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Old 10-28-2019, 07:50 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 45
Question Stressed or bad eyesight/blind?

(Sorry if a question like this already exists here)
Hi, I just got a new hamster today. His name, at least for now, is Homer. He is a short-haired Syrian hamster, and absolutely adorable I'm asking this question because of a few things that have happened today:
I put him in his new cage, and he didn't get out of the box. Fair enough, he's probably scared to leave.
He finally exited after 5 minutes or so and took a few very slow steps. He stopped beneath his water bottle and sat. And then he sat for like 15 minutes, just... existing. Okay, that was kinda strange to me.
Eventually, he started to explore, taking slow, unsure steps. He slowly walked into a wall that I had made to hold back the side with a ton of bedding and stopped, then sat for another 10 minutes.
Basically, if he found an obstacle, he just stopped and didn't try to walk around it.
I decided to test him. I got a tube and held it a few inches in front of him. He didn't pay it any attention. Same with a mug.
I carefully, slowly, waved a scentless chew toy several inches in front of him, back and forth. He didn't track it, and didn't turn around when I silently moved it directly left of him.
He's been exploring as I type, with a bit more energy, maybe because it's later in the night, though I haven't seen him run.
I know that since it's his first night here, he's very stressed by the new environment. However, I can't tell whether he is moving slowly because he's stressed or because of something else. The first thing that came to mind for me is blindness. Maybe Homer is blind. His eyes are bright and black, not red, puffy, or milky. I don't know enough about hamsters to determine the cause, so what do you think?
It's only the first night, so I'm not jumping to conclusions. I removed the wall and the platform from his cage, though, just in case he is. No harm done if he isn't.
Thanks for reading
Rest in Peace, Spunky (2016-2019) <3
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:10 AM   #2
Ria P
House of Hamsters
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 2,340
Default Re: Stressed or bad eyesight/blind?

He may be a bit stunned to find himself in completely new and unfamiliar surroundings and needs time to process this. I'd give him an undisturbed week to find his bearings and settle in without moving things around in his cage unless you have to for safety reasons.

Apparently, hamsters have naturally bad eyesight and rely on smell and their whiskers a lot. Does he find his food and water ok? I would observe him for a few days and talk to him gently but otherwise leave him in peace to help him feel at home.

Let us know how he progresses and post a picture if you can. How old is Homer?
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