And the hamster had to join in too…(a view inside my life as a mom)

As if having to worry about Vaquero wasn’t enough my son’s Hamster (Hammy) took a turn for the worse this week too! I’m not really sure what happened, we know he felt fine around lunch time because I remember talking to Jesse during lunch about how the hamster should be sleeping during the day…not running in his wheel (being nocturnal and all).

Somehow by 3 o’clock in the afternoon Nathan found him huddled and shaking in the corner of the cage. He looked really bad. Nathan yelled for help and I ran in and picked the little guy up. He was cold and wouldn’t open his eyes. Nathan wanted to know what was wrong and where we could take him for help.

I felt so bad holding the little guy. I decided to try warming him up (the house was the same temp as normal) while I called the vet. Yes, I called the vet for the hamster. That is when I learned that only one vet in our local practice sees hamsters and she wasn’t in. If she had been the trip was going to be $30. As she was not they said we could maybe try the emergency number…$100 vet call (did I mention Hammy was originally bought for $29.99?).

I hung up the phone to consider my options. This is where I need to make an important point. I was holding a $30 hamster in my hand and would have been (without a doubt) on the way to the vets had she been in! The point is, we get attached to these guys! Horse, dog, cat, hamsters…

So while considering I tried getting him to drink something. He kept his eyes shut and would just push the bottle away, not good. But he didn’t like his feet getting wet so he would lick them off. So I changed tactics and began wetting his feet. This did two things: really annoyed him and got him to drink.

I don’t know how long it ‘officially’ takes to re-hydrate a hamster but my guess is about 20 minutes to a half hour because in that time he really came around! (This entire time Jesse was reading hamster websites out loud to us). When he started doing his business and even nibbling at a treat we were relieved.

Not to be pessimistic but I figured the sudden turn for the better would be followed by a sudden, well, death overnight…but thankfully I was wrong. As you can see Hammy is feeling pretty good and that was three days ago!


  1. […] you have followed my blog you may remember the story about Hammy (the hamster) and his near death experience. I am happy to report that Hammy is mostly well and has almost […]

  2. MaryJo on May 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Glad he’s okay. Our boys so love their little hamster, Vicki. So did you figure out what caused the dehydration?

    • Stacy on May 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      I think the end of the water bottle had some hard water build up. It worked after I rolled it a few times but my finger rolling it 4-5 time is probably the equivalent of 1,000 hamster licks, lol

  3. Wendy Russ on April 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    What a great story! Sounds to me that Hammy was revived through the hand of love. I hope your beautiful Vaquero is doing well too.

  4. Georgia on April 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Wow, Stacy, you really are amazing! You can even figure out how to re-hydrate a hamster! No wonder you are so good with horses. And yes, we do get attached to our “furry children”, don’t we? 🙂

  5. Dawn Beard on April 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Our kids come to know us and the world by our actions, empathy and intention. When we can help we do… your folks did a wonderful job w/ you Miss Stacy!

  6. Deb on April 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

    How fantastic that little Hammy rebounded! And how great that your son got to see his parents love him enough and care for even the smallest animal. Yay! for positive parenting times like that!

    …and oh can I totally relate! My daughter’s bunny, Flopsy, had been with us 6 yrs when we found a growth on her belly last fall. No hesitation and off to the vet we went. He told us it was a tumor on one of her mammaries (wow bunnies get breast cancer too?). He also said there was a good chance it had metastasized and removing it may not be a cure. Did we want to euthanize her or spend a couple hundred dollars on surgery (for our $29 rabbit!)??

    A few things ran through my mind…compassion for this sweet little bunny–not wanting her to suffer needlessly, but wanting to give her a chance if there was one, and most important to me, my daughter’s heart. She loved little Flopsy who had been with her through the tough years of middle school and more in her six yrs with us.

    Perhaps, if I hadn’t been a mom, my decision would have been different, but, for my daughter (and knowing there was a chance however slim), the moment my daughter looked at me and said, “Please Mom?” it was sealed and little Flopsy had her surgery.

    Unfortunately, the cancer had indeed spread and one month later, she died. (the month after surgery she hopped, ate, and drank normally) Did that make me doubt the choice I made? Not even once. As a mom, the mom of a 17 y/o daughter, I’ve had to experience times when I’m not always able to be there for her; to ease an ache, to extend a hope, So, that moment in the vet’s office, when I was able to be there, when I could do something, didn’t really have so much of a monetary value. It was as much a gift to me, her mom, as it was to my daughter and her bunny,

    • Stacy on April 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      I have tears, thanks for sharing that, I love the encouragement!

  7. Sandra Clifton on April 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Some day you will wright a book about your experiences from riding a horse to work in Maine, to saving a wee critter for your family. This is so heart warming and I can’t add to any of your replys, I agree with all of them. You and your family are always in my prayers. Your living my dream life girl. And I am enjoying the highs and lows with you.

  8. Elizabeth Sherstoff on April 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Your wear-with-all and good sense saved that hamster and your son from a broken heart.
    What a sweet story and a beautiful point you made about the value of what we love!

  9. Mary Sue Faries on April 27, 2012 at 10:38 am

    When it rains, it pours, huh? Another wonderful example of compassion and doing the right thing no matter what the cost to take care of the creatures that God entrusted us with. From horse whisperer to hamster whisperer!! It would not surprise me one bit if you could teach that hamster to take a bow!!! 🙂

  10. Anita Dolan on April 27, 2012 at 10:08 am

    We did a similar thing with my daughter’s chinchilla so I can totally relate! I think if God put them here for us to enjoy, it is our responsibility to take the best care of them that we can. So glad things turned around so quickly for little ‘Hammy’ . . . now we can only hope for the same thing for Vacquero!!!

  11. Sam on April 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Great job guys. .So ahppy Hammy has made it. Hope he stays healthy for a very long time.

  12. Molly Lawson on April 27, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Hilarious. I actually took my daughter’s $19.99 hamster to the vet. I wish the vet had not been in. You would’ve thought this was a prize-winning hamster for the kind of treatment he got. Poor Poppy was losing his hair and looked like a wrinkled old man, although he was only a year old. The vet checked him over and then took skin samples, etc. $60 later and a million-times diluted ivermectin in hand, Poppy returned home. My husband thought I was crazy. Where was my logic? Well, she was standing in front of me, crying for her hairless hamster. I wish I had a better ending to tell, but poor Poppy died a month later, unable to fight the illness that ravaged his wee body. Would I do it again? I don’t think so. Death is a part of life, isn’t it? My daughter learned about the death of her beloved pet, and me? I learned to wait until after hours to call the vet, because then I’d have all night to rethink my decision. (: Good for you for holding out and helping your son’s little critter!

  13. heather on April 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

    i’m glad your family’s hamster is all better.Hopefully no more sick animals.
    best wishes to you and your family

  14. Beth Hogan on April 27, 2012 at 9:25 am

    This reminds me of my amazing brother in law!! When my son was 5 he had hamster named Teddy. My sister and brother in law were watching my son and hamster when it was discovered that the hamster was not breathing. My brother in law actually attempted mouth to mouth and resuscitation on him, to no avail but my son remembers how hard they tried even now (19years later)!

  15. Joanne on April 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

    So glad Hammy is OK…..My daughters 6 yr old hamster (normally they only live 2-3 yrs) took sick one day and I did take him to the vet….I knew it wasnt gonna be good with his age….We ended up having him put to sleep because there was nothing they could do….It wasn’t dehydration or any other illness, it was age related…..I remember leaving the vet with the empty oatmeal box in my arms crying like a fool….Everyone thought I was nuts to take a hamster to the vet, but like you said We get attached and when we bring an animal into our home we make a commitment to give them the best possible life and care for them the best we can…..I miss seeing our little “Corny” drive around the house in his little dragster, or seeing the bows my daughter you to put in his hair

  16. Laura on April 27, 2012 at 9:21 am

    We’ve been through about half a dozen hamsters with my girls and each of them had their own issues and each if them were an important part of our family.
    I did find out that many of them become diabetic as they get older. Just a thought for down the road.
    I hope Hammy and Vaquero both make full recoveries!

    • Stacy on April 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      I should note that ‘Hammy’ is named that because I have lost count (maybe 7-8?) of the hamsters that have lived here. It is just that we usually find them…well dead. This is the first one we have ever found that looked like it was in trouble and we might be able to do something. Even that many ‘Hammy’s’ later they are still little individuals!

  17. sharman woll on April 27, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Good Job Mom 🙂
    So Glad Hammy is ok!!!

  18. mphedgehog on April 27, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Real cowgirls know how to handle a colic…any species, any time! Love the story – hamsters are a favorite childhood memory.

    • Stacy on April 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      COLIC! That is hysterical…never thought of it like that!

  19. Lindsay on April 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Thats a great story. I’m glad the outcome was a positive one. Your right .. we do get attached no matter what the animal. And it’s really tough when they belong to a child… i can’t tolerate that pain well .

  20. kay on April 27, 2012 at 6:29 am

    i used to have tortoises and the only vet i could find was in galion-Galion Horizon Animal Hospital. they take all exotics.

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