Dwarf Hamster biting?

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Dwarf Hamster biting?

Post by Colors on Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:24 pm

Hey everyone! Knowing this forum is about mice, I was glad to find this section because I currently am having problems with my much-loved Hybrid dwarf hamster, Willow. We have a very strong bond, and I love her to the end of the earth. I've had her for about a year, and started training her some tricks recently. After about a week of training she went frantic and almost jumped off the shelf we were working on. I picked her up and she froze in my hand, looking terrified. I quickly put her back in her tank, and I left her alone for a few days. Today I came back to her to fill up her food bowl and see if she wanted any attention. She jumped into my hand, and I started to pet her, but then she grabbed my finger. It barely hurt and she didn't break any skin, but I'm worried that our bond was hurt. Could I have overworked her during training or something? I'm so worried about her.  Tearful

I should add that nothing drastic (other than training) has happened since I've gotten her. But I have just thought about something that could be a problem, but I'm not sure. I have four shelves holding all my pets. All my pets are different species. I have a mouse in one tank, and a hermit crab in another. Could smelling another species of animal disturb the natural behavior of another? I've always had this setup, so it's not much different than a year ago when I got her. She has all the necessities in her cage and has always been very social with me.
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Re: Dwarf Hamster biting?

Post by scaredymouse on Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:03 am

I doubt that the smell from any of your other animals had anything to do with your hamsters reaction. Those smells are familiar tho her and it's unlikely that this would change now. I'm not sure what you were trying to teach her but unless you were physically forcing her to do it, I doubt that you pushed her too far... If you had pushed her too far, I would expect her to whip around and bite you immediately. It sounds like she just got spooked on the shelf and it could have been any number if things... an unfamiliar sound, sudden movement, or an unfamiliar smell.

I wouldn't worry about her, dwarf hammies are notorious for being grouchy sometimes. I've got 2 robos, 4 dwarfies, and 3 Syrians, and sometimes they just do goofy stuff. I really don't think the bite was related to the incident on the shelf. The bite was most likely either an accident or she smelled something on your hands (food lotion, soap). Also, if she was mad, you would have been bleeding. They can bite hard when they want to! One if my hams is diabetic and I have to give her insulin injections twice a day. Sometimes she thanks me with a real good chomp.

So, I see the sort of behaviours you're describing in my dwarves and wouldn't consider it be very serious on it's own. I will say, however, that changes in behavior can sometimes be a symptom of illness. But if this is an isolated incident and there are no other symptoms (loss of appetite, lethary, cool body temp, etc), then I don't think they is any cause for concern.

Hamsters are such wonderful little pets. I can't believe Katie (my dwarf) tolerates getting shots every day! But she does and she still loves me. She always wants to come out and sit on my lap or run around the room. I hope things get back to normal for you soon!

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Re: Dwarf Hamster biting?

Post by Colors on Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:51 am

Thanks. Last night I was able to hold her a little longer before she nipped me. I think she just wants left alone, something I'm not good at. But the little sweetheart deserves it! Very Happy
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