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Gerbils & Hamsters/my hamster died :(


Hi there. I have had my sirian hamster for 1year 3months and i came home today to find him lying down and looking dead. As i was mourning over him and stoking him near his heart he would open his mouth like he was chocking or trying to gasp for air but he wouldn't move at all. I gave him some mouth to mouth and massaged his heart a bit and he was still doing the same baring in mind he was absolutely fine yesterday, running crazy on his wheel and i put him in his ball. I took him to the vet and they checked his heart and it was beating low, they gave him some oxygen and they say his heart is beating but not enough to live. They said he had some brain damage like he had a fall, but i never dropped him. The only fall he could of had is when he is in his cage and he hangs off the bars as all hamsters do. They then said that he would die and would be better if i put him the injection to put him out of his misery so he doesn't suffer so i did. But why would this happen? What do u think was the cause of this?  

Hi Fanio

I'm really sorry to hear about your hamster.

It's difficult to know if your hamster had a fall - they can sometimes. One of mine fell but the usual injuries are broken bones or in my hamsters case sadly he suffered spinal damage which resulted in me having him put to sleep which was very sad as he was only about a year old.

Hamsters can have heart issues and it may well have been that there was always an underlying medical issue that just appeared recently. In many ways it was good that he didn't suffer and was well right up until the day before he collapsed. You were right to have him out to sleep as I doubt that anything could have been done to save him.

I hope you find comfort in the fact that he had a great life albeit shorter than you would have liked.


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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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