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Old 01-11-2014, 11:21 PM
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Default Disabled hamster setup: aaaand, go!

Barring any unfortunate turns in its health this weekend, I'm to take a small Roborovski hamster home. This firmly goes against our " no rodents for several years until Clive is old enough to be around a Guinea Pig" rule. (my husband and I both really like guinea pigs, lol) Medium length story short, we're the clinic that treats one of the local chain petstore's animals. They put a robo hamster in with other hamsters when it arrived from the shipment and they attacked her She had several bite wounds, one of which apparently damaged a nerve, as one leg now just drags. They were going to euth her (they'll treat illnesses and bite wounds, but they won't adopt out an animal with a permanently gimpy leg). Since she is (or was, as of last night) perfectly active other than the leg and in good spirits, I said I'd take her.

We have had a Roborovski before. He was my husband's class pet for a few years until he got elderly and then he lived out his days here. But, I'm not sure we can do the climbing areas, etc for this little one due to the leg. Any ideas?
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:44 AM
ruffiangirl ruffiangirl is offline
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I had a disabled gerbil as a child. She bit me and I shook my hand, she few off and hit the wall (I was 7 maybe 8). She became the sweetest gerbil and I loved her.
Anyhow she had no problems climbing even with both back legs being semi paralyzed. She did, however, rub her legs and toes from dragging them around. This was many years ago and pine/cedar shavings were all one could even get, but perhaps something softer would have prevented that. So maybe watch for it.

If your little hamster ends up not being able to climb perhaps the ramps would be an option?
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:52 AM
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I would go with a setup that's longer than it is high. Anything that you put in (like an igloo for example) is going to get climbed on anyway. I would worry that if she's dragging the leg that tubes/ramps/ledges would increase the friction on her leg leading to sores and they also don't hold soft bedding very well to reduce the rubbing.

If you make sure she has enough horizontal space, plenty of soft bedding to burrow in and swap out toys and decorations often enough for mental stimulation, I don't think she'll really miss the climbing areas. A lot of people actually advise against high unenclosed areas due to the hamsters poor eyesight.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assamiea View Post
I would go with a setup that's longer than it is high. Anything that you put in (like an igloo for example) is going to get climbed on anyway. I would worry that if she's dragging the leg that tubes/ramps/ledges would increase the friction on her leg leading to sores and they also don't hold soft bedding very well to reduce the rubbing.

If you make sure she has enough horizontal space, plenty of soft bedding to burrow in and swap out toys and decorations often enough for mental stimulation, I don't think she'll really miss the climbing areas. A lot of people actually advise against high unenclosed areas due to the hamsters poor eyesight.
^ this.

I've never kept my hamsters (or mice) in "traditional" cages, just tanks or large single level wire cages. (The cage I LOVE is sold as a "rat starter home". While it wouldn't work for a rat, it does have 1/2" bar spacing and is the size of a 20 gallon tank.)

When I had my mice, half of the tank was for their food/water/wheel, and the other half I would make a "cave" out of a kleenex box or similar hidey toy, and then gave them a ton of burrowing material (it was hay at the time, as I had Piggies) and little tunnel toys. They LOVED it. Obviously hamsters are not mice, but I think something similar could be done.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:57 PM
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Tiny hamster is home
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:00 AM
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He's precious! I'm a huge hamster fan.

Blackrose, I'm pretty sure I had the same cage you are talking about, the rat starter home from Petsmart. I love that cage. The bars may be a little too far a part for a Robo but the plastic bottom part is actually pretty tall also, so it may never even reach the bars. It does have one level but it is easily detachable (in fact it isn't installed when you buy it, so just leave it out).
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:32 PM
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We had a hamster that had mobility problems in his old age. We kept him in a single story cage and made sure that food and water was easily accessed. He did fantastic!
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:25 AM
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Disabled hamster has decided to miraculously use all her limbs now, lol. So she's apparently no longer a disabled hamster.

She's still, however, a nameless hamster. Namely because my child insists she should be named Abner. When I pointed out that that is our cat's name, he paused, and then said we should name her "Another Abner". No, child, no
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