful to be on his own and I understand that stress is to be avoided as much as poss in these very small furries!

 

Sorry to witter on; really just wanting to be prepared should the situation arise as, if it does, will need quick and decisive action. Thoughts, anyone?

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No real experience of hamsters,I wonder if they experience loss in a human way. I know elephants grieve and have heard the sad stories. Do all animals experience grief? I had two dogs got at same time and they were inseparable, ran in tandem, went everywhere together and when one died the other was or should I say appeared fine. If it were me I would pts sick one and let other live,he may pass away naturally if over stressed.

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