Archive for August, 2009
Hamsters are solitary creatures and their nature is very different from other pets; in terms of its feeding guide, sleep timetable, relationship with owner, handling and care.
Here are some Likes and Dislikes of Hamster mentioned; as to what they will show their pleasure and what is the situation they are likely going to resist and in the due process may even bite you.
Hamsters need time to get acquainted to new situations and to settle down with the environment; therefore don’t rush things and let the hamster go underway its own process of getting acquainted. As it can takes couple of weeks for the Hamster to get used to it.
In the due course don’t handle the hamster too much or make lots of noise around it. Also never force things on your Hamsters. Hamsters are nocturnal creatures; they sleep in the morning, so respect the Hamsters routine and make sure the Hamster gets the sleep as it will keep the Hamster to remain in a good mood for the rest of the day.
The best way to get closer to your Hamster is giving goodies, including regular food, fresh treats and special snacks. So that Hamster in the sub-conscious picture you as bearer of Yummy things and await your arrival.
Hamsters don’t like handling when its their eating time or playing for a very long time as they get tired and overdoing it can really disturb the Hamster.
Hamsters are very sensitive to noise; so always provide them with a place which is quite.
Nature of Hamsters varies based on the environment, genetics and interaction with people. Hamsters are nocturnal as they are active at night and sleep in the morning. They are susceptible to temperature and can not bear extreme temperatures. The word Hamster is derived from German verb that mean “to hoard” because they have expandable cheek pouches where they store food.
Hamsters have poor eye sight; they are color blind and nearsighted they rely mostly on their senses of smell and hearing with smell they detect gender and food that is why they say that wash your hands before feeding Hamsters as your finger may smell like food and Hamster would not mind giving it a bite and that really hurts. They are particularly sensitive to high pitch noises and can hear communication in ultrasonic range, which is way too beyond human abilities. Therefore they must be kept at a quite place as in morning they sleep so we don’t disturb them and vice versa.
Hamsters have a very solitary nature and they needs some privacy to feel secure in their surroundings, for that purpose empty tissue boxes and round oatmeal containers should be placed inside their cages. Hamsters should be given some time to get used the surroundings and settle down with the environment, they should be left alone for sometime in the initial days of its adoption. Hamsters do communicate with humans when its starts to hiss, snap it jaws, freaks out when you touch it or adopts a defensive posture (i.e. ears back, eyes squinted) just leave it alone for a while.
Hamsters are very flexible and their bones are very fragile, they can sustain injuries very easily. It takes very little force for hamster’s tooth-pick sized bones to break. Accidental falls and drops most of the time can cause severe injuries and often lead to death.
Following are signs of serious injury
Aggression when handle
Curing the injury depends on the nature of injury to determine whether it’s curable or not; if not then it would be more humane to euthanize the injured Hamster. A fall of a Hamster ball from the stair or the Hamster wheel catching the feet of Hamster or accidental drop from few feet can cause sprain, bruise, broken leg and rib fracture.
If injuries are not that severe then they can be treated with supportive care like hand feeding, medication and ice compression.
In pain Hamsters eat and drink but less than usual; in such cases hand feeding and internal fluid injection are necessary to sustain injuries.
A Hamster with minor rib fracture can survive with help of supportive care and medication. Also during injuries handling hamster should be avoided as it helps to reduce stress and discomfort and the cage should be kept clean; at a warm, peaceful and quite location for environment conducive for rest and recovery. Applying ice compressor and reduce pain to injured area but the rest of Hamster’s body should be kept warm even after applying the ice compressor to prevent Hypothermia.
The environment Hamster resides in makes them very much vulnerable to diseases and their immune system can hardly fight back; therefore an evidently minor thing can cause a whole lot of damage and can endanger the vary life of the Hamster. So when ever you see loss of appetite, inactivity, huddling in a corner, ruffled or unkempt coat, sneezing or discharge from the nose or eyes, wheezing, wetness around the tail, diarrhea and hair loss straightaway take the Hamster to the nearest vet.
Some of the common diseases witnessed in Hamsters are discussed below
Abscesses occurs in the skin as a result of cuts or scratches, as a result pus accumulates under the skin and often creates a sizable lump. Abscesses can also occur in the dry cheek pouches if sharp food is hoarded there and can cause scratches In the lining.
• Respiratory Infection
Symptoms for this infection are sneezing, discharge from eyes or nose, wheezing or labored breathing and can often lead to pneumonia; therefore a vet should be consulted.
• Wet Tail
Symptoms include diarrhea (that causes the wetness around the tail), lethargy, loss of appetite and ruffled coat. The reasons maybe stress, crowding and diet changes; bacteria called Campylobacter Jejuni attacks. It is highly contagious disease.
A number of factors can cause diarrhea; which includes over feeding vegetables, fresh foods (let them eat the hoarded food carried in cheek pouch), diet change and intake of antibiotics. To avoid dehydration ensure maximum intake of water.
• Skin Diseases
If Hamster appears itchy or scratch more than usual or if there is flakiness and redness on the skin a vet should be seen. Hamster hair loss is seasonal and occurs mostly in older hamsters. Hamster can get allergies and infection; ring worm fungal infection is very common to occur.
If the temperature goes below the room temperature the Hamster goes into a state where they get still and breath very slowly called Hibernation, which to many might occur that Hamster is sick or maybe dieing but re warming the hamster can get your Hamster back to normal.