Getty Images/iStockphoto

A hamster owner is using Facebook to warn fellow pet owners about the affects of cold weather on their little furry friends.

Lisa Goodman, 38, from Oxfordshire, was mourning the death of her daughter's hamster when it woke up.

The family had little idea that hamsters can hibernate if they become cold during the winter.

Goodman wrote a Facebook status warning others that it can indeed occur, and not to bury their sleeping pets alive.

She wrote in the status:

Pet hamsters can go into hibernation mode if they get too cold.

This can last a few days or even a week.

Please don’t just assume your hamster is dead.

Whilst in hibernation mode if you stroke or try to move your hamster, they will show small signs of life. 

Keep them warm, place a hot water bottle under their bedding, to try and bring them back slowly. They can come round naturally, but still need to keep warm. Provide plenty of food and water. 

She received tens of thousands of likes and shares for the status.

Fudge, the hamster, had gone cold and still, but not stiff, which can indicate either a hibernation or a torpor as opposed to death.

As expected, Fudge woke up and was running around right as rain.

Sadly, some commenters posted on the viral status their fear that they has buried a sleeping hamster too soon.

An RSPCA spokesperson told theDaily Mail:

Although they may seem cold and still, a hibernating hamster will wake up quite quickly once they warm up so if owners want to check if they are OK, they could try moving them to a warmer part of the house.

However, if you're at all unsure whether your pet is well or not, or have concerns about their health or behaviour, you should always contact your vet for advice.

The British Hamster Association advises:

If left alone, hamsters will often hibernate for 2-3 days but if the temperature is very low then they may remain in hibernation for up to a week.

One option is to leave them alone, provide plenty of food and water for when they waken up and try some of the measures outlined above to prevent them from re-hibernating.

Alternatively, they can be stimulated just by picking them up and stroking them gently.

They are very sensitive to tactile stimulation.

If you are still unsure whether your hamster is dead or in hibernation, always consult your vet. He or she is likely to have experience of this scenario and can provide a specialist opinion.

Remember, keep your hamster warm and don't bury it too soon.

HT Daily Mail

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)