Other Pets » Hibernation?

blondie85

This question is related to: Wilbur the Syrian hamster

Age:About 6 months
Gender:Female
Breed:Syrian
Neutered:No
Kept:Dining room

Hibernation?

Hi

I have a young syrian hamster. Tonight she looked dead and when i picked her up she was started moving (digging lile movements) and then went still. She is kind of stiff but she will stur (almost like shes trying to get comfortable) and you can feel her heart beat and see her breathing. I have checked her over and she doesnt appear to have wet tail or visible injuries and when she stirs she moves most of her body. I was running late this morning so didnt check her but i heard her bell on her climbing frame and last night heard her on her wheel. We have moved her to a warmer room but am i right in thinking shes trying to hibernate?

Thank you in advance

7/12/17

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Martina Stuart

Sounds likely
To prevent hibernation Keep your hamsters warm and this means keep the temperature above 15�C, keep them well-lit for at least 12 hours a day, provide plenty of food and handle them regularly. Despite your best efforts, they may still hibernate. If it happens in the summer, they are probably aestivating (see above for details).
If left alone, hibernated hamsters will often hibernate for 2-3 days but if the temperature is very low then they may remain in hibernation for up to a week. One option is to leave them alone, provide plenty of food and water for when they waken up and try some of the measures outlined above to prevent them from re-hibernating. Alternatively, they can be stimulated just by picking them up and stroking them gently. They are very sensitive to tactile stimulation and this is said to speed up arousal. Forcing their body temperature up by applying heat or putting them in temperatures above 20�C can (at least in theory) have adverse effects on the natural arousal process and can�t be recommended. Spontaneous arousal and return to hibernation can occur within 12 hours and one technique to detect this is to put a couple of wood shavings on the hamster�s body. If, at the next check, the shavings are gone then the hamster must have woken up at some point.
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7/12/17

Martina Stuart

One of the commonest stories told about hamsters is how they can miraculously "rise from the dead" and everyone knows someone whose hamster was dead and buried and then found at large in the garden or house some days later. The origin of these stories must be the hamster that is given up for dead but is in reality in deep hibernation. It can be very difficult to tell when a hamster has died in hypothermia. During deep hibernation the heart rate slows to as little as 4 beats per minute and the respiration can fall to only one breath every 2 minutes

7/12/17

blondie85

Unfortunatly she did pass away. Not long after i started holding her to use my body heat but she started gasping for air. We called the vets who made us an emergency appointment but she didn't survive the jouney there. She was very young and active so i can not understand why. Im heartbroken.

7/12/17

Martina Stuart

So sorry to hear that.
It is indeed is a puzzle though the process of emerging from hibernation Is complex as toxins associated with reduced oxygenation of body tissues do accumulate, it is likely that some other factors were involved in her lethargy.
If contemplating replacement do thoroughly wash and disinfect all equipment or discard and start with new.

8/12/17

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