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Old 11-16-2015, 04:02 AM   #1
ZoeySolitaire
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 9
Unhappy Help! Is my Syrian hamster sick?

Hello

My Syrian male, who is roughly 1 year and 1 month old, has been having growing problems with his rear end.

A few months ago I noticed that he wasn't cleaning all of the poop from his back end so I started cleaning out his nest more frequently (he was pooping in there A LOT which was unusual for him) which seemed to fix the problem.

More recently I've noticed he's stopped using his sand bath to wee in and has started doing that in his nest even though his sand bath is cleaned out daily and is very easily accessible. His back end is now permanently damp and the fur is all dirty and his tail seems a lot longer and very droopy.

On top of this he's also drinking a lot more than usual and is chewing ferociously at the bars of his cage. There have been no recent changes to his surroundings or diet, he still eats just fine and he seems perfectly happy in himself - still very friendly, very tame, very active - but I'm just getting worried about him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2015, 05:26 AM   #2
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 18,806
Default Re: Help! Is my Syrian hamster sick?

Hi. Hamster poops aren't dirty or smelly, they're like little seeds really and they will eat them sometimes for extra vitamins! Which is normal for hamsters.

Generally it is best to clean them out as little as possible. And they absolutely hate their nest being messed with! It causes them a lot of stress. And it can become a vicious circle as the more you clean it out, the more they want to re-scent mark everything and keep moving their toilet corner. If he is now weeing in his nest then yes you will have to remove it, but try and leave some of the old nest behind so it still smells familiar and put a big pile of torn up white toilet paper strips out so he can rebuild his nest.

Bar chewing sounds like a sign of stress if it has only just started and probably related to the changes in his cage and cleaning.

I only do a main clean about once every two months and just remove the odd handful in between and replace it so things still seem familiar.

Anyway you say it started with him not cleaning all the poop from his back end. His back end being wet doesn't sound good either (unless it is just from sitting in his wee'd in nest).

It does sound like he needs a vet check. They can check out his back end and general health check and meanwhile, try to clean him out less except for the really smelly bits.

I like this video on cage cleaning from Erin's hamsters - it really helped me get a good cage cleaning thing going as our hamster was very nervy at first and got totally freaked out by anything in his cage changing at all. It also saves on substrate. I'd also recommend only cleaning out his sand bath every 3 or 4 days rather than every day, and he might start using it again. Try putting a tiny bit of his wee'd on nest on top of the sand bath and it might attract him back.

But a vet check does sound necessary in case he has a digestive problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jVnEjrXbww
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