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Old 03-09-2021, 07:10 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Default Stuck in the bars

Ok, the little hammie (a Cambells or Winter White cross) is in a cage rated for dwarf hamsters and has been just fine. For some reason after we went to bed last night he got the urge to force his head far enough through the bars that he got stuck, standing on his tip-toes. I don't know how long he was like that, but found him at 7:30 this morning still trying to get free. I ended up disassembling the cage and forcing the bars well apart and finally got him out. His good eye (the other has the start of cataracts) was very sunken into his skull and I assume he had been rubbing it against the bars while attempting to free himself, judging from the state of the fur around it.

I put him in his play yard to see how he was navigating around. He went into the little box we have for him in it, took an epic pee, and then hunched in a corner of the box. I gave him a saucer of water that he drank rather vigorously a seed and a tiny bit of carrot, both of which he ate. He then went back to his corner of his box and turned his back. He is responding to my voice, but I am thinking he literally cannot see me now.

After it became apparent he didn't want to come back out of the box I put the entire little box back in his cage. He came out and sniffed, and then went back into his corner.

I assume we're dealing with a bit of shock here, and some irritation or damage to his eye. I am checking on him every five minutes or so, without disturbing him. I am not sure what else I should do?

(I am phoning the vet later when they open.)

Last edited by Mom; 03-09-2021 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Stuck in the bars


How awful for him, it must have been very scary and traumatic. What cage is it? Often, as you probably know, things are labelled suitable for certain species and aren't.

Hopefully he hasn't done any damage. It may be worth trying to get a tank style or bin cage to ensure it doesn't happen again
Feel free to ask me about rat advice too
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:23 AM   #3
Ria P
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Stuck in the bars

Poor little thing!
My tiny dwarf stuck her head through a small decorative hole of her house and i found her like that in the morning, trapped by her neck. She has a different house now.
No lasting damage done and i hope your little dwarf will be fine as well.
I'd get his eye checked by a vet in case he needs some pain relief and he'll need a different cage of course.
He'll get over it eventually but watch out. Chances are that he'd do exactly the same again, given the chance.
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& lodgers Peppe & Pixie
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Old 03-09-2021, 09:56 AM   #4
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Location: North of England
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Default Re: Stuck in the bars

I agree, I would get him checked over by a vet. Eye damage can be very painful and also lead to other things.

I’d also measure the bar spacing. Anything bigger than 1cm bar spacing is too big for a dwarf hamster (and also for a Syrian hamster). For dwarf hamsters, 7 mm bar spacing is ideal but there aren’t that many cages with 7mm bar spacing. 1cm should be fine unless it’s a Roborivski and they do need narrow bar spacing. Even 1.2cm is too big. It’s partly why some dwarf hamster owners use tank style enclosures. Personally I prefer cages for the ventilation and interaction - providing the height and bar spacing are ok.
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Old 03-09-2021, 05:14 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Default Re: Stuck in the bars

He's ok now.

His cage was rated as one of the best for dwarf hamsters. What we think is that he managed to climb up a bit, from his platform (that has wire cage around it - the rest is in solid plastic) was standing up on some of the bars and slipped so that his front top teeth went down over the bars. He could not get his footing again with his back legs, so he was left wedged in. When I found him I had to bend the bars quite a bit to be able to turn him sideways to get his head out of there.

His cage has just been reconfigured. He no longer has a ramp up to the platform (which he really liked to hang out on). There are now tubes from the floor up to where the wheel tunnel attaches, so he can still get to his wheel. But he no longer has access to the bars at all. New water bottle holder, so it holds it down near the bottom of the cage instead of through the bars. So hopefully unless something truly freaky happens, he should not be able to get to the bars again for any purpose.

His eye is fine, he's had a day, and is very, very friendly now, but subdued. He was out for a while in his play yard, and got quite a bit of handling, and was happy for both. He has now been returned to his new and improved habitat and is wondering, I'm sure, where the ramp went, what the new tube goes to, and who put a brick in there!
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:25 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Default Re: Stuck in the bars

Our little hammie is definitely showing the signs of old age. He now has a cataract in one eye (not the one he bothered on the bars, above). His coat is a little bit unkept, and he doesn't seem to know we are there until we tap on the floor of the cage. At that point he comes running over to be picked up. He really is a great little hammie. I just wish we were going to have longer with him. (The vet confirmed our suspicions that he was a senior.)
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back, bars, box, cage, corner

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