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Old 06-25-2017, 09:08 AM   #1
Chiela
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Default Mineral/salt stones

Hi guys

I just read on the danish facebook page for hamsters, that mineral/salt/calcium stones/bloks are a no no! As they should be dangerous for the hamsters intestine and kidney.

Have you guys ever heard of this?
I honestly doubt this, until someone can explain me otherwise xD
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:11 AM   #2
AprilPearl
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

Don't know too much about the ins and outs of this, but I do know that mineral stones or salt blocks are not good for hamsters. Salt is a no no, because they do not need any extra and too much can be bad for them. The mineral or calcium stones are not good, because they should be getting what they need in their mix. Any extra can lead to dangerous mineral imbalances.

I think Amityvillehams is probably the one who will be able to explain this best.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

It's pretty well known here on the forum,but not extremely widespread around the entire hamster community as far as I'm aware.Any sort of mineral or vitamin or salt etc stone wouldn't be safe as that page would state,not only for intestine and kidney related problems but because it would also affect the overall health(dietary imbalances etc which could end up leading to a generally unhealthy hamster)and in the case of salt it would cause dehydration.Excess salt is no good for any creature

I know it can be very confusing,especially since there are some people with the opinion that if a hamster isn't chewing on them excessively they're fine(not really true though,as even a tiny bit over what is necessary in any particular vitamin or mineral etc can cause very serious health problems).
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:24 AM   #4
Chiela
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

Excuse me my language but damn...

I had bought a mineral stone for Isa, as to the vet told me she needed it, because her jaw was a bit loose, even though she gets high quality food (all in one pellets).
The salt stone made sense for me as to the small size of a hamster but I honestly thought the others where okay/safe.

So thank you guys. I have taken it out of her cage, no more mineral stones for Isa.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:44 AM   #5
AprilPearl
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

I wouldn’t want you to go against what your vet had told you to do. I think the no mineral stone thing is to stop a hamster getting an imbalance, by taking in too much extra on top of what they need (which should be amply supplied in the main food). If the vet thinks Isa’s loose jaw is down to having a deficiency (because she needs more minerals) then that would suggest that her food may not have everything she needs in it. I know that none of the pellet foods available for syrians are any good - only Harry hamster muesli is of a good enough quality and that is not pelleted. So, I assume (especially considering your avatar) that Isa is not a syrian - I am thinking a robo? I have never had a robo, so I can’t say what food is best for them, but perhaps if you say what you are feeding then someone else can advise. Was the vet a small animal expert? I think one of the problems with mineral stones is that you can’t control exactly how much they eat. A hamster might need more minerals, but chew/lick the stone too much and therefore end up with a dangerous excess. In my experience, though, the problem is usually that hamsters will ignore them! So, if she does need more minerals, you might think that by providing a mineral stone you have solved the issue when in fact you have not! A better way of getting more minerals in would be to feed supplements. Or, maybe even a good quality probiotic, if that would help. That way you know she is getting not too much and not too little. Did the vet say what exactly she is deficient in?
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

Supplements are a risk too.It's best to just stick with the highest quality diet that provides appropriate vitamins and minerals,rather than having to add more.Pelleted foods aren't great for any species though,so you'd need a very good mix instead(Burgess dwarf being best,so take some time and figure out a way to get that as it would have everything necessary and provide appropriate nutrition).

Veterinarians can be a bit unreliable sometimes when it comes to nutritional advice and general care It's very unfortunate,but their education focuses on medical rather than nutritional so you can't exactly expect them to be nutrition experts by any means!

I'd definitely work on getting her onto a better food that is truly species appropriate(one that actually allows foraging behavior which is essential),and determining if this loose jaw situation really affects her in any way rather than assuming it's a definite problem(which it might not be,or it could be entirely unrelated to an inadequate diet!).
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

I personally would listen to your vet. If they're an experienced exotics veterinarian, they'll know what they're talking about. Whilst a good diet can improve issues quite a lot, supplements are occasionally needed. Leaving the block in with close supervision is unlikely to hurt your ham- especially if your vet feels they need it. I'd keep the salt lick out as she will be getting all the salt she needs from her mix, but it won't hurt to let her have the mineral chew in for short periods of time just so she has a few nibbles to ensure she is getting the extra nutrients she needs
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:29 AM   #8
Chiela
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

Isa is a syrian ^^ she is my daughters hamster.
This little girl --> Say hi to Isabeau!
My avatar is my now deceased Gill and he was a robo ^^

I completely agree on the vet issue, not all of them have enough knowledge on the small rodents, not in denmark anyway, that's why i asked you guys ^^
Now the vet I have is one of the top vet's for rodents here, so I can't get one better, as all vet's will tell you to go to this one.

As for her diet I was giving her Burgess, but the little lady have a specific idea of what she should eat and what not to, so I was told to get some all in one pellets.
She is getting :
Science Selective Hamster
Protein 19.0%, Crude fibre 5.0%, Fat content 5.0%, Inorganic matter 5.5%.
Brit Animals Hamster Complete
Crude protein 17.0% Crude fat 4.5% Crude fiber 5.0% Crude cheese 4.0% Water 10.0% Calcium 0.6% Phosphorus 0.6% Sodium 0.03%
And the of course she gets vegetables, treats and fresh apple branches.
So I do believe her diet is a good quality and varied.

This loose jaw situation was really a surprise for me really as she have no problems eating the branches or nuts or so on, I am not so sure it is something that affects her in any way, if it is at all. I am thinking that the vet has over analyzed what ever she thought she saw, and she is a good vet, but as you also stated, i can be a problem getting a vet that know enough about rodents, but when that is said, I of course want to make sure that Isa's diet is a good quality.

But i have started to give her sesame seeds for the mineral issue, as i was told by someone I trust this is a good source.
Also just to make clear, Isa didn't really eat/lick this mineral stone, but i don't want her getting something that can be really bad for her ^^
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

I'd try Harry Hamster then.It's a very good choice for Syrians,and would be a lot better than your current diet.The main diet's variety is what is most important,and while extras can be good they don't get factored into how varied the most significant portion of a diet is(which currently is fairly low,and needs work).Burgess' Syrian food isn't that good anyways(their dwarf food is excellent though).Selective feeding with Harry Hamster is relatively unheard of anyways,although with other foods it's more common.

From my perspective the loose jaw is fairly unlikely to be coming from a diet problem,as it's most likely something related to a prior injury(among other things).
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Mineral/salt stones

The vet is better qualified than you are Amityville. You haven't even seen the hamster in question.

If an all in one food was recommended. I wouldn't change the diet to Harry hamster or any other muesli as the hamster is likely to only eat part of the mix again, which could cause a nutrient unbalance.
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