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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Broken Legs

Last week my daughter's hamster got out of his cage. Turns out the clip on the top flap was broke. We ended up finding him downstairs.

Both of his back legs are broke with one being far worse. I took him to the vet and they said they really couldn't splint them because he would chew it off. He gave me the options of giving him antibiotics and pain medicine and seeing if they would heal although crooked or euthanasia.

He was eating and drinking and getting around ok so I felt we needed to try the medicine. He is still eating and drinking and getting the medicine but I think the bones on the really bad leg are poking through the skin.

I'm thinking maybe he should be put to sleep. I just don't want to give up if it's premature. I have searched and searched the internet and come up with conflicting views.

I feel so bad for the little guy. It's only our second hamster and the first time we have had one get out. The first guy lived to die of old age. This one is Remy had he is just over a year old.

My daughter said she doesn't think wants another hamster because they live to short and it's too painful.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 12:35 PM
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if you choose not to put him down just an idea maybe u could make ur own splint for him ??? hope he turns out to be ok good luck

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 01:36 PM
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You can try the splint method since he cannot move around to his legs without bending his body. You HAVE to wrap the leg where the bone is poking out. HAVE TO.

I suggest asking your vet for Chlorhexidine, an anti septic used post surgery. Use it twice a day and change the bandage at the same time; once in the morning once in the evening.

He also needs antibiotics, so ask for Baytril from the vet and follow the instructions on how much to give the poor baby.

The Chlorhexidine is condensed so you NEED to water it down - 1 part Chlorhexidine with 10 parts water THEN use. It's only good for 20 minutes before it becomes settled and stagnant so you need to make a new batch before every cleansing/bandage replacement.

I suggest making the smallest quantity possible using the 1 part 10 part method and using cu-tips to cleanse it. Dab gently and make sure to use a lot of the liquid (You are washing it, not wiping it so make sure the cu-tip is heavily soaked, and use a new cu-tip every time.)

Please baby him as much as possible and make sure he continues to be alert and let him rest where you can SEE him (Take all huts and houses and wheels away, so you can make sure he doesn't chew at himself. When he is doing better then you can return the housing and when he is completely healed return the wheel.) He is in "quarantine" until he heals. His cage needs to be turned into a medical cage, so replace bedding with soft tissue (no cotton), take the bowl away and just sprinkle the food in one spot so he doesn't have to work to get into the bowl, and lower the water bottle so he can reach it on all fours.

Please show me a photo of his injuries so I can assess the situation. Sometimes it's better to put them down and sometimes they can be salvaged if you are willing to put the work into it. Try everything you can first, as euthanasia should be the last resort.

Sources: I am a Hamster Breeder, Vet Tech, Wildlife Tech and a Rehabilitator. Just tell your Vet you got a second opinion and would like the Chlorhexidine and the Baytril to try to save the baby yourself. Also ask for Pain/swelling reducing medications.


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Last edited by Lacrima; 05-31-2011 at 01:39 PM.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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I tried to take pictures but it is hard to get the camera to focus on something that small. I can't post photos or links but they are in my album on here.

That is his bone sticking through the skin. He is on Rimadyl which from what I understand works as an anti-inflammatory as well as for pain.

I already have him in an aquarium with no climbing things. I have lowered the bottle and have his food in a shallow lid so he can get it.

With the bones through the skin how would that heal?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-31-2011, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anhenn View Post
I tried to take pictures but it is hard to get the camera to focus on something that small. I can't post photos or links but they are in my album on here.

That is his bone sticking through the skin. He is on Rimadyl which from what I understand works as an anti-inflammatory as well as for pain.

I already have him in an aquarium with no climbing things. I have lowered the bottle and have his food in a shallow lid so he can get it.

With the bones through the skin how would that heal?
It needs to be "put" back together and splint in place so it can fuse together again and let the skin heal.

It sounds painful, and it is - which is why it must be done by someone with a not so queasy demeanor. The thing about this...is that it causes the body a lot of stress and if you aren't careful you can put it back wrong, and the bones will fuse back crooked.

I would try to ask your vet to do this and wrap it up for you, so you can watch the Hamster yourself afterwards.


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