why is my hamster shaking and having trouble walking

he s not quite a year and a half, and i ve had him since he was a baby. he is my first hamster. never been sick up until now
at first i just thought he was being lazy, but when i opened his cage to feed him and he got up, he was SHAKING like rocking back and forth when he walked (like he was drunk) he was kind of zig-zagging over to his bowl, like he couldn t see (his eyes were half closed) when he walks his back and legs are kinda stiff too, like he can t really bend them. he has a wet bottom, but i m not sure if it s diarrhea or hes just been sitting in his pee. he also looks pretty red and sore down there if you know what i mean. he s been lying around for the past couple of days in the same corners, and he stopped getting up for water so i m feeding him by hand and giving him water through a syringe. he s no longer opening his eyes. when i hold him up to examine him i don t like to hold him long because he starts to his, like he s in pain.

I suspected a stroke, but I ve never had a sick hamster and I really need some advice. None of the vets around here treat hamsters, so i m mostly on my own Check his gums - if they are very pale or a bluish color, take him  to the vet  immediately, as this is an indication of lack of oxygen! If  his gums are th e normal darker pink color, check to see if his  heart rate is normal. To do this, you can take his pulse by  pressing along the inside of the thigh where the leg joins the  body; press with your fingers until you feel the pulse. Or you can  do this by feeling the heartbeat behind the front left leg.    The normal heart rate for a dog is 60 to 160 beats per minute, with  smaller dogs being at the faster rate and larger dogs the slower  rate.

Medium sized dogs will be in between these two numbers. If  his heart rate is too slow or fast, that is another indication you  need to take him to the vet ASAP.    Check his respiratory rate by counting breaths per minute. The  normal respiratory rate in an adult dog is 24 breaths per minute,  but can range between 10 to 30 breaths depending on rest/activity.  If his breathing  rates per minute is not normal, take him to the vet ASAP.    Check his entire abdominal and chest area, looking for signs of  swelling, redness, etc. , or anything out of the ordinary.

You can  also check his temperature to see if it's normal. To do this,  insert a rectal thermometer (put a little vaseline or KY jelly on  it) then insert, using a twisting motion, in the rectum 1 to 3  inches, depending on the size of the dog. DO NOT LET THE DOG SIT  DOWN while the thermometer is inserted! The average temperature of  an adult dog is 100 to 102. 5 degrees Fahrenheit. If his temperature  is too low or high, take him to the vet ASAP.    As for the breathing hard and acting skittish, check him all over  for signs of any kind of bite, from insect bites to snake bites,  being sure to check inside his ears, too. Dogs can be allergic to  spider and insect bites/stings just as people can, which can be  fatal if the allergy is severe enough.

And of course, if there were  to be a snake bite, that would definitely require emergency medical  care, as well.    Also, dogs can have food allergies, just as people do. Has your dog  eaten something in the last hour or two that he's never eaten  before? Dogs can also have severe allergies to food dyes,  especially red dye. I have a pug that goes into severe allergy  induced shock if she eats anything with red food dye in it. Dogs  can also develop an allergy to foods they've eaten for years and  had no problems with them until now.    If you can't find any obvious signs of the source of your dog's  behavior, you can usually call an emergency animal clinic. They  will sometimes give you advice over the phone and not charge  anything for it.

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