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Hamsters dying

Species: hamster | Category: petcare | Submitted: 13 May 2009 10:14AM | viewed 9555 times
Q Stephanie asks:

In the last year, my daughter has had four hamsters that die within 2-4 months of getting them, and we can't figure out why. She has kept quite a few hamsters in the past, who thrived through their normal life span. These hamsters have gone from being fine one day and being dead a day later. We thought the first one, who had recently escaped for a brief time, had eaten something he couldn't pass. The second one, we thought might have gotten too cold and was unable to come out of hibernation. So we put the third one's cage closer to the radiator. But that one one injured his foot running on the top of the plastic wheel. Still, he wasn't slowed down by it, and we thought he'd be fine, but he died a couple of days afterward, no signs of infection. This last one had injured her foot the same way, but it had healed (and we changed cages so she couldn't run on top of the wheel). My other two children both got hamsters when their sister got her first one, and their hamsters are thriving. They use the same bedding, the same types of cages, the same food, the same water source. We got all the hamsters at the same, reputable, shop. All the kids are conscientious about food, water, and cleaning. Is it possible that there is something toxic in our daughter's room? Or can you just have this much bad luck? Our son has offered to let his sister keep a hamster in his room (separate cages, of course) and come visit whenever she likes. Should we try again? And what should we do differently? Thanks in advance for your help.

Q Our vet says: It is probably down to bad luck. Remember that hamsters do have a very short life-span anyway. However, if you have any gas appliances I would get them checked on the very small chance that there is something like carbon monoxide causing the problem, since this could be a serious health risk for you too.

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