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Why did my Hamster die ?

Q: Why did my Hamster die ? PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk hi i recently emailed you with a problem with my hamster, but you must not have received that email. right my hamster had a problem but as i couldn't get to the bottom of it she sadly died. she was only a few months old so it couldn't be old age. she was scratching a lot but she had no mites or fleas . was there a problem with her bedding or something? and she wasn't eating much so she lost a lot of weight in just a matter of days then she died suddenly. do you know of anything that caused this? i have had a hamster before and never had any of these problems, also she was squeaking now and again. why did she squeak? my other hamster never! can you help? love vicky

A:No Topic PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk Dear Vicky, I am very sorry to hear about your hamster dying. Without having seen her, I'm afraid that it is difficult to say exactly why she died. Did you have her examined by a vet ? The most common cause of scratching is tiny mites. They are normally too small to see and can be very difficult to find - sometimes we have to do skin scrapes and examine them under the microscope to try to find the mites. However often if a hamster gets a bad mite problem it is a sign of an underlying internal problem - such a something wrong with their immune system or a liver problem, etc. So even if you treat the mites, they can still die because there was a more serious internal problem. Unfortunately it can be difficult to make definite diagnoses in little animals like hamsters, as we cannot do the blood tests, Xrays, etc that we use on larger animals. Hamsters can get ill and die very quickly, even if they are still young. I would not let it put you off getting another one though, as you said , your other hamster was fine. Some hamsters will squeak more than others, it is not necessarily a sign of pain or distress. Hope this helps, Maeve Moorcroft MVB MRCVS { PetPlanet Vet}

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