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Old 10-01-2019, 05:10 AM   #1
windylim
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Default Separated hamsters fight

Hello all,

I have 2 female dwarf hamsters that grew up in the same cage from young. They were generally quite close and like to snuggle together when sleeping, but squabble from time to time without any serious injuries. Hammy is bigger and fatter, but oddly seems to be the one that gets bullied by the smaller one Oreo.

Lately, Oreo had a skin disease and we separated them by taking out Hammy. However, after a few days of separation, when we put Hammy back to the original cage, Oreo became very aggressive and attacked Hammy.

What should I do?? I really don't want to separate the two.

Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:51 AM   #2
souffle
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Default Re: Separated hamsters fight

You really must keep them separate now. It's not a natural situation for two same sex mature adults to live together in the hamster world and they won't accept each other once separate. The fact one is larger likely means she is overeating as she is tressed by the other hamster and thinking they will take all the food. Mental stress by bullying is just as bad. When you say skin condition - do you think it was bites possibly? This is the most likely cause or the other hamster overgrooming it. Once one hamster smells different they won't go back together and will be much happier alone.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:12 PM   #3
windylim
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Default Re: Separated hamsters fight

Quote:
Originally Posted by souffle View Post
You really must keep them separate now. It's not a natural situation for two same sex mature adults to live together in the hamster world and they won't accept each other once separate. The fact one is larger likely means she is overeating as she is tressed by the other hamster and thinking they will take all the food. Mental stress by bullying is just as bad. When you say skin condition - do you think it was bites possibly? This is the most likely cause or the other hamster overgrooming it. Once one hamster smells different they won't go back together and will be much happier alone.
Oreo (the smaller one) like to overgroom and plug out her fur, so her skin condition is self-inflicted. She used to be very close to Hammy, and likes to groom Hammy as well. The vet requested us to separate them because she suspected some bacteria or fungus infection.

Hammy is very mild and doesn't attack at all. But when we reintroduce her into the old cage, Oreo seems very aggressive and attacked Hammy. This was just 1 day after they were separated.

This is bad because we only have 1 cage and we don't envision having 2 cages. Is there any suggestion of how we can still reintroduce them to stay together in one cage?
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Separated hamsters fight

There is no way to reintroduce them. That would be setting yourself up for serious negative consequences including potential serious injuries or even death.

You really need to get some kind of emergency second cage even if it's on the small side. Temporarily living in a small cage is far better than setting yourself up for failure and risking your hamsters' health, safety, and overall wellbeing. I know it's hard to see this kind of response and it's not what you want to see, but this is the same kind of thing others will tell you.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:10 AM   #5
windylim
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Default Re: Separated hamsters fight

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
There is no way to reintroduce them. That would be setting yourself up for serious negative consequences including potential serious injuries or even death.

You really need to get some kind of emergency second cage even if it's on the small side. Temporarily living in a small cage is far better than setting yourself up for failure and risking your hamsters' health, safety, and overall wellbeing. I know it's hard to see this kind of response and it's not what you want to see, but this is the same kind of thing others will tell you.
Actually, I left both hamsters in the same cage and they are OK now. Initially, Oreo attacked Hammy but Hammy went into a submissive position and then she stopped. No harm happened to either.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Separated hamsters fight

It's still not a good idea. They can easily start fighting again, and even if they're not fighting now there is the very big potential for stress. You definitely still need to split them up, even if they seem fine in this moment, because it is not safe for them to be housed together. You never know when something might go wrong, and it's not fair at all to the hamsters involved to be forced into an unnatural and stressful situation.

You say no harm is done, but unfortunately you're only easily seeing any potential bites and such. That doesn't necessarily reflect potential psychological trauma nor does it really show the serious harm chronic stress can do to your hamsters which isn't easily seen until illness is visible. Just because there's no physically visible signs doesn't mean it's a good idea to keep trying to keep them together, and I cannot stress enough the importance of separating them.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:38 AM   #7
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Separated hamsters fight

It is really important that you separate them now or you will quickly have one dead or seriously maimed hamster. The vet also said to separate them. That short time apart is very significant and it is not safe to leave them in together now. Believe me there are some very experienced owners and breeders on here. They will be absolutely fine living alone and will enjoy having their own space. Safety first. We can’t put our human analysis onto their perceived friendliness or bonding - they are a territorial species who rarely manage to stay bonded for life. Sometimes the maiming is worse than actual death.

It’s a welfare issue now so please separate them. If you don’t have another cage yet you can use a large plastic storage bin as a cage temporarily with the lid off for ventilation (as long as the sides are high enough). You can get a 78cm ikea Samoa bin for about 13 and make it into a bin cage too. There are often lots of cheap used cages for sale on eBay and gumtree as well but you don’t want anything smaller than 60 x 40 Cm and ideally 70 x 40 or more.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:37 PM   #8
windylim
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Default Re: Separated hamsters fight

Thanks! I'm planning to do that
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hammy, oreo, cage, hamsters, time, separated, smaller, disease, taking, skin, separation, separate, attacked, put, days, back, original, aggressive, bigger, young, generally, grew, dwarf, fight, female

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