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Old 08-03-2017, 10:45 PM   #1
Kippynugget
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Question Hammy changed personality

Hello, looking for a bit of advice if that's ok. We'be had our female Syrian, Nugget for just under 3 months now. After we initially tamed her she was very active, she loved her wheel, would run all over her cage and burrow constantly. She also always came out to see us and would climb up to the door to have a cuddle.

The last month or so she has completely changed. She sleeps ALL the time, I've been up at 2am, 5am and she is always in her nest. I can also tell that she hasn't been active because I remove all of the substrate from her wheels to check whether she has been on them and literally nothing has moved in the cage. She is far more cautious than she used to be and she just seems to show no interest in anything unless it's food.

She has a very large cage (Alexander), a 12" wheel and a 12" flying saucer plus lots of tubes etc. I just feel that she is really unhappy and I don't know how to make her happy!

please help, it's really getting me down

Thank you from Amy and Nugget x
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:51 PM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

The first two possibilities that come to mind are either that it's too hot which can make them very inactive or she is unwell, they can be good at hiding signs of illness but being reclusive & inactive may be a sign that something is wrong.
Is she eating, drinking, pooing etc as normal?
Has anything changed in her environment, any other animals around or anything else you can think of that might be disturbing her?
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:05 PM   #3
Kippynugget
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

Thank you Cypher! I'm in the UK and it's been quite mild the last couple of weeks. She was fine through our heat wave which was around 6 weeks ago.

I picked her up a couple of days ago to check her over, her eyes were bright, her fur is looking good and she is still washing. She is still eating all of her food and will come out when I scatter feed. Her poo seems normal. She has put on a lot of weight though- she's completely stopped running on her wheels though so she isn't getting any excercise apart from when I can coax her out and get her to run around in the bathroom.

There's two things I was wondering if it was. I moved her nest down from the wooden shelf to the substrate about 4 weeks ago because she wees and poos in her nests and it was seeping out under the nest. I thought she had adjusted ok but maybe that upset her? The other thing I found out is that I've been over feeding her. I had been giving her veg every single night and topping up her dry food every single night so I've cut that back over the past week or so as she has got so fat and lazy.

How do I put this right she is my first hamster and I've tried really hard to give her the very best of everything, I just want her to be happy but she seems really unhappy.

Thank you xx
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:11 PM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

Hams don't usually overeat & rarely get fat, I give veg every day & think that's fine, normally is you give too much of the dry mix they tend to make a really big hoard or leave it where it is rather than eat too much, all the same it is best not to over feed them so cutting back any excess is a good idea, she should need about a tablespoon of mix daily.

Moving her nest could have upset her quite a lot, they can be very sensitive to things like that but do normally adjust after a while, can you paint the shelf with plastikote to protect it & then give her the opportunity to move back where she was? That would mean taking the shelf out for a day though while you painted it & let it dry.
It does sound as though she's not showing any obvious signs of ill health but I'm really not sure what else to suggest other than the changes you mentioned that might be causing the lack of activity.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:28 AM   #5
Kippynugget
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
Hams don't usually overeat & rarely get fat, I give veg every day & think that's fine, normally is you give too much of the dry mix they tend to make a really big hoard or leave it where it is rather than eat too much, all the same it is best not to over feed them so cutting back any excess is a good idea, she should need about a tablespoon of mix daily.

Moving her nest could have upset her quite a lot, they can be very sensitive to things like that but do normally adjust after a while, can you paint the shelf with plastikote to protect it & then give her the opportunity to move back where she was? That would mean taking the shelf out for a day though while you painted it & let it dry.
It does sound as though she's not showing any obvious signs of ill health but I'm really not sure what else to suggest other than the changes you mentioned that might be causing the lack of activity.
Thank you so much I will let her be and hope that she slowly gets her confidence back. I'll leave her nest alone from now on, I didn't realise that they messed in their own nests- it gets so wet so quickly I always worry about her skin
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:02 AM   #6
souffle
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

It could be that it is just her change of cage layout but a weight gain in a youngster like this and the lethargy is concerning. Weight gain does not always mean laziness but could indicate something amiss inside. It may be that it is not weight as such but something like bloating due to fluid retention which can have a number of causes ranging from heart problems to kidney or even chewing the water bottle spout. Weight can also go up with the growth of a tumour inside or a womb infection where the womb fills with pus and adds weight. It may be worth having her checked over by the vet to put your mind to rest. Such behaviors or indeed any change are always possibly an indication that something is not right somewhere.
I do hope she is just needing time to adjust. I would keep giving the daily veg if she is used to that.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:08 AM   #7
cypher
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

They don't normally pee that much so it should take a while for the nest to get wet even when they pee in there so I'm wondering if another thing to consider could be a UTI, often the only signs of that you'll see are increased drinking/peeing & a change in behaviour.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:29 AM   #8
Kippynugget
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

Thank you so much, something just doesn't feel right- she was such a happy girl and now she just seems off. I'll take her to the vet as soon as possible. How do I actually tell if a hamster is over weight? I've never owned one before and obviously she is getting bigger because she is growing. She just seems large to me but I don't know whether I'm being unfair calling her fat!! She just feels podgy when I pick her up- should I be able to feel her ribs etc.?

Thank you so much for both of your help- its very appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

I have an obese WW hybrid. She runs on the wheel (Silent Runner) but she is huge. She eats everything in her food dish every night except the food she picks out of the seed mix. I guess it's my fault for making sure she has plenty of food. I hope Souffles post doesn't apply to Lilyanna. So some hams can get fat & she is a sleeper too, hardly ever see her.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:28 AM   #10
cypher
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Default Re: Hammy changed personality

It's a bit hard to describe really as I think maybe judging the correct weight is something that comes with experience, you shouldn't be able to feel ribs or see the spine or anything like that, they vary so much in size you do have to go more by feel but a photo might help if you have one.
Good luck at the vet, let us know how you get on.
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