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Old 02-10-2020, 08:39 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Missouri
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Default First time syrian owner - wheel problem?

So I just got my Syrian today a long haired pretty girl lol but while she was on her wheel (the pet store said it was the right size) and itís a silent wheel not a wore wheel when she was running on it even tho I was next to her I was on my phone and I heard her scream and it looked like she got stuck for a sec or flung off so I took her wheel away but she needs exercise right? Is it too early for the ball or what
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:18 AM   #2
Jo 17
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Default Re: First time syrian owner - wheel problem?

I am not an expert but as for running ball, it might be to early, I have been advised that is best to wait until hamster is about 4 months old. As for the wheel, doing lots of research, the correct size should be around 28cm. What size is your? And yes, you do need a wheel in the cage...
I hope you hamster is ok, maybe it also was just something that scared her, on the beginning my hamster would jump a little when suddenly scared, but it is gone now and He thinks he is the boss hehehehheheh
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: First time syrian owner - wheel problem?

One thing you'll learn is never listen to the pet shops. Often their knowledge is out of date and quite frankly, wrong. Not to worry though, we can guide you in the right direction

What type of wheel do you have? Is it possible that the long hair has got tangled up and pulled? As Jo says, Syrians need a 28cm (11") wheel and even then some require a 33cm (12"). Generally rule of thumb is if the backs bending and not straight, wheel is too small. A wheel in the cage isn't optional, it's compulsory. Hamsters can run up to 5 miles a night.

Personally if you're thinking of hamster ball, it's way too soon. Settling in period where you don't touch her can be anywhere from 3 days to a week. Then start taming her which will take several more weeks. Realistically it could take a couple of months before she's tame and happy to be picked up. That being said some take longer and some not as long. My robo Niko was tame within a month. My Syrian ghost I've had for a month and he's only just got to the stage where he's happy to be out of the cage and handled. What I'm trying to say it don't get a ball yet as it'll be guaranteed that it'll be too small before you get to use it.

Also, hamster ball IS optional. You don't have to have one. Some people prefer using playpens so they free roam. If you decide to use a ball most pet shops stock 18cm balls which are too small for Syrians. By the time they're 5-6 months they are fully grown and will use a 25cm ball marketed for rats.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: First time syrian owner - wheel problem?

Hamster balls are best not used at all. They don't really provide any stimulation and in reality shouldn't be considered truly ethical, as they inhibit the senses(yes, even the clear ones and even if they're the largest possible sizes).

A playpen is an excellent choice, or for the less confident hamster who wants to be in a smaller space at least at first a play bin works too. I know others also use the bathtub when clean and dry for a good play space so that might work for you too.

Wheel size is critical. Pet store employees really don't tend to know what they're talking about even with the most basic of care as they rely on such outdated information, hence selling hamster balls and severely undersized cages(and wheels). You need a 12 inch/30.48 cm(not just 30 cm and certainly not 28 cm) wheel - Syrians come in all sizes even from pet stores but it is never impossible for them to be six inches long in which case they must have at least a 12 inch wheel, so better safe than sorry. The 12 inch Silent Runner would be the perfect wheel, since it would work for any Syrian hamster and actually stays silent(unlike Silent Spinners which really aren't worth buying - and have safety issues).

If we want to put things into perspective on how misinformed pet store employees can be, a pet store employee once tried to sell me one of the smallest Silent Spinners for a Syrian hamster. I can't remember if it was a 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch, but that was for a species that could easily grow to 6 inches in length! It isn't their fault though - they're there to sell pet supplies, not to know the proper care for every species they sell which is our responsibility as pet owners when we're buying a pet(or adopting etc).
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:22 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 768
Default Re: First time syrian owner - wheel problem?

With the wheel does it have a spindle (axle) going through the middle of it? - if so, you may want to look into getting one without, as with a long haired their long hair can get caught up and taffled in the spindle types. The silent runner which Amytiville already mentioned is a good example of a wheel for any hamster but in particular for long haired syrians.
I also don't recommend hamster balls, potentially too dangerous, the hamster can't access food/water and can pee/poo on itself, they can't tell you when they have had enough and they also can't rely on their senses in there. If possible look at setting up some sort of safe free roaming area or work out some sort of playpen, you could also place a spare wheel in there for her or use the one from her cage if it is on a stand.
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