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Old 01-10-2017, 11:51 PM   #1791
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Charlie's thread

Charlie had some out of cage time last night. I decided to do one of his old favourite things and have a carrot hay house on the sofa for him - he used to spend ages in that pulling it to pieces inside. The one in his pet carrier had got a bit manky so had a new one arrive recently. I also got a few monkey nuts out. Apparently if they can pick up a monkey nut in their teeth it's a sign their teeth aren't too long.

He is looking very old now. Other half comments on it when he sees him. But then he is very old! I got him out later than usual to see if he was a bit more sprightly late at night. He got quite excited about a piece of chicken and ate that straight away then wandered around in the monkey nuts. He didn't try to pick one up but found a broken one that was already cracked open partly and nibbled at that and pulled a nut out and pouched it. He seemed to doze off a bit sitting on top of the pile of monkey nuts. Then went into the little hay house. He didn't chew anything in there but had a little doze in there too. He does seem like quite a tired little old man and he pants a lot.

Then, as ever, he surprised me. Once I took the hay house away and there was nothing to hide in he wanted to be off! As he seems to still like jumping off things with abandon, I now put two cushions on the floor at the edge of the sofa and he jumps onto the top cushion, then the second cushion and then nips around quite quickly. Last night he sort of rolled onto the floor from the second cushion, but it doesn't seem to bother him and he just gets up and nips around. He had a little bit of investigation near the coal scuttle where some Christmas toys are on the floor, as that was different, and then headed back towards his cage, but then had another little explore on the floor round there rather than sitting looking up at his cage, as he usually does when he wants to go back in. A few changes round there as well after a bit of a clear out and clean up in that area so clearly it needed investigating. Then popped him back in his cage where he found his veg, baby food and science selective, pouched those and had a drink.

When he first went back in his cage he tried to pouch half a cashew nut on his ledge and seemed to be having difficulty with it. I'm not sure if it's because he doesn't use his front paws to pouch sometimes (presumably to keep his balance) or if it's a pouch/oral thing, but he was struggling a bit so I lifted him up a bit to see what's what and try and help. The nut seemed to go in better when he was being held at a slight angle and all I could see was his tongue trying to pouch it.

And I thought at first he had no bottom teeth. All I could see was mouth and tongue. So had a bit of a look a few minutes later - and he does have bottom teeth! It was hard to tell exactly how long they are and I didn't want to frazzle him too much so just popped him back in the cage again.

I think maybe they are getting a bit long at the bottom - with him not picking up a whole monkey nut (but that could have just been tiredness and picking an easy option), and with him having a bit of difficulty pouching the half cashew nut (which isn't very big and not bulky) - but he can eat - he ate the chicken and he nibbled the shell open on the end of the partly cracked nut and got a nut out of it and pouched that.

So I'll see how he goes. He seems so old and frail sometimes I'm not keen on taking him to the vets for a tooth clip - but if he starts to have real difficulty eating I may have to.

Have a little video but haven't uploaded it yet.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:17 AM   #1792
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Default Re: Charlie's thread

Charlie's out of cage time sounds lovely! It is sad watching them age & noticing how old & frail they can look sometimes but Charlie still sounds as though he has plenty of go in him when in the mood & is clearly enjoying life in his own way bless him

It doesn't sound as though he's having too much trouble with his teeth at the moment but it is worth keeping an eye on (at least they grow slower in winter so it won't become an issue quite as quickly as it could), I know it is hard deciding whether the stress of a vet visit is worth it or not but if they do seem to be causing him problems then that can cause quite a lot of discomfort & even pain as well as the eating issues so it may be worth going if you think they need a trim.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:37 AM   #1793
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Default Re: Charlie's thread

Thanks Cypher. I didn't know that teeth grew slower in winter! I totally agree though - that the need to have them trimmed if they cause him problems, outweighs the stress of a vet visit - I shall keep checking
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:16 AM   #1794
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Default Re: Charlie's thread

Maybe I'm saying something stupid but, maybe it's only that their teeth hurt, like when humans have tooth ache, could it be possible? Maybe that's why he doesn't want to chew hard things, and not because his teeth are too long, but obviously if he doesn't use them so much I understand your concern of them being too long.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:41 AM   #1795
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No it's not stupid at all! I was thinking the same thing, that he may just have toothache. If he's teeth aren't too long then toothache probably explains it I need to get a good look at the bottom teeth - I think they may be a bit too long though so don't want it getting out of hand. He had them trimmed in July which is a long time ago now.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:53 AM   #1796
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Default Re: Charlie's thread

Dear old Charlie, do so love reading about his exploits whether he is in action mode or taking the lazier option! It is also interesting to know what an elderly Ham can manage and what are the problems and their signals. Half a cashew nut is a favourite here and of Charlie's so not being able to manage that shows he needs watching.
He may look elderly and a bit frail now but he still loves life and is our favourite grumpy old ham. Next time you see him, wish him well from here. Great role model for Mocho who makes 22months old today!
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:43 PM   #1797
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Just had a catch up on Charlie's thread . It's hard watching them when they get older and start to struggle a bit but it seems like Charlie is still very much enojying himself even if it is at a slower pace.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:10 PM   #1798
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Just popped in, after being gone for much toooo long! How old is Charlie? I remember when you got him..

Hamsters that are in their elder age, their teeth become brittle sometimes. It's difficult for them to eat hard food. When my hamsters age, I crush up the hamster food, mix with warm water, to make a paste texture. I also add crushed block food to baby porridge, which my hamsters really enjoy.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:16 PM   #1799
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Default Re: Charlie's thread

Ooh - I told Charlie lots of his old pals just popped up and he smiled (sort of). Lovely to hear from Ruby and Teddy - thanks! I think you're right Teddy - he is maybe just having difficulty eating and it's an age thing. He does get crushed/softened Science Selective and baby food Don't you just wish they could talk? And say Mum - it's this bit that's the problem!

Lol Teddy - yes he does seem to have been around a long time! He is 31 months old now.

Charlie waves to Mocho I can't believe Mocho is 22 months!
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:31 PM   #1800
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WOW!!! Charlie's a very good age!! You've taken such great care of Charlie.. xx
Another soft food I fed my elder hamsters, is tofu. My oldest hamster I've had lived to 3 yrs 5 months..

Hugs to you & Charlie xx
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