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Old 12-27-2019, 03:34 PM   #1
minnieandhammy
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: scotland
Posts: 59
Default biting issues

My male Russian hamster is 2 and a half nearly and I have not been able to handle him without thick gloves for at least a year. he developed twirling disorder and is a bit frenetic. he goes round chewing stuff in his cage. when I take him out he gets stressed and goes round and round and bites my jersey. I'm too scared to handle him with bare hands. he does let me stroke him when he's eating. He seems disorientated and gets lost in his cage. It's a shame I can't handle him. Any advice. Do you think it's just part of his disorder?
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:33 PM   #2
sarahbutterflies
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Default Re: biting issues

I am not familiar with this disorder. Did this biting behavior start when you found out he had the disorder? I would just suggest not trying to handle him. Hamsters don't necessarily need human interaction and you said it stresses him out so it would be best to limit his stress especially since he is pretty old too. Maybe you can hand feed him some treats if you still want some interaction with him. You said he chews stuff in the cage, does that mean bars of the cage or things he's supposed to chew on like chew sticks? You also said he gets pretty disoriented in his cage, is there any way you can put him in a smaller cage? Maybe like a bin or something narrower with walls closer together, that way it's easier for him to lean on and find his way around plus there is less empty space in the middle. You could also add more structures in the middle area, things that he could get familiar with and would be able to move around easier.
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Old 12-27-2019, 05:16 PM   #3
Ria P
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: biting issues

My diabetic dwarf is like that. I can't handle him at all because he bites and got all frantic when i tried. Like yours, i can stroke him briefly when he's occupied with eating or drinking. I goes into a mug though and i can transfer him from his bin cage to his play bin. Tbh, i don't think there's anything we can do about our dwarves' behaviour aside from accepting them the way they are.
I believe that the twirling disorder is a neurological disorder but please correct me if i'm wrong someone.
I'd keep a close eye on him to assess his quality of life should he become more disorientated and make sure that his set up is safe in case he bumps into things and consider fall risks but i wouldn't insist on handling him even with thick gloves on if it stresses him out.
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:52 AM   #4
minnieandhammy
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: scotland
Posts: 59
Default Re: biting issues

Hi. thanks for your replies. Yes he did get bitey when this disorder set in. He used to nibble me that's all. he does like to snatch treats from me. he has a big cage but he seems happy in it. I will probably carry on as I am doing. I'm too scared now to risk getting bitten and I suppose it is caused by his disorder. The twirling is a neurological condition and it is like obsessive compulsive disorder. He seems happy though and is better when not stressed.
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handle, round, disorder, cage, hands, jersey, scared, bare, advice, part, eating, stroke, bites, disorientated, shame, lost, stuff, half, male, issues, russian, hamster, thick, gloves, chewing

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