Warning signs your hamster is dying
It’s one of the most difficult aspects of having a pet: we know we’ll have to say goodbye at some point. Our pets never live long enough for us, and planning for the end can be difficult but necessary.
Your pet hamster will live a happy life with you for two to three years, full of spinning wheels and treats. When he’s nearing the end, you’ll want to help ease his passing by keeping him warm and comfortable. You can be ready to step in as a pet parent and help him finish his life well if you pay close attention to the signs of a hamster dying. Keep an eye out for any of these symptoms, which should be accompanied by a trip to the vet because they could be caused by a variety of things.
- Appetite loss
Because you feed your hamster every day, you should notice if he is eating less frequently. Pay close attention if he turns his nose up at treats that he normally devours. While missing snacks can indicate that your hamster is nearing the end of his life, there are many other reasons he might skip meals, so don’t interpret this as an immediate indication that he’ll soon be gone.
- Slowing down
Most hamsters will spend a lot of time playing – they’re known for riding that wheel all night. If you notice a sharp decline in his activity level, it could indicate that old age has set in. Furthermore, hamsters can fall into hibernation if it becomes too cold. While wild animals may need to do this once a year, your pet isn’t built to sleep for that long. Warm up his area to around 70 degrees and call his doctor if he doesn’t wake up.
- Health concerns
You should keep an eye on your hamster’s health every day and take note of anything unusual. A fever indicates that he may be suffering from an infection or another illness. Rodents can also become dehydrated, which can manifest as skin tightness or bunchiness. You can also usually tell when your hamster is sick because he will become weak, tired, or sluggish.
- Bathroom issues
Diarrhea in hamsters, in particular, can indicate a serious problem. When cleaning his cage, make sure his digestion is working properly. Your pet may vomit or drool at times, which indicates that you should take action. Be cautious of wet tail, a deadly infection that can be detected by inspecting the underside of his tail when handling him. If he has it, he needs to see a veterinarian right away.
- Skin issues
Your hamster, like most mammals, will scratch from time to time, but excessive picking can indicate that something else is wrong. When you examine him, look for spots, redness, or flaky skin. A healthy animal will have a lustrous coat. Keep an eye on it if it becomes dull or if he loses patches of fur. In many cases, this will go away on its own, but you’ll need to investigate the underlying cause and soothe his skin with creams.
- Symptoms of a cold
These pets frequently get the sniffles, and some of the symptoms are very similar to what you might experience when you’re sick. Symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, and mucus. A young hamster may recover quickly from a cold, but an elderly pet may not.
- Too much hiding
Most hamster species prefer to come out at night, so don’t be concerned if he frequently hides during the day. A sudden change in behavior, such as hiding all the time, may be a sign of a much larger problem, such as acute stress, which can be fatal to your little guy.
When it comes to your pet, you can generally trust your instincts. Anything out of the ordinary may necessitate a visit to the veterinarian to determine what is wrong. In some cases, a dose of medication or a change in environment will suffice. However, if he is ready for the happy hamster grounds, you should concentrate on keeping him pain-free with medicine, warm with blankets, and comfortable with your presence.
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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