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Old 02-22-2017, 02:38 AM   #1
Euan
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Post Snuffly Squeaks

Hello,

A bit of background first, my wife and I recently acquired a winter white hamster from a friend who no longer wanted their hamster. We think he's between 6 - 8 months old and we found out he had never been handled, poor thing! So we quickly tried to get him used to us after letting him settle into his new surroundings, he now will happily come to us get seeds and other treats and doesn't mind being touched and petted, though he will nibble quite hard if you leave your hand still for long enough.

However, yesterday he started making a noise that I can only describe somewhere between a snuffle and squeak. We think he only makes it when he knows we're about, the noise is not constant. If I interact with him in his cage he will happily come to my hand for treats and his ears remain upright and doesn't seem to be scared. He's also eating and drinking as normal.

Can anyone offer insight into what you think is going on? I don't want to be inadvertently terrorising the poor guy!
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:44 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Snuffly Squeaks

Russian hams can be very vocal so it's hard to say what this may be about, does he do it while out & about in the cage or just in his house/hideout?
If it's intermittent then I doubt it would be a health or substrate issue.
They do make various noises if afraid or trying to protect their territory but that's normally either a kind of hiss or screech.They can also seem quite happy to interact then suddenly get scared again so it can be a bit confusing in the early stages.
It may just be that he's still settling in, go slow with him & don't try to rush anything & he should be ok.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:46 AM   #3
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Smile Re: Snuffly Squeaks

That makes me feel happier about the noises he's making! We were just un-nerved as it started all of a sudden are having him for a three months.

It's only when he's out and about, both in and out of the cage. Sometimes he makes the noise for a little while after going back to his house but usually stops after a minute or two.

Well he seems happy to interact and be petted and will come to our hands for treats. He only nibbles/bites after a few minutes of sniffing around and exhausting all treats if they're available. So would you say that's just a case of taking time and making sure our hands are clean of scents?
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Snuffly Squeaks

I didn't realise you'd had him that long, it does seem odd that he would suddenly begin making noises after that length of time but if he seems fine otherwise then I don't think it's a cause for concern really.
Some can be a bit prone to nibbling or biting after taking treats, most usually grow out of it but if he hasn't try not to respond at all if he does manage a nibble but also try to avoid it by either gently removing your hand or putting him down if you hold him before he gets a chance , if he keeps doing it you could try just putting treats down in front of him when he comes to you for a while so he gets over the fingers might be food or I might get more if I bite behaviour!
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Snuffly Squeaks

Yeah he seems fine otherwise, and he only makes the noise when we're about and he knows we're in the room.

We'll try a few things around picking him up and putting him down gently before he gets the chance to bite and putting his sun flower seeds in front of him to disassociate fingers and food.
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Snuffly Squeaks

I can't believe he wasn't handled. It's great that he likes being petted. Fingers crossed he'll grow out of nibbling/biting.
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Snuffly Squeaks

Hmm, has anything changed in the last three months? Anything new? Are they just when you go to interact with him?
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Snuffly Squeaks

He's probably getting all excited at the thought of treats Or just saying hello.
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:24 AM   #9
Euan
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Default Re: Snuffly Squeaks

It's normally just when he's out and about and realises there's someone in the room, he starts making that noise. The only "recent" change was about a month ago we worked out he loves sunflower seeds so we use those as treats now, but he only started making that noise this week.

I'm not that bothered by the biting/nibbling if that's just his personality then that's fine, just want to make sure we're not unintentionally terrorising or upsetting him.
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