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Gerbils & Hamsters/how do i know if my winter white dwarf hamster is stressed

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Question
Hi. I just wanted to know how do i know if my winter white russian dwarf hamster is stressed. My hamster is not running in his cage like hes mad, hes not grinding his teeth and that stuff hes normal to me but since u have experience i am asking you thank you for your help.

Answer
Hi Khadijah

thanks for your question.

It certainly sounds as though your hamster is doing fine.

Generally, dwarf hamsters should have short bursts of energy throughout the day and night, although are they are likely to be more energetic at night.  Providing your hamster is eating normally, drinking normally, playing and running around normally then he sounds fine.

If they are stressed, they can become hyperactive, become aggressive or very jumpy.  The way to avoid stress is making sure the cage is in a quietish part of the house i.e. not right by a TV or radio speaker etc. and other pets can't get near them which can stress them. Also constant handling or bad handling can stress them.  I always advise never to put a hand in their nest - if you want to get him out gently tap the side of the cage and call his name to rally him rather than putting your hand straight into the cage without any warning.  Remember that hamsters' eyesight is dreadful and they rely heavily on their sense of smell and hearing.  In the wild they are preyed on by lots of creatures so a sudden shape coming towards them can stress them.  The more you speak to him, the more he will get used to you.

I hope this helps you.

Regards
Sheila

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Sheila Adby

Expertise

Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is www.thehamstersite.com

Experience

I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website: www.thehamstersite.com

Publications
Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Education/Credentials
Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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