Thursday, May 13, 2010

65. Dwarf Hamster, Male, 6 months. Wet penile area

"Wet Tail," the young lady said that her dwarf hamster of 6 months was very inactive and not eating or drinking since yesterday evening. It was 1 pm now.

"Wet Tail means that the hamster passes watery stools," I noted that the hamster's penile area was very wet, with yellow urine stains.

"He passes a lot of stools, hard ones," the young lady said. "What's wrong with him? He has this continuous sniffling sound, as if he has asthma." I held the hamster near my ears. Yes, he was emitting a "sit, sit, sit" sound.

INFECTION
"The hamster has an infection and so he was not moving or eating," I said. "Does he pee in a corner normally?"

"He pees everywhere," the young lady said. "Yesterday and today."

COMPETITION FOR FOOD
The hamster lives with the sibling who is bigger size in the same cage. "They have company. They never fight," the young lady was at home all day and had observed them. "Many pairs of male dwarf hamsters are OK when they are less than 3 months old," I said. "When they grow up, one will bite or attack the other."

The lady would not believe me as she was a first-time hamster owner. "Do they compete for food?" I asked. "Each would stuff as many sunflower seeds into their pouches as they can?"

"Yes," the lady confirmed. "Sometimes they stuff until their cheek pouches are very big. They only eat sunflower seeds. They don't like the other type of food."

The mouths of the two hamsters were smelly as the cheek pouches were infected due to impaction of the sunflower seeds. The seeds were also smelly as I took two seeds out of the pouch. Finally, after 5 minutes, the patient poured out 30 seeds.

HYPOTHESIS

1. Cheek pouch impaction. Bacterial infection from the pouches to the whole body system. Hamster had fever and stopped moving.
2. Urinary stain. Incontinent due to urinary tract infection or bites at this area causing painful urination. Bitten by the bigger-sized hamster. "Not as big as Hamstaro," the lady said. "But bigger than this one."

Then her friend spoke to her in Malay with some words "gig" and laughed. The bigger sibling does bite the ears and other parts of this subordinate hamster. "Whenever the squeaking became too loud," I separate them," the lady said.

ADVICE
Separate the two males or use a fencing between them. Or one upstairs and one downstairs in the crate. "They don't fight," the lady said. "Separate means they have no company for each other." I could not convince her and said: "OK, wait for the Battle of the Hamsters first."

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