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Gerbils & Hamsters/Wobbly Chinese Hamster

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Question
Hi there,

My Chinese hamster Meriadoc is very very old - I bought him young in February 03. He's normally fine though, except for a few bald patches from when he had mites/allergies about 18 months ago.

However, about six days ago, there was a big change in him - he had no sense of balance and was tilting to one side. I took him to the vet who said it might be a stroke or it might be an inner ear infection.

He's about finished the course of antibiotics and there is no real change in him. His head tilt, if anything, is even more extreme - one eye is focussed on the ceiling. That said, he's eating and drinking fine, though sleeping a lot more than usual.

My question is - if it is an ear infection and the drugs aren't working, how long before it goes away on its own? If he's had a stroke, will he be in any pain? (The angle his head is at looks really uncomfortable and his balance is still off).

I've gotten really fond of him, and I know he's old, but I don't mind him being wobbly and tilted so long as he's all right in himself, if you see what I mean. Any advice you can give would be great, thanks!

Answer
Hello, he may have had a stroke. Their heads tend to tilt and they tend to walk funny. Some never recover from a stroke and they just act funny the whole time, even though they have a good life. You have kept your chinese hamster an extremely long time. Dwarf hamsters only live 1-2 years and you've kept him for almost four years you're doing absolutely great with him and should be pround. There's no adivce I can truly give you because you've taken such good care of your pet that there's nothing I can say that can help you out because you're doing so great right now. Keep giving him the medication and just know you have given him a better and longer life than expected. :-)  

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Shawntiah Jones

Expertise

I have great knowledge in many small and furry animals such as hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets. I have taken care all of these animals and have great knowledge in appropiate cage sizes as well as food and health.

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I no longer work at pet store. because I am now working at a hospital, but I worked in the petcare department for a year and was the petcare lead of my department. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. I also own many types of animals.

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