I’d like to start by saying how sorry I am that you landed on this page. I understand what you are going through right now knowing that your little baby is in pain or in the final moments of their life now. Our hamster has been in such big part of our life, imagining them being gone is unbearable.
I also want to say how much I appreciate your effort in making your fur baby comfortable during their final days. In this article, we will discuss what to do if your hamster is dying and how to make your dying hamster comfortable.
Have you noticed your hamster a little ill lately, probably walking while shaking? Saw a part of his tail wet? Perhaps losing fur or hair? Tried giving her/him hamster food, but he just put it in the side of his little sleeping corner and didn’t bother eating it. You tried giving water, but your hamster is refusing to drink for a couple of days now.
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Unfortunately, your hamster is getting very weak, either due to old age or disease. These painful sights could be the signs that tell your hamster is spending their last moments with you. Read about how to take care of a senior hamster here.
After you take your hamster to the vet and the vet confirming that your hamster is unfortunately dying, there are many things you can do to make them comfortable during their last days.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR DYING HAMSTER COMFORTABLE
Losing your little one is never an easy experience, but it’s inevitable for someone who has a lifespan of 2-3 years? More than anything else, you want what’s best for your dying hamster, but the question is, how to comfort a dying hamster? We’ve created these things to help your pet be more comfortable in their last moments with you.
If the vet can confirm that your hamster is in no pain or pain medication is possible, here are our tips in making your hamster a bit more comfortable.
Remove things from the cage
One thing your furry friend needs is comfort. So, the question is how to make your dying hamster comfortable? Ensure to remove things from the cage, like rocks, wheels, tubes, climbing toys, bridges, saucers, and other obstacles, to prevent them from injuring themselves.
This will also give your hamster more space to burrow and just be cosy. Keep the cage as tidy as you can and away from noise and dampness. If you have multiple hamsters in a cage, isolate the one who is unwell into their own quarters to prevent stress from your other hamsters, and minimise the risk of transmitting the disease to other mates.
Add more dens and hideout
Hamsters love to stay in tiny spaces, so make sure to add more dens. They love to burrow in tight corners in the wild, so an additional den or hideout will make them feel safer. Since hamsters love to make different sleeping areas and build comfortable and cosy bedding, as a responsible pet owner, you should help your weak hamster add more dens for the sake of your hamster’s own comfort. We highly recommend adding more than one hamster den so your hamster can pick the most comfortable shelter to be cosy at.
Keep the cage at perfect temperature
A hamster that is old or sick may have a hard time regulating its body temperature. You must keep your hamster warm because if its bodies get too cold, your hamster may go into the natural state of hibernation. This is crucial for their health and may lead to hypothermia. On the other hand, if their body temperature gets too hot, they may suffer from heatstroke, resulting in a painful death.
If it’s a bit cold where you’re from, placing a heat lamp near their cage may keep your hamster’s den warm. It’s advisable to keep a thermometer in the cage for you to regulate the temperature. The sustained temperature should range from 69°F to 72 °F (20 °C – 22 °C). Make sure the room temperature never goes below 60°F (15 °C), or your hamster will go under a state of hibernation. Anything above 77°F (25 °C) may cost your hamster to suffer heat stress or heat stroke, a more painful death.
Should i hold my dying hamster? Yes, cuddle with your hamster. If you think your hamster only got a little time to spare, make sure to talk to them, sing to them, and provide any effort you can. Spoil your hamster in any way possible. You can wipe their bums with baby wipes if they need them. Keep them warm, hydrated, and comfortable as much as possible. Get your hamster’s favourite treats, and cuddle with them. But avoid excessive holding because your hamster may lose energy and get excessively tired.
Remove newborn and other hamsters
If your cage houses multiple hamsters, make sure to separate your sick or dying hamster to a separate space to cosy up. Call this an isolation habitat that will keep any dying hamster safe and comfortable, away from stress and other hamsters’ activity. If your hamster just gave birth, remove the newborn if possible, feed them by hand. Cat milk is the best substitute food for a newborn hamster. This can also minimise the risk of disease transmission to other hamsters.
Ensure that the isolation place is away from other pets, family members, bright light, noises, and other distractions. Although they don’t have the energy to move much, the cage should be spacious enough to keep a hamster comfortable.
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Make the cage smaller
You can add a cage divider to make the cage smaller or simply bring all the necessities closer. Move the food bowl, water bowl, sand bath, etc., so your hamster doesn’t need to spend energy walking around the cage. As your beloved hamster approaches its final moments, you may want to preserve the little energy that your hamster got. Also, one essential thing is to make sure your hamsters’ space is clean.
What to feed a sick hamster? Skip the junk foods and always pick the best and healthy hamster treats for your dying hamsters. Also if you think your hamster only got limited time to be with you, spoil them treats like mealworms just to make them happy and feel loved. Hamsters are solitary creatures, but they can also get attached to their humans.
Entice your hamster to eat his favourite fruit or vegetable as this offers moisture that keeps your hamster hydrated, though restrict this to minimal amounts. Furthermore, if they try to escape or start biting you, it’s their way to try to tell you that they need some space and alone time.
Go to the vet
If your hamster is too weak to respond to any of your attempts to make it comfortable. Or simply in pain, taking your hamster to the vet for appropriate treatment is your best bet to make their last moments comfortable and stop all the unnecessary pain.
If you’ve noticed your hamster severely dehydrated, and reaching 24 hours without drinking, contact the nearest veterinarian straight away. Follow treatment plans your vet laid on you. If your hamster is weak and ill to move, the vet may suggest euthanisation to relieve them from more pain and enduring suffering. Although it may seem impossible to some hamster owners, this may be the most humane thing to do for a dying hamster.
If you’re having a bad day, feeling so unlucky, and having troubles in your life, your pet is there for you. So, losing a furry companion is a challenging experience. Make sure you’re giving enough effort to keep him as comfortable as possible.
Keep your attention if your hamster reaches 2 or 3 years old. They only have a lifespan this short. They are also so small that any injury, stress, illness, or ageing can deteriorate their health fast. Make sure to keep your hamster happy as much as possible. Provide their favourite toys and munchies. Keep the cage tidy and stocked with a bowl of water.