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Old 02-27-2015, 04:25 PM   #1
Archie the hamster
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Default Hamster has long nails.

My hamster's nails have started to curl round a little bit. I've given him a sand bath and put some wooden toys in his cage, which I've read is supposed to help keep nails trim, but nothing seems to be working. He doesn't keep still when I hold him so I don't trust myself to cut them without hurting him, but I don't what else to do. Any advice?
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

I think probably best to take him to the vets to get them trimmed. After that, keep a piece of rough stone under his water bottle which will help wear them down every time he has a drink. I bought a 6" square of rough granite but I believe terracotta plant pot trays are just as good.
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:24 PM   #3
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

I agree with serendipity, they sound awfully long but the vet will be able to get them shortened down and the rough stone under his water bottle will help keep them down.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:05 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

Which species is he?
Sometimes with russian dwarfs the nails grow long whatever you try to give them to keep them trim & it can be hard even for a vet to trim them sometimes! If you can't do it yourself then best to ask the vet though.
Someone suggested using a small box, a terry's chocolate orange box in their case, that the hamster might like to dig in with a small piece of sandpaper in the bottom, maybe a little sand on top of that then you could scatter a little substrate & a few seeds to encourage digging in there, might only work for a dwarf though & I haven't tried it myself.
I wouldn't recommend using sandpaper any other way btw as it can hurt their feet if they're on it too long.
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:28 AM   #5
Angie B
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

I'm afraid a vet is really the only option as their nurses are trained how to handle a squirmy hammy - warn them to wear leather gloves though because no matter how tame he is, if he's frightened he'll bite. We had to take Skittle to the vet as he was making some strange noises and movements and luckily I had the foresight to say that he'd never bitten before but he might if he's scared. The nurse wore some leather gloves - and she felt his teeth through them so had she not been wearing them she'd have suffered a nasty bite I think.

When you do go, ask if it is cheaper for the vet nurse to trim his nails; I get my rabbits' claws done a couple of times a year and if the vet does it I get charged £12 per rabbit but if the vet nurse does it I get charged £6 per rabbit. Quite a difference!
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:48 AM   #6
BrainGirl
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

Once the nails start to curl I'm afraid the usual non-invasive methods won't work because they just can't contact the surface like they would if they were short. I would highly recommend taking him to a vet. In my experience it isn't the vet who handles the job but the techs and so it's a lot cheaper. I had to do that for an elderly ham I'd rescued. I started cutting and then he realized what I was doing and got squirmy. Not wanting to take his toes off I hauled him to the vet and a couple of techs took care of it. Both of them got bitten though
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:25 AM   #7
Piebald
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

Let's have a moment of appreciation for the hammie techs.
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Old 02-28-2015, 11:10 AM   #8
Archie the hamster
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

Thanks for your help everyone. I am taking him to the vets on Monday.
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Old 03-01-2015, 04:39 PM   #9
Candra_Faulkner
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

I put a "rock cave" I got in the reptile section of Petsmart , from when I had hermit crabs , in his tank, under his water bottle... So now he has to climb on it to get to his bottle, and it's got a nice grit on it for keeping his nails trim.
I also have an 8in1 Wild Harvest Edible Lob he can climb and it's gritty too.
( like the snak shak products) If your dwarf is a big chewer though, you might not want a product like that as it's made with honey.

( don't worry, I scrubbed the rock caveclean with scalding hot water
and a little dish soap, and let it
air dry... also, it's been several years since I had the hermits, and any bacteria on the
cave was probably long dead anyway since I had the cave stored away in a box for years)
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:04 PM   #10
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Hamster has long nails.

Good Luck at the vets today, keep us posted.
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