When I first started my internship, I was told that we have an office hamster that is around 2-3 years old which is estimated to be around 80-120 years old in hamster age. Initially, I did not interact much with the him but as time went by, I slowly grew attached to him.
I started doing research online regarding how to better care for a hamster. I started out by made some toys out of cardboard that he could play with. Then I started to, buy some snacks for him and would play with him once in a while. After a few months, I decided to get him a new cage that is bigger that his original cage so he can have a bigger space for himself as my research online said that small cages could make a hamster feel stressed due to the lack of space.
When Christmas and New Year’s came around, the last two weekends of 2020 were a long weekend and there would be no one to look after him if he was left in the office so I brought him home and he has been in my house ever since. My family also grew attached to him and plays with him when they have the time to.
One day as I was feeding a treat to him, I noticed that his left ear seemed swollen and since I have no experience about how to handle this kind of situation, I googled and found out that it could either be a growth or an ear infection. I then contacted my close friend that owns 2 hamsters to seek for help. My friend helped me get an appointment booked with the vet that she usually brings her hamster to and she also went to the vet with me as it is my first time going to the vet.
After the vet checked on him, it seems that not only was his left ear infected and swollen, his right ear was also infected and he also has some on his skin as well. Initially, the vet wanted to clean his ear and teach me after so I could do it myself as well at home. However, when the vets were trying to clean his ear it seems that he was not used to being handled and he was very stressed by the situation that he gasped and almost collapsed. The vets decided to not clean his ear anymore, gave him some oxygen and get him to calm down.
The final decision was to feed him antibiotics and antihistamine to help with his infection and itching. At first, I was a little worried about needing to feed his medications myself as my friend told me that she had a hard time feeding her hamster medications back then when she had to. But when I tried to feed him his medication myself, he ate his medication well and did not reject eating it which was a huge relief for me. He is now still in the middle of his medication period and I hope that he stays strong and recovers well : )