Emergency! Strawberry and I sure had an interesting time a couple of days ago. I had noticed he hadn’t been eating much. He was losing weight. As I am really never going to be sure how old he is (I believe he was much older than the norm at the pet store – long drawn out reason why I think that which isn’t interesting) I just assume that perhaps he was getting really old and that the reason for this change in him is that he is slowing down.
But then two days ago he was popping out every time he heard me. I’d peek in and he’d pop out and he’d start dancing around for me. I’d open the lid and pull him out and put him back down as I had a lot to do and couldn’t play with him at the time. Finally, after the 4th time of him doing that I gave in and played a bit with him with the kids in the playroom/hamster room with me. People might think I’m crazy but it was as if he was crying for HELP!
Suddenly, it hit me. Check his TEETH! So, I did. And what I found was so disturbing that my heart began to race. His bottom teeth were so long they looked like in a day or so it could have gone into his head. And they were separating. His top teeth were broken to the gums. And I have two little children and live in a busy urban area so an appointment for that day was probably not going to happen.
I went to googling and found this link: http://www.animalloversweb.com/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl?m-1214366719/
Now, if you think too much about something like this you will be plagued with the “what if’s” … and chicken out. And I knew I just couldn’t do that.
I cannot even explain to you how I handled him. It took several tries at handling his wiggly body. Pinning his front legs down while also keeping his mouth open with ONE hand and the other wedging the clippers in to hook on his teeth. I don’t know. It’s a blur now. As I said – it was something that was done with a steady hand, without a lot of thought, and VERY fast once I got a good angle. SNIP! It was at that point as easy and quick as clipping a fingernail. He didn’t seem to be disturbed. I gave him a Yogie treat immediately and kissed his little head and gave him a little massage with my index finger and placed him back in his cage.
I probably checked on him 6 more times that evening. Paranoid that I had stressed him out. That he’d get sick. That maybe I had clipped too short and he was injured or something. But sure enough, every time I checked on him his sweet little inquisitive face popped out like “What?”
Another couple of days have passed and he has suddenly become active again. And rambunctious. The old Strawberry I haven’t seen in a while. He even wanted to have a romp around the play room this afternoon like he used to!
Now he’s hanging out all over the place!
In my opinion – I’d rather a trained exotics vet to do this. So much could go wrong. But like the person who did the tutorial on the link I provided stated – sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Sometimes you will be faced with no options but to take matters into your own hands. I could not wait for an appointment. I had no idea how much longer Strawberry had before the teeth embedded. And surely he wasn’t able to eat! How long had he been starving? I shudder to even contemplate!
He was rewarded with oats soaked in lactose free milk. And some chicken baby food. I cracked some sunflower seeds for him. And handed him a baby spinach leaf and a slice of zucchini. From there I gave him a fresh dog biscuit (the minis that Marquelle sent them!) so that he can work on keep them down himself.
I love Strawberry but when moments like this happen you become even more close to a critter. Or a person. Etc. I have felt a special, elevated interest in him – more so than before. And I notice that he’s seemed so thankful toward me. He understood what I did for him.