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Old 09-18-2021, 09:53 AM   #11
ShadowNinjaHamster
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Cagewise - for a dwarf hamster you want to be looking at an enclosure that is at least 70cm by 40cm in dimension (length and width) and no taller than about 38cm. For set up - one shelf across the cage is good, a wheel, house, plenty of substrate and floor toys - cardboard tubes, hidey places etc. And food and water. So starting with an empty cage can be good.

Are you finding it ok to find substrate where you are? Paper based ones are good if you can find them. Any wood shavings need to be kiln dried and dust extracted (if it doesn't say that on the bag, don't get them). Non kiln dried pine can be harmful as it gives off chemicals that are toxic to hamsters. Hardwoods are fine. Cedar is a big no no (so you need to know what kind of wood the shavings are made from).

Chinchilla bathing sand is the safest for hamsters, or if you can get childrens play sand you can bake it in the oven to sterilise it. He might enjoy a sand bath. Just any old receptacle with some sand in. And will get into good cleaning habits himself then - they often bathe and toilet in the sand bath - but toilet in a separate bit of it usually. They nearly always poop in it, but may pee anywhere! Luckily they are such small amounts that if you can't find where it is, don't worry about it - but just spot clean any wet patches of substrate once a week maybe.

If his current cage is too small then the best thing you can do meanwhile is enrich it - add more substrate and a couple of floor toys - cardboard is your friend! Have a look at erin's hamsters videos on making toilet roll toys!

10 Toilet Roll Toys For Small Pets - YouTube

I think your hammy needs some positive distraction to help come out of himself and to balance out the negative distraction he's had with the cage clean etc. A food parcel in a toilet roll tube is one - they have to get into the toilet roll parcel to get at the food (not his main food - something extra).

When moving cages the way to do it is don't clean anything at all in the old cage - resist! Doesn't matter if it smells for two weeks but it's really important to just move everything over from the old cage to the new without cleaning anything. And try and set it up in the same layout as before. To keep everything smelling and feeling familiar. So for example if the house was back right and the wheel back left - keep that same layout. As much as possible (as you'll maybe have a new shelf or something in a new cage).

The new cage will be bigger so will take more substrate. So add some new substrate but move all the old substrate across and spread it on top - so it smells familar.

The way I do it is to give them an adjustment day - and this really helps. It can mean the difference between a hamster settling in in a few days or being severely stressed for two weeks (ie cold turkey).

So an adjustment day is. You set up the new cage with substrate and one or two toys (maybe new things) - and put one familiar toy in from his old cage. Then move the hamster in there for a play session, to explore it. If he freaks out and wants to come out again then put him back in his old cage and try again later in the day. He may just enjoy it and explore first time, but second time he will be fine.

So let him have some time in there exploring (he will sniff and check everything out and be scent marking it a bit. He may look happy and perky! Good sign.

But then put him back in his old cage for the night.

Next day move everything over. He's had a bit of familiarisation in the new cage so will settle much quicker.

When moving everything over you need to find somewhere to put the hamster. If you have a pet carrier you could pop him in there. If not then a play box maybe (high sided so he can't get out) with a bit of substrate and a tube and some food scattered.

This is another psychological thing, but what I find really helps the process is - put the hamster in another room in the box/pet carrier. So they can't hear/smell/see what you're doing! They KNOW when you're messing with their cage and get quite stressed. In another room, where it's quiet he can't smell and hear the upheaval.

But only do that if you know he's in something secure. Or if there's someone else in the room to keep an eye on him in case he does try to escape.

So with hamster out of the way, move all the old substrate out of the old cage into the new, on top of the new substrate - just press it down a bit if it ends up being too much,

Move over house, wheel, toys etc, get everything set up safely, add any new items. Keep his old nest and move that across too, inside his house and most of his hoard as well. Even if they smell! And put his hoard back in the same place.

Don't wash or clean anything - food bowl, water bottle etc. They'll be fine for a couple of weeks.

Technically they need another two weeks settling in period after a cage move, but if you do everything like that it may only need a few days and the hamster is a lot less stressed.

He'll probably go awol for a few days and hide away but then start coming out more.
Thank you for replying to me. I am in the middle of replying to you.
My hamster has bugs. I looked today. There are bugs in every single his nests but not anywhere else. Black tiny bugs. 100% sure it's not bedding or from food. The bugs are only in his nests.
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Old 09-18-2021, 11:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

Are these the same bugs as before? Do you have a photo? They won’t be from the hamster- hamster mites need to be seen under a microscope they’re so small. Any plants nearby?

This is bad news as he’s just had a full cage clean. If they’re in his nests then almost certainly hatching out from food. I think you used the same bag after the cage clean didn’t you? And it was wait and see. Did you manage to get a new bag and freeze it?
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Old 09-18-2021, 12:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

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Are these the same bugs as before? Do you have a photo? They won’t be from the hamster- hamster mites need to be seen under a microscope they’re so small. Any plants nearby?

This is bad news as he’s just had a full cage clean. If they’re in his nests then almost certainly hatching out from food. I think you used the same bag after the cage clean didn’t you? And it was wait and see. Did you manage to get a new bag and freeze it?
Yes, I do have a photo. I'm trying to figure out what those things are.

I don't think those are bed bugs, because I haven't seen them anywhere else and I saw them crawling in his nests only. I didn't destroy all of the nests. The bugs were very easy to kill, but once I killed them there was a lot of blood, which means they've probably eaten my little hamster.
Yes, I'm using the same food, I think freezing it didn't help and I have to throw it away for real. I used the same food, but different bedding.
The bugs just walked, didn't jump or anything.

Other than that me and my hamster are fairly close. I can even pet him and he comes close to me and on my hand and tries to climb up from my hand and even my playpen arrived. I can't tell if he likes it in there or not. I'm afraid if I deep clean he's cage again we'll be back to stage 1.

The new bedding and new food I have for him are still in the freezer. Do you think I should deep clean his cage again? I downloaded some app that 'recognises' bugs but it gave me different bugs every time. From bed bugs to bugs I've never heard of, but I dont have anything on my body and my sheets are clean. I don't know… Do you happen to know what those bugs are?
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Old 09-18-2021, 04:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

They will be from the food I'm afraid. That batch you had was probably full of bug eggs - they hatch out when it's nice and warm (eg under a nice warm hamster! Or in a cosy nest).

How long has the new food been in the freezer? Must be a week now.

I think it does look like you'll need to do another cage clean. Poor hammy. Do you have a spare cage? It might be easier to actually move him to another clean set up cage and then disinfect the old one. I'm guessing not - not many people have spare cages. This time after doing the cage clean, put plenty of new substrate in - it'll help keep him happy - and hide a few treats and scatter some of the new food. To help distract him.
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Old 09-18-2021, 04:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

I doubt they are blood sucking bugs but they need to go anyway.
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Old 09-19-2021, 12:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

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They will be from the food I'm afraid. That batch you had was probably full of bug eggs - they hatch out when it's nice and warm (eg under a nice warm hamster! Or in a cosy nest).

How long has the new food been in the freezer? Must be a week now.

I think it does look like you'll need to do another cage clean. Poor hammy. Do you have a spare cage? It might be easier to actually move him to another clean set up cage and then disinfect the old one. I'm guessing not - not many people have spare cages. This time after doing the cage clean, put plenty of new substrate in - it'll help keep him happy - and hide a few treats and scatter some of the new food. To help distract him.
What's interesting is the fact that I just checked his house now and there were 0 bugs, but yesterday his wooden house was filled with those bugs and they were crawling everywhere.
He was squeaking in the morning and he didn't wake up when I called him or tapped on his house. The squeaks weren't loud.

I don't have a spare cage. I do have a playpen, but I don't think he likes it in there. He doesn't play with any toys and he runs in circles and tries to get out and is looking for a way out The playpen is way bigger than his cage. At least now I can touch him and he won't startle nor freak out as he did before. He has been very friendly to me and I'm afraid by cleaning his cage (which I have to do, unfortunately) I'll stress him out and we're back to square one.

The second cage should arrive on 21st of October. Should I wait a month or deep clean it immediately when he wakes up?

Edit: Found more bugs. All of them look different, but are very small. I put my hamster into playpen, but I think he doesn't like it in there, so now he's in a shoebox and he's calm and doing something. Something with a toilet paper.

IMG 2034 - YouTube
This is how he behaves in the playpen.

Last edited by ShadowNinjaHamster; 09-19-2021 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 09-19-2021, 12:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

Is it possible he has fleas? Even though he doesn't really let me touch him can I just take him forcefully and check his body?
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Old 09-19-2021, 01:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

I'd let him walk into a mug with a treat in it and then put him on your lap while you sit in a safe area like the playpen or bath tub with a blanket down.

A hamster can get fleas from other pets like a cat or dog even without direct contact so another pet would be the source if it is fleas. He would be itching and scratching a lot but you should be able to see fleas when parting his coat.

I didn't know that but just read up on it in my hamster book.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:58 AM   #19
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

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I'd let him walk into a mug with a treat in it and then put him on your lap while you sit in a safe area like the playpen or bath tub with a blanket down.

A hamster can get fleas from other pets like a cat or dog even without direct contact so another pet would be the source if it is fleas. He would be itching and scratching a lot but you should be able to see fleas when parting his coat.

I didn't know that but just read up on it in my hamster book.
Hi, I saw only one tiny bug in his house and the app I used identified it as Heather Ladybird Ladybug.
It was a very tiny bug. I took a picture of it:

Is this a flea? I don't have any other pets and sometimes he does scratch himself, but I don't understand if he's grooming himself or not, because he seems to be grooming himself.
I saw no other bugs in his house or in his cage. I saw nothing wrong with his goat and he had hair everywhere and everything seemed to be fine. He doesn't let me hold him
He just scratched himself again, but as soon as I get close he hides himself. Two days ago he came to me and was out in the open very often, so I guess we're back at stage 1 when it comes to taming.
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Old 09-20-2021, 05:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

Do you mean you found one after the cage clean or before? I don’t think he has fleas- it’s normal to scratch and groom fairly regularly and you’d know about it if he had fleas. I am sure these bugs have hatched out from the food. Unless, possibly, you have plants nearby that have bugs on them.

Don’t worry. Yes it may set things back after another cage clean but he’ll come round again. Explain to him. The more you talk to him, the more they bond with you and I swear they listen sometimes! He’ll pick up from your tone of voice. So just tell him you’re really sorry for more upheaval again but the nasty bugs haven’t gone and this time it’ll get sorted snd he’ll soon get back to normal. Then give him a couple of days alone for a day or two after the clean - unless he shows signs of wanting to chat or come out.

The playpen behaviour is fairly normal when he’s not tame yet. He’s do the same in the bath tub (try snd climb the sides). Their instinct is to get out! It can help if you have a couple of hidey places and a tunnel in the playpen - and I also scatter some treats or food around - that can distract them. And a chew stick.

The climbing at the sides is also a bit of anxiety about his cage probably - if it’s been cleaned out recently and he can head cage noises. So just keep talking to him. He’ll soon settle again.

No don’t wait till xth October. While the bugs won’t harm your hamster, they will keep proliferating and it could then be harder to get rid - they may have lays eggs etc.

So do a full cage clean now. Make sure you get the cleaning stuff into all the crevices in the base and give the bars a good clean too (to wash off any possible eggs which won’t be visible). Using white vinegar is probably fine as that will kill any bugs or eggs (or cause then to die off). But do rinse really well afterwards so it doesn’t smell too strong of vinegar.

Once this is done then by the time the new cage comes he will be settled snd have familiar smells in the cage so don’t clean anything again until the new cage comes (except maybe a tiny bit of spot cleaning wee if it’s smelly and you actually know where he’s wee’d.). But don’t do anything for two weeks now - even if it gets a bit whiffs. If you have enough substrate in (at least 4” deep) it’ll be fine.

When he comes to moving to the new cage you can just move everything over without cleaning anything so he settles quickly.

Which cage did you go for?

The only kind of bugs that could be harmful to him are red spider mites and they don’t look like that (they do come from plants I believe). I am sure it’s from the food though as it’s the only thing that wasn’t eliminated last time and a usual source of bugs hatching out).
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