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Feel the Torment of My Pickling Skills

Hamster: One of these days, I will actually finish Finches III and IV, and I might be able to convince you of the poetic beauty of the pickling process along the way. ;P
Hamster: Truly, with your in-built love of Robert Smith and David Bowie, I am certain it would not be so hard in the end to convert you to the gothic charm of pickling.
mokie: Gothic...pickling?
Hamster: Pickling is goth!
Hamster: It's filled with death and fermentation.

Hamster: *mental mathematics*

Mummification = pickling
Dessication = pickling
Pancake face = pickling

mokie: Your math, it worries me.
Hamster: At least I didn't say kelpy sway is a form of pickling, though pickled kelp is very good.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
Sorry to be off topic, but I wanted to grab you cos I need your help! ( and Mokies for that matter mebbe, but hopefully you can grab her if needed?)

Little Sammy the Hammy is looking very unwell, well that was the report.. apparently when Su came back from a business trip she quickly began to worry about him when he wasnt up that evening... Now I suspect there may be good reasons for this, but I will leave my diagnosis out of things, cos I am sure you know better.

Info I have heard is...

1. Biting people, when handled Sammy has bitten twice. He has never bitten before.
2. He is curled up in a snug spot, food near by him.
3. He seems like his back end isnt working properly. A bit like a stroke would effect his movement.
4. Su's boiler is broken, and I suspect the house has got pretty cold.
5. He is breathing slowly and shallowly.
6. He just seems to want to curl up and do nothing.
7. He looks sick.

I have asked her to move him somewhere quiet, a bit less draughty and make sure he has fresh food and water nearby if need be, but to make sure he's comfy and leave him be for a while.

What do you think? Su is very upset, so I am sure I can get more info off her but I need to ask specific questions.

She could take him to the vets on Monday.

Sorry to barge in demand assistance, but I thought a bit of knowledge on this problem would probably help loads! xxx
Feb. 18th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
Okay, I suspect the cold is affecting him here. It sounds like he's going into hibernation, which is EXTREMELY dangerous for a pet hamster. Their bodies just aren't ready for this. Every effort should be made to take him to a vet at the earliest opportunity.

In the meantime, it's essential that the hamster be kept warm. It's usually suggested that the hamster should be gently warmed in one's hands, until it feels a bit better. Because he's nippy, suggest that he be picked up with a tea towel (NOT a material that tears easily and might tangle him up) instead. He might panic a bit at first, but hold him gently and firmly, close to your body, and he should calm down enough.

I worry he might be dehydrated. A few drops of water (NOT too much and NOT something vitamin C rich like juice -- his immune system is already fragile and diarrhea is a very bad possibility) should be applied. He won't be up to nibbling hard foods. Even the weakest hamsters I've met will eat a bit of cooked egg or boiled rice. High protein/high carb will fill him up a bit.

Don't feed him liquidised foods, as the high water content could again trigger diarrhea.

DO NOT put him in a spot that is too cold or too hot, if he has to be put down for a little bit. This is the time I would take the top off his cage if it hasn't already been done and put him in the tray (in his nest) where he's most comfortable, in a warm spot.

Most important of all, get him to a vet at the earliest opportunity!
Feb. 18th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much Vamps, unfortunately he passed away this morning... I suspected it might be hibernation behaviour, and to be honest, they had tried quite a few things you mentioned, but quite a few things that probably didnt help. I only saw him a week ago and he was looking really well, so its clearly happened when she was away, perhaps the boys didnt check on him much, dont suppose we will know now.

Su is very upset and is blaming herself, she did ask three people to keep an eye on him and check on him regularly, but I suppose thats the risk of leaving a pet with well meaning friends. I wish I had known about it, he could have come to stop with me. :(

She isn't going to replace him.
Feb. 18th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Erf, I'm sorry. :(

If the folks who were keeping an eye on him only glanced in and saw him snoozing, they'd not have realized anything was wrong. Lots of well-meaning hamstersitters do that, not wanting to disturb the little guy's slumber or being nervous about handling them.

Reassure Su for us--this is one of those things that was out of her hands.
Feb. 19th, 2007 11:12 am (UTC)
She kept asking me if she should have spotted any "signs" before she went on hols. I kept telling her there was nothing to spot, and as she was the only one he got out of bed for, that no-one else would have noticed a difference either... Sleepy hamster = normal. I feel bad that now a good hamster home wont be used cos she feels so guilty.. she wants to give it all to me cos I was so keen on him... the whole temperature issue has put me off tho, we dont have central heating and I would worry now how important that seems to be to them.

I'll pass on thoughts to her, thankyou :)
Feb. 19th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
Mokie already said what was both on our minds. My condolences to Su. I am very sad that Hammy passed away, but hibernating is hard to spot without deliberately looking for it. This is the first case of a hibernating hamster I'd ever heard of personally in five years of keeping hamsters and many more years of observing other people keep them -- if nothing else, take this as a sign of how much this is outside the norm.

Also, however much we'd like to get it right the first time as pet owners, tragedies like this do happen. My first two hamsters did not survive their first week in my home. It is a horrible memory for me, but Su was miles better informed on a lot of counts than I ever was before I cared for my first hamsters. She at least made the effort to find things out, and that's very a very important step a lot of us wouldn't have done.
Feb. 20th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
thanks Vamps :) I'll pass all this on to her :)
Feb. 19th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
"Pickling is goth"

*hee* I learn something new everyday!
Feb. 19th, 2007 12:06 pm (UTC)
There's a part 2 to this, where pickling is discovered to be not just goth, but also zombie! I should put that up. ;)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )