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Old 11-20-2019, 02:23 PM   #1
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

Hi all, You may have noticed (or not!) I have started commenting a bit more again the last few days Nice to be back

Anyhow, since I have been gone, Stars back legs have started to go. She is still so active but they are very splayed out and collapse on her every now and then, when she tries to turn. She has been to the vets, she is on the old metacam. It's like her back legs just don't keep up with the rest of her.

However, this is where I need your help and advice.

I think I need to change her cage set up, she is in the savic plaza, I have a mountain of bedding on the left hand side, so that is ok, but on the right I have 2 shelves (which I have already lowered) above her house.I'm wondering if I need to remove these altogether, although she is always scurrying up there through her wicker tunnel (or is this just a case of, if it is there she will use it).

I'm just worried that she ends up with nothing to do in her cage, she is easily bored and I have worked hard to stop her chewing her cage. I really don't want her to go back to that.

Like I said, any advice/ideas very welcome. Thanks.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:54 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

Hi I did this for our Syrian when he got older. Basically it is better to remove the shelves but they still need plenty of enrichment at ground level plus some overhead cover to feel secure I reckon. What I did was move the shelves right up to roof level so they literally pressed against the top. No way a hamster could get on the but still gave the effect of sitting under a shelf and some overhead cover. I added more floor toys- a large cork tunnel, a large Savic tube tied to one end at floor level, a coconut but, a couple more hides and a little corner hammock at floor level (it was a Fuzzbutt a mini corner hammock). I wouldn’t normally put fleece in the cage but he was old enough not to chew it. I also had a large hammock top centre to make it darker underneath- too high for him to get up to but be careful with that if yours can still climb bars! I’ll add a photo later - it’s on my pc.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:54 PM   #3
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

That sounds brilliant serendipity, i know she likes her shelves, as she feels safe under them and I was worried about how she would be if I removed them altogether. She has a coconut hide that i can bring down to the floor, and i can add another tunnel in somewhere. I was going to attach her wicker tunnel to the side on the lower floor, so she can run in and out of that. I am not sure how she would do with a hammock, she is a bit of a chewer. She doesn't really climb the bars, only to sniff at anything that I leave on the top of the cage then carries on. Oh i can tie a chew mat up there, then it doesn't matter if she gets up there and chews it - oh in fact that's what I will do, I can use the chew mats as hammocks, already got one in there.. I'm so glad I asked. Thanks so much p.s. she already has a cork tunnel, it's her favourite place to sit and clean herself in. Couldn't resist, you can see her in this cute little video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ1WeY-j2gE&t=2s
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

Here's Charlie's retirement set up. The only "level"left was his house roof which had a couple of shallow steps up to it, but when his walking got really bad I removed the steps so he couldn't get up there. You can see on the second photo the shelves moved up to the top. I also had his food bowl and water bottle at floor level not far from his house. He still used his wheel right up to 2 weeks before he passed age 2 years and 8 months but would just jump in it, run for 10 secs and jump out again

2016 Sept new cage layout (25).jpg

2016 Sept new cage layout shrunk (10).jpg
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:08 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

Love the video of Star cleaning herself. I find it so relaxing and often funny to watch hamsters washing themselves.

Are you going to adopt another hamster? You have a big heart Luna and there is a hamster waiting for you. A Venus or Cosmo or......who knows.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

Just watched the video too I missed it. That was a very good wash - especially behind the ears! She is very sweet.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:07 AM   #7
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

Thanks Serendipity, you have been a massive help. Not sure I will create a video on it, but if i do am I ok to credit you on here?
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:08 AM   #8
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
Love the video of Star cleaning herself. I find it so relaxing and often funny to watch hamsters washing themselves.

Are you going to adopt another hamster? You have a big heart Luna and there is a hamster waiting for you. A Venus or Cosmo or......who knows.
Aww, thanks Ria. All I will say is watch this space I will keep you informed.
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:14 AM   #9
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

Don't bother to credit me lol. No problem with you doing one. Or did you mean using the photos I posted? If so then yes please credit the photos I have a video for an older cage set up as well but it was an in between stage and not quite as geriatric as on the photos above It still has a shelf in. Demonstrated by darling soft furry Charlie RIP. He had great difficulty with his legs but was quite fast on a flat surface. The cork log was his limit for climbing.

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Old 11-22-2019, 07:36 AM   #10
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Hamster Cage setup for Arthritis

I just meant I would give you credit in the video for the ideas and help from this forum- i forgot you had a YouTube channel, I could always leave a link in the description to your channel if you want. (Or not)up to you - just didn;t want to pass the ideas off as mine.
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