Is your Dwarf Hamster Diabetic?

Cut and pasted from the Dwarf Hamster General forum,
written by member "vivilee": (Posted with permission from Vivilee)

Is your dwarf hamster diabetic?

A diabetic dwarf will have all or some of the following symptoms:

1. Increased thirst, drinking excessively
2. Peeing excessively, strong smelly urine with either a sweetish smell or a
acetone (nail polish remover smell).
3. Sudden weight loss or weight gain
4. Tiredness (sleeping more than usual) or excessive exercise or a
combination of both at the extremes
5. Irritability (only in some), unusual biting when the ham did not bite
6. Increased hunger

If you suspect your ham has diabetes join the following group:

To test your ham:

1. Purchase Keto-Diastix (tests for ketones and blood glucose)
2. Dip the test strip into fresh urine
3. Wait for results
4. Compare results to chart on Keto-Diastix package
5. Read package insert for more information to prevent false readings

The following is a short guideline on how to treat diabetic hamsters, if you
want more details please go to the Honey Hams website:

Treat with a hypoglycemic such as fenugreek seeds/powder--up to 400 mg or 25
seeds is safe. Use 50/50 Pedialyte/Water solution in water bottle. High
protein, high fiber, low fat diet.

Treat with 50/50 Pedialyte/Water solution and high protein, high fiber, low
fat diet.

Treat with only hypoglycemics, plain water (no Pedialyte), and absolutely NO
SUGAR (dextrose, maltose, corn etc.). High protein, low fat, high fiber
diet. Hypoglycemics include fenugreek (easiest to obtain), glipizide (drug,
needs prescription), buckwheat (comes in pasta, whole or flour form, doesn't
work as well as the other hypoglycemics), and spirulina (doesn't work as
well as the other hypoglycemics, very expensive).

Good protein sources for hams:
1. Tofu (firm or medium firm is best)
2. Roasted soybeans, unsalted
3. Chicken baby food (with broth, not seasoned)
4. Spirulina and/or seaweed (roasted laver, no salt or salt removed)
5. Boiled chicken breast or turkey
6. Egg whites with tiny bit of cooked egg yolk, boiled, scrambled, fried in
small amount of olive oil
7. Flax seed
8. Low fat cheeses (not process)
9. Low fat, plain yogurt
10. Tuna in water, drained (not all hams like this)

Good veggies for diabetic hams:
Cucumbers, bok choy, romaine lettuce, brocolli, cauliflower, celery, kale,
bitter melon, chinese brocolli, red peppers, green peppers, beans (except
red kidney), legumes

Other foods:
Wheatgerm, Weetabix cereal, any no sugar cereal, nutritional yeast. whole
grains, multi grain bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, buckwheat pasta

In moderation:
Sunflower seeds, pepitas, pumpkin seeds, nuts

Raisins, corn, sugars (maltose, dextrose, fructose etc.), fruit, red kidney
beans, parsley, brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, sprouts of any kind actually,
onions, garlic, citrus fruits, carrots, potatoes, white rice, white bread

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have a questionable food post
it to the Honey Hams group and someone will answer it.

Remember, just because your ham has diabetes it doesn't mean it is a death
sentence. Your ham can have normal readings and be exactly like a normal
ham--some diabetics have lived to 3 years! Always think positive!