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Gerbils & Hamsters/my hamster wont eat,drink, and isnt walking properly


Hi Sheila its me again Aoife
My hamster is two in a few weeks so he is old
He has not been walking right and is on his side when trying to walk. I think he has broken his leg its thin weak and purple.
I think he in pain he has not been eating or drinking.
Im very stressed about it and im afraid hes going to die.And I love him soooooo much.
He is a boy and around his bottom is green.
So I presume he is dehydrated. He has just recovered from a sticky eye.
Im worried he is going to die.
I hope you can help me
         Thanks again,

Hi Aoife

Thanks for your question - I'm really sorry to hear that your hamster isn't at all well.

I really think that he needs to see a vet.  It sounds as though he is in a lot of pain.  If his leg is broken, often bones heal on their own, but if his leg is purple then his circulation is poor and chances are he will lose his leg.

I suggest you phone a few vets to find one who specialises in small animals and try to get him there as quickly as possible.  They will be able to examine the leg and check the circulation, and give him pain relief.  Due to his age they probably won't want to operate, but at least they can advise you on this.

I appreciate that you love him so much, but really he needs to see a vet out of love so that he doesn't suffer at all.  I don't honestly think his condition is such that you can treat him as he needs drugs that are only available through a vet.  If his condition is really poor and the prognosis is bad, then your vet may advise that you euthanase - I know this is hard, as I have been through this situation many times in the past and it never gets any easier, but the last thing you want is this little chap being in pain.  It is much kinder to put an animal to sleep if there is no hope of recovery and if they have no quality of life. However, hopefully the vet will be able to give him some medication to help him.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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