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Old 06-22-2022, 04:26 PM   #1
lovehamsters01
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Default hamster nails keep growing

hi!
so, I noticed something weird with dwarf hamster Dusty. I'm pretty sure he's a Campbells but he can also be a hybrid mix of winter white and Campbells. anyways, his nails are constantly growing, and they never seem to wear down!
when I first got him several months ago, i noticed they were pretty long but I left it. about a month ago it was getting to the point where they were getting curly, so I gathered up the courage, and cut them
I have a lot of experience with cutting guinea pigs' nails, but this was my 1st time doing a hamster! it was a struggle, but manageable as he's a very tame hamster.
but recently I noticed that they got very long again and are starting to curl! he has a lot of things in his cage that should be wearing them down, but they just aren't. I don't have this problem with any of my other 3 hamsters, although none are this breed.
so I was wondering... is there any type of disorder that causes nails to grow faster than usual? does this mean his teeth also grow too fast? he doesn't have any issues eating so I'm assuming they're okay for now....
should I just keep cutting them once a month?
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:50 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

My dwarf Gertie who is a pedigree winter white has nails like that and so did dwarfs before her who were hybrids. I just keep trimming them as and when needed.

I don't think it's down to any kind of health condition and doesn't appear to affect the teeth. I sometimes rescue Robos and had to trim some Robo's nails as well.

Not so much Syrians until they get old and the nails can get long then but long nails seem to be more common in dwarfs.

I also have lots of things like wood, cork, terracotta etc in their cages but doesn't seem to make any difference.
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Old 06-23-2022, 01:42 AM   #3
cloudy
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

I do not have any advice but just wanted to say how impressed I am that you managed to cut Dustys nails! It is hard enough cutting a guinea pigs nails. I remember those days.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:12 AM   #4
Pebbles82
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

I don't think there is a disorder like that. How old is he? Older hamsters nails do grow more/quicker because they're less active. I haven't really noticed it being an issue until they are 18 months to 2 years old.

Calcium helps nail growth - does his hamster mix have the right proportions?
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Old 06-23-2022, 03:01 PM   #5
lovehamsters01
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudy View Post
I do not have any advice but just wanted to say how impressed I am that you managed to cut Dustys nails! It is hard enough cutting a guinea pigs nails. I remember those days.
aww thanks, I definitely got luck with my guinea pigs as they were the calmest sweetest little creatures but it was a lot more challenging doing Dusty! he gave me the silent treatment for the rest of the day after i cut them lol
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Old 06-23-2022, 03:10 PM   #6
lovehamsters01
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
I don't think there is a disorder like that. How old is he? Older hamsters nails do grow more/quicker because they're less active. I haven't really noticed it being an issue until they are 18 months to 2 years old.

Calcium helps nail growth - does his hamster mix have the right proportions?
that's so interesting I never thought of that
I think its balanced, he has the Science Select food pellets as his main diet which I supplement with Higgins Sunburst(I know its not the best, I ordered a seed mix from Etsy that's much healthier that's coming next week), proteins, and some fruits and vegetables
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Old 06-23-2022, 03:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

Guessing you're based in the US or Canada by the Higgins Sunburst? In that case the proper diet in the US & Canada is not going to include Sunburst - Higgins Vita Garden is the proper diet in that situation, with added Pure Bites freeze dried chicken/turkey/shrimp(or another of their safe protein options, but you could also occasionally switch things up with boiled egg for example or another high quality animal protein source).

Pelleted diets aren't really appropriate as the main diet. They don't offer a high enough enrichment value and they're not really allowing natural foraging behaviors, something you honestly cannot replicate with pelleted foods especially when they're the main diet.
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:01 PM   #8
lovehamsters01
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
Guessing you're based in the US or Canada by the Higgins Sunburst? In that case the proper diet in the US & Canada is not going to include Sunburst - Higgins Vita Garden is the proper diet in that situation, with added Pure Bites freeze dried chicken/turkey/shrimp(or another of their safe protein options, but you could also occasionally switch things up with boiled egg for example or another high quality animal protein source).

Pelleted diets aren't really appropriate as the main diet. They don't offer a high enough enrichment value and they're not really allowing natural foraging behaviors, something you honestly cannot replicate with pelleted foods especially when they're the main diet.
yes, I only just found out recently that Higgins sunburst isn't safe. I'm in the US and all the pet stores told me to get it so I was very misled. as I mentioned, I just ordered a much healthier seed mix from an Etsy seller (robin) and its coming on Tuesday. when it comes, I will stop giving them Higgins.
Thank you for letting me know about the Pure Bites, I didn't know they existed and had been giving my hamsters boiled eggs and chicken for protein. I will look into getting Pure Bites asap.
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

I wouldn't risk Etsy seed mixes as a main diet honestly. Higgins Vita Garden is a much better choice in terms of making sure you have a balanced base, and that includes vitamins and minerals being added to it which can vary quite a bit with foods that don't include added ones.

Robin's in particular aren't calculated in terms of micronutrients and aren't going to be a risk free option by any means - and most definitely not a complete diet in that sense. This is unfortunately the case with a lot of foods you'll find, and even though the intentions behind them are very good it can do a lot of harm in the long run. Definitely use Higgins Vita Garden instead.
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Old 06-24-2022, 08:52 AM   #10
Pebbles82
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Default Re: hamster nails keep growing

I think boiled egg and chicken is fine for extra protein supplements though Fresh food just as good as freeze dried, if not better.

It is possible that he might have been getting too much calcium. The science selective contains everything needed (although agree a muesli mix is best unless they are old and struggling to eat). So with another mix as well as the science selective, it's possible he was getting too much calcium. A bit of a long shot maybe.

See what happens when you change hamster mix. I don't know anything about the mix you mentioned from Etsy, but Amity's recommendation is good - and carry on with your own fresh supplements.

It's good to have science selective in though. When hamsters get old, they can struggle to chew hard food and start losing weight, or have other teeth problems. Soaking a few pellets of science selective means they can still eat (soft food with all the nutrients needed). You should always still put their regular mix out as well though because even when they can't eat it properly they still like to have normal behaviours, so they still pouch and hoard it.
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