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Old 01-11-2018, 10:05 AM   #1
Jaz31146
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Unhappy New hamster with squeaky breathing?

Hello all!

I got a new hamster on Tuesday (her name is Snowball, she's the sweetest thing!) I noticed Wednesday morning that her breathing was quite snuffly and a little bit squeaky. Since then it hasn't gotten worse, but also hasn't gotten better.

When she's relaxed or sleeping her breathing is quiet but I can hear the snuffly sound if I listen very carefully, it seems to be only when she's sniffing around the cage or when she's digging that's it's very pronounced. It also doesn't seem very bad when she's using her wheel. It's quite a dry sounds, almost like a wheeze.

Here a link to a youtube video of it during a period when she was very active and sniffing around the cage - normally her breathing is much quieter (although still audible).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZvwpOoPLKo

Her eyes are clear, and there's no discharge from her nose, her breathing isn't laboured and she isn't breathing from her stomach. She's active, curious, and eating/drinking ok.

She's on Pets at home woodshavings at the moment - I suspect it's this causing an allergy. The bag has been left open in a cupboard for ~4 months since my last hamster died from heart failure. She was on woodshavings at the pet shop, but she didn't have a very deep layer of it in her cage

I'm going to get some carefresh tonight to swap out, but wanted some opinions from people about whether it seems like an allergy or respiratory infection! and if there's any other product or something in the air likely to cause an allergic reaction! Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:15 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: New hamster with squeaky breathing?

It does sound as though it could be an allergy or the wood shavings may be a bit dusty, the only way to know for sure is when you change to something else really, have you thought about using Fitch? It's great substrate, virtually dust free & just being recycled paper very good for sensitive hams.
If she only really does is when she digging or running around the cage it's unlikely to be anything else in the room but do make sure no sprays, air fresheners or similar things are used in the room where her cage is.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:30 AM   #3
Jaz31146
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Default Re: New hamster with squeaky breathing?

I swapped her bedding out for Carefresh last night and I have a 1kg tester bag of fitch on the way! I actually much prefer non-sawdust bedding as well, so hopefully this works out.

I think her breathing is better - it's only loud when she's sniffing around exploring and is quiet normally so fingers crossed this has helped.

Also, by any chance would you know the rough dimensions of the 10kg or 20kg fitch bales? I live in a tiny little flat and there is no storage space other than my wardrobe.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:35 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: New hamster with squeaky breathing?

I've only got about half a bag at the moment so can't really measure it but the 10kg bag is about the size of a bean bag & makes quite a good seat if you're short on space
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:22 AM   #5
SKB_Hamsters
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Default Re: New hamster with squeaky breathing?

It does sound like her squeaky breathing is due to allergy or dusty bedding, I experience something similar with my past Syrian who was sensitive to dust tried different a number of different substrates and she was fine when housed on Fitch.

I have had a 20kg bag delivered this week and the dimensions are roughly 50 x 40 x 65 cm (l x w x h) - it been a long time since I ordered 10kg bag but from what I remember they are half the height.

I hope your Snowballs breathing gets better now she on different substrate!
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:19 AM   #6
Jaz31146
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Default Re: New hamster with squeaky breathing?

Thank you! That isn't actually as big as I thought it might be, and I have been looking for a new footrest for the living room...
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