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Old 05-25-2022, 02:49 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 1
Question New Hamster Huffing?

Hi everyone!
Apologies for the obscure title but I wasnít sure how else to word it. I brought my first hamster (Nimbus) home this Saturday passed, so heís been here 5 days. I let him have a few days to settle and started offering him small bits of food yesterday to get him used to me which was going fine.
However, Iíve noticed that he has started sneezing? Sometimes it sounds like heís just huffing/sniffing really intensely, or like hes trying to squeak but itís not a pure squeak sound if that makes sense? I was previously using a mixture of aspen and paper bedding but had a panic that maybe he was allergic to the wood, so have just changed it out for paper only. I feel I may have overreacted as Iím obviously not familiar with hamsters yet and maybe itís just how he sounds I dunno.. so Iím worried Iíve caused him more stress from displacing him so soon but I understand allergies can be really serious for them.
Heís just fallen asleep in his food bowl which Iíve not seen him do before and Iím assuming is because heís been unsettled and feels safer there at the moment.
Iíve tried searching for the sounds he makes on YouTube for a reference point or clarification and Iíve not been able to find one that fits.. does anyone have any wisdom to offer? I did a lot of research before I brought him home but now heís here Iím really worried Iím not doing whatís best for him

TLDR: Nimbus is making strange noises, I suspect itís an allergy so Iíve changed to paper only bedding, but Iím not sure and panicking.
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Old 05-26-2022, 07:48 AM   #2
Ria P
House of Hamsters
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 7,096
Default Re: New Hamster Huffing?

Hello and welcome to HC!

Paperbased substrate like Kaytee clean and cozy is pretty good so could be the Aspen. Some hamsters are intolerant to certain types of sand as well.

It may not be an allergy though.
New hamsters can be quite vocal and many hamsters stay vocal throughout their lives.

My Syrian Rodney makes a sound i call chirping which is a mixture between a squeak and a sneeze. He does that when he's annoyed with me or he wants to complain about something.
At first i was alarmed because i thought it was a sneeze but was able to tell by his body language that he was trying to tell me something.

One of my foster hamsters who was adopted started sneezing in his new home. He was on Kaytee and Aspen. He never sneezed here and was on Kaytee but as it turned out, he was allergic to Aspen. Once his new family changed his entire habitat to Kaytee clean and cozy, he was fine and stopped sneezing.

It's not unusual for hamsters to change their sleeping place temporarily when something has unsettled them.

I'd leave him to settle in for a couple of weeks but observe him closely in case there is a health issue. If the sounds get worse or increase in frequency, his breathing changes or he starts coughing or his eyes are affected indicating a respiratory problem then i'd definitely get him checked by a vet.
Housemate of Jack & Clive & Finley & Bernard & Lilly

always in my thoughts Percy, Henry, Gordon, Edwina, Clarissa, Betsy, Ozzy, Monty, Romy, Gertie, Rory, Rodney and Scottie
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