Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sick Day....Or Week....

Hello everybody! I'm sorry I kind of dropped of the face of the earth for awhile, but I got a very bad cold, and then I had a lot of college work to catch up on once I got better and then with it being September there were Birthdays galore and I was designated cake-maker for half of them. So I've been extremely busy and haven't been posting to Hamster Talk! Well with the exceptions to my Twitter and Pinterest if you follow me on those, but there more personal than directed at Hamster Talk!

So anyways, since I was sick I decided I would do a post on how to care for a hamster if your sick, and how to care for one if it's sick.

Caring for your hamster when your sick:
Everyone get's sick now and then, but you still have to care for your hamster! But how do you do that? Can your hamster catch your cold or virus?

There is a lot of debate about hamsters contracting human illnesses, but the bottom line is if your sick you should treat your hamster as you would another human being. I don't mean to ask your hammie to play video games with you and nom on some ice cream sandwiches....Though that would be cool! Just use caution when your around them! If your going to come in contact with your ham ham, make sure to wash your hands first, just as you would with another human. If you can, try to avoid contact with them. You don't have to quarantine them, but maybe ask a parent, sibling of close friend to feed them and change their water for you. At least until your feeling better.

Since I was sick with a cold I had my boyfriend feed her most days.

Caring for your hamster when it's sick:
Caring for a sick hamster can be tricky. Since animals can not talk then can not tell us when they are feeling sick, and we might not notice it until it's too late. And when we do notice that they are not quite themselves, they can't exactly tell us what's wrong. Knowing what warning signs show us our furry friends are sick can help us get our hammies back up and on their little feet in no time!

Healthy Hamsters:
-Are alert and active (Remember hamsters are most active in the mornings and evenings)
-Have clean fur free of debris and droppings
-Have a clear nose, mouth and eyes that are free of mucus
-Are slightly plump in weight and eat well
-Groom themselves regularly
Signs your hamster may be sick:
-He or she is lazy and disinterested
-He or she has a messy coat, or is not regularly bathing itself

-He or she is loosing fur

-He or she has mucus coming from it's nose, mouth, and/or eyes
-He or she is loosing weight and/or not eating
-He or she has a strange lump or swelling on it's body
-He or she is sneezing and/or wheezing and/or has labored breathing
-He or she cannot move or cries when it moves
-He or she is shaking or shivering
-He or she has diarrhea
-He or she is bleeding
-He or she is scratching excessively
-He or she eats or drinks an excessive amount

If your hamster has any of the above listed warning signs he or she is probably sick or wounded. If any of these symptoms continue for more than a day you should take your hammie to a vet that sees hamsters. (This can be a challenge as many vet offices do not accept hamster patients due to their small size. Make your you have a vet lined up for your ham ham even before it get's sick.) The vet will tell you what to do from there. They may prescribe medicine, direct a change in diet or bedding materials, or in some rare cases call for surgery. Whatever the vet tells you, try your best to follow his or her orders and hopefully your ham ham will be back on his or her feet and running in it's wheel in no time!

I hope this helps everyone, and I hope any sick ham fans or hamsters get better soon! <3 Until next time!

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