Almost a year and a half ago, Michael and I rescued a hamster out of our backyard. Although I don't believe I ever mentioned him again on my blog, we have had the little guy ever since.
Unfortunately, hamsters don't live very long, and it seems that Manny's days are numbered. He has been aging noticeably for months, losing hair and developing age spots (which I didn't even know hamsters got!). For several weeks, he's had an eye infection in one of his eyes; I've gotten a less linty type of bedding, and tried putting a warm, moist compress on it to loosen the gunk, but it has sealed shut anyway. In the last week or so, we've noticed that he seems to have had a stroke, because he is suddenly quite unsteady and stiff, and his legs on one side don't seem to work very well.
Manny has gone downhill quickly, and now I'm not sure he'll even last through the weekend. Tonight, as I was getting ready to write this, I opened up his cage to check on him. At first I thought he was dead, he was breathing so slowly; and when I picked him up, he felt cold. I held him cupped in my hands until he warmed up (and perked up) a little, but his low body temperature still seems ominous. We've set his cage up in front of a space heater for now, and made plans to pick up my dad's heat lamp tomorrow, but I honestly think this is probably the end of the road for our gimpy little rescue hamster.