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Old 02-07-2019, 04:29 PM   #1
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 184
Default Handling

Just wondered any thoughts on this. Our Tali (female Syrian) was adopted in May last year, after being brought back by a family (Pets at Home never knew the reason why). Tali was understandably very nervous and for the first couple of weeks she squealed. Anyway she has come on so much, she allows us to stroke her a lot, sniff our hands, comes to see us when we speak to her (which is always when I'm by her cage) and takes food from us. In her playpen she runs over to us and is very inquisitive.

We have never been able to pick Tali up (she transports to her playpen by happily jumping in a ball). We don't want to push Tali into doing anything she doesn't want to, and she seems happy. I just wondered is this happens to a lot of owners? Tali is our second hamster, our previous hamster Ralph was very happy being picked up.

My concern is if she ever has to go to the vet, how will they examine her if she doesn't like being picked up? Would you pursue trying to handle her? One of the times she went to the vets last year, the vet dropped her twice from quite a height and bit her. Went to a different vet who was fantastic with her, spoke softly to her and allowed her to stroke her. Our experience of hamsters is beginner. We love our little Tali dearly and are happy with the relationship we have we her, yes it would be lovely to be able to pick her up but if we never do it doesn't matter, my main concern if we have to go to the vets again. We've recently relocated so also got to find a suitable vet again..

Long post sorry, but any thoughts would be grateful. Thanks!
Always loved and forever in our hearts Ralph

Hamster mum to Tali
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:19 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 23,318
Default Re: Handling

I would continue with trying to handle her while she's out of the cage, just getting her to walk on & over your hands is a good start & I wouldn't worry about picking her up until you can get her used to that.
If you can it does make it much less stressful to do health checks & with any trips to the vet, a good vet should be able to handle a nervous ham (although you obviously found they aren't all that good!) but it will still make things less stressful for her.
I would just try to make it more of a game rather than focusing on picking her up.
Slave to Míriel.
Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
T'ycor, Ziggy, Zephyr, Flynt, Mickle, Little Whisp, Zen, Zeki, Tinwë & Zylvan
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:09 AM   #3
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 184
Default Re: Handling

Thanks cypher for your advice. Making it a game is a better way of thinking about it, Tali is very curious and inquisitive especially in her playpen which she goes in every night. We will keep working on this to gain her trust, hopefully she might one day.

I noticed that one of her eyes wouldn't open fully (no discharge) last night, with our last ham it was due to old age. Tali is around 1 year, if it continues a trip to the vets it will be. I started to think about vets and health checks and trying to handle her!!
Always loved and forever in our hearts Ralph

Hamster mum to Tali
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