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Old 11-02-2014, 06:03 PM   #1
vonedaddy
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Default Wheel too small?

I recently bought our new Winter White (our first hamster) a 4.5 wheel and she slightly bends her back when she runs on it. This is my 11 year old daughters hamster and she is VERY over protective of it. She came to me today and said the wheel it too small because she has to bend her back t run on it.

I was wondering if someone here can tell me if this is the case. The folks at the pet store said it would be fine, but I am sure they are not specialist so I am counting on the knowledge here to help.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:06 PM   #2
NiceCrocs
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

A 4.5 inch wheel is too small for almost any hamster, except the very tiniest of robos, but definitely too small for a winter white. You'll want to get at LEAST 6.5 inches, some suggest a full 8 inch wheel for winter whites.

When they run, a hamsters spine should be completely straight, and their necks should not be bent. Running arched or bent can result in very painful spinal and hip problems.

Pet shop employees tend to be very, very unknowledgeable about small pets. One once tried to convince me to let my robo hamster live with my syrian hamster. Yeah, if I was looking for a bloodbath that might be a good idea. >_>
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

Also, if you don't know about it, do NOT buy a wheel made of wire mesh or rungs. These can be very dangerous, as a hamster foot can get stuck or injured on it. Get a plastic wheel with a solid running surface
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:11 PM   #4
vonedaddy
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

Thanks, I really wish I would have read more or asked questions before buying this pet. It has me stressed out. I have plenty more questions, but I will ask in the correct location.
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:46 PM   #5
DrKMcK
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

Hello again vonedaddy. It really is just so unfair that stores keep selling things that really aren't appropriate. I threw my little silent spinner out and my dwarf hammy has a 8.5 inch Silent Spinner (actually he has 3, I switch them because dwarfies have the habit of peeing on their wheels a lot. I take one out and put a clean one in then I clean the dirty one at my leisure. ) The Wodent Wheels are great too, but a pain to clean. I use one of those in Almond's playpen. no reason, just that I have 2 of them after trying new wheels for my syrians. The big hams now have Carolina Storm wheels. I am up to my eyeballs in wheels LOL. Don't stress it too much. Change the wheel when you can. You are going to find out tons of info on here, lots of it very non-stressful.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:32 PM   #6
Arwen Undomiel
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

I bought a 4.5" Silent Spinner for my dwarf hamster today. Here in Brazil it's REALLY difficult to find good wheels, so my options were the small silent spinner, the biggest silent spinner(would take A LOT of space of the cage), or a proper size but wire mesh wheel. I was definitely not buying a wire mesh wheel, since hamster can get their feet stuck there and break their limbs. I went to around 6 different pet stores, and checked dozens of online ones and still couldn't find a good wheel. I know 4.5" is not the ideal size, but hopefully I'll be going to the USA soon(in a few months) and I'll buy good quality toys and better wheel.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:28 AM   #7
racinghamster
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

Larger wheels are fine, but the medium, or 6.5" inch silent spinner is a very good size for a Russian dwarf, Chinese or even Roborovsi hamster. There are also the Wodent Wheels manufactured in the US, or Comfort wheels, but as long as the diameter is 6.5"/7" or more and not runged/spoked or meshed, the wheel will be fine. A solid running surface ensures safety. x
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:00 AM   #8
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

Join the club! I bought a snazzy rotostak unit with integrated wheel and binned the lot after 3 weeks - ouch my purse. I now have an 80cm x 50cm cage, a 12" wheel for a syrian, a rat sized hanging sputnik and a very large syrian hamster who really needs a 100cm cage! At least Winter Whites don't get too big lol! Once you get the cage and the wheel right it gets easier - and it is quite a joy to see the change in their behaviour when they are in a good sized cage. Ours was very nervy and unhappy the first two weeks after the move to the bigger cage, but after that he was happy as larry, exploring, laying down on the ground looking contented and playing games leaping out of his wheel. It's a bit of hassle at first, but it's worth it. As for the wheel, apart from avoiding pain long term for the hamster, it will also avoid vet bills in the future, having the right sized wheel.

These are the wheels mentioned
16.5cm silent spinner
Kaytee/Superpet Silent Spinner, 4.5-inch, Mini (Various Colours): Amazon.co.uk: Pet Supplies

20cm wodent wheel
Wodent Exercise Wheel Junior on Sale | Free UK Delivery | PetPlanet.co.uk

20cm trixie wheel (popular 'copy' of the wodent wheel)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trixie-Exerc...s=trixie+wheel

I think I'd go for the last one, the Trixie wheel - they're very popular, Erin's Hamsters recommends them and better a bit big than a bit small. I believe a smaller hamster can easily run in an 8" wheel, but correct me if I'm wrong people.

If an 8" wheel doesn't fit in the cage then the cage is too small! That'll probably be the next thing to think about - what cage do you have? They need quite a bit of space as they're energetic.
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:28 AM   #9
lonelygoldfish
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

I'd recommend either the 6.5" Silent Spinner or the 20cm Trixie Wheel. I have both of these wheels in cages in my bedroom; the Silent Spinner is completely silent, and the Trixie wheel is almost silent.

My dwarf hammies can work the Silent Spinner wheels fine, but my very lightweight Chinese hamster can't work it, hence the Trixie wheel, which he can work no problem
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:16 AM   #10
racinghamster
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Default Re: Wheel too small?

How did you get on finding a bigger wheel for your hamster vonedaddy? Look online as there will probably be a wider choice of wheels than any found in pet stores/shops. The 6.5" inch (or medium) Silent Sinner wheel is a good choice or something slightly bigger if you can find one. Just make sure it has a SOLID running surface and is safe for the hamster. Don`t bother with a hamster ball either as they are gimmicks and children really shouldn`t use one. x
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