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Old 05-03-2012, 10:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hamster germs!

Hi everyone. We have just bought a hamster. She is a lovely white Syrian with gorgeous red eyes. My 3 year old daughter loves her, although we haven't held her properly yet, she is still settling in. I realise 3 years old is pretty young for a hamster, but I always assumed that was because the child may hurt the hamster. I don't think I will ever allow my daughter to hold her but she is so grown up and loves helping me clean her out, change her water etc. But I have just read on google that the germs and diseases that hamsters have can be deadly for under 5's as young children's immune systems are so weak. Does anyone know if this is true? If hamsters are properly cared for and cleaned out regularly are they dangerous for young children?
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hamster germs!

I don't think it is at all bad for a young child to learn how to treat animals with respect and care.

To be honest, this is your daughter and you have to do what you feel is right with regards to her. However there are people on here with hamsters and young children and I'm not aware of there being much of an issue with this.

Your hamster (what's her name?) is not a wild hamster, and there are no specific vaccines it is deemed necessary to give hamsters (unlike dogs, for example), so the risk of your hamster carrying anything that your daughter won't be exposed to in her every day living I would say is low. So long as you are keeping your hamster clean, well cared for, and attend the vets if anything is concerning I don't see why you can't continue to allow your daughter supervised access to your lovely sounding pet. Just remember that hamsters do have teeth and so you may want to make sure your hamster is as tame as possible before you allow your daughter to stroke (not that that guarantees anything!) There's great information on taming and other advice on here/on this site's wiki page.

Remember, young children get lots of coughs and colds and your daughter will need to stay away from your little hamster when this is the case as the hamster could catch a cold and become quite unwell! Hope this helps,

Lydia and Artie.

NB: I am in no way an expert in this, I'm just trying to help you weigh things up - perhaps a vet might have a better idea as to the answer to your question.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hamster germs!

Hi

I have a one year old son and he would stroke are 2 hammies and he hasn't got sick or been ill afterwards.

So i would say that it wasn't true. The only thing hammies carry is mites however they lay dormant until the hammie becomes stressed. Guinea pigs also have this.





Vicki
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hamster germs!

I had a hamster as a 4 or so year old and I never got sick from her. I handled her everyday and cleaned the cage, so I think if there was anything to catch I would have gotten it.
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