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Hamster scratching himself

Discussion in 'Small Animal Chat' started by Knighterist, Mar 1, 2020.


  1. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    I just looked into Marble's cage and he was sitting in his nest and grooming maybe and he was scratching himself again...
    I back off after seeing him do it but I am worried about him.
    Since he's had xeno dropped onto him I guess mites, fleas and parasites has been eliminated so I guess it's a matter of either bedding or stress.
    He's had the same bedding he had at [email protected], so surely there isn't a problem there right?!?!
    So I am going out on a long shot here and I guess he's stressed from the week. Would it be ok if I leave him be, as in his current state isn't a vet necessary state right?
    I think (since I haven't seen him much), that he has been scratching less?
     
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  2. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

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    What bedding are you using? He may have been scratching in [email protected] because of the bedding but no one would notice.
     
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  3. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Plain [email protected] shaving and paper bedding...Vets said I can continue with that but she also was saying people have had problems with those before. At the same time she only looked at Marble in his travel cage and dropped Zeno so I don't really feel too much confidence in her assessment of lack of :(

    I guess I can do a quick Zooplus shop for hemp bedding...That should be ok right?
     
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  4. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

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    Might be having issues with the pine, its not uncommon. Hemp can cause issues too and as he's already itchy, I'd wait until that's settled before trying hemp. Paper is your best bet. Perfect for hamsters with itchy skin or allergies in general. Carefresh and Kaytee clean and cosy are the main brands that's soft and perfect for tunnels. Be careful with [email protected] home brand 'paper' bedding as some actually are polyester fabric and cause blockages.

    I'd highly recommend putting the unopened bag of bedding in the freezer for at least 24hrs to kill any mites which may be in there.
     
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  5. Tiffanylarkins

    Tiffanylarkins PetForums Member

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    I would probably change the bedding
     
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  6. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    What happens if your freezer isn't big enough? :(
     
  7. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

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    Yeh that may be a problem. That being said, some people don't freeze bedding and have no issue. I can't freeze a 20kg of hemp bedding so I just hope for the best. I have had mite issues in the past with carefresh when I had rats. Not happened since and ive used a lot of carefresh so maybe just a bad batch
     
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  8. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    I guess I'll pick up another pack of paper bedding...Might be another little while before I change his bedding again though since I did a mega clean last Wednesday, it will be at least Wednesday or even Friday before I can do anything again though been recommended to keep it for at least 2 weeks to destress him.
    When I do clean should I replace all the wooden bedding?
     
  9. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

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    Don't worry about freezing it if you're unable to. As I said many don't with no issues. I was probably unlucky.

    Id oust all the wood bedding and disinfect then replace with fresh paper bedding because if it is that triggering him, it wouldn't be fair to prolong his suffering if it's easily fixable.
     
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  10. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    How can I minimise the stress of such a level of cleaning for him? I guess last time was really stressful for him with all the bedding gone.
    Can I still use the wood shavings for potty or not really?
     
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  11. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

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    Wait until the end of the week then remove the rest of the wood bedding and replace it with paper. Keep the paper bedding that's already in there. Don't move it. That will minimise the stress.

    Only wood bedding that is agreed to be safe is aspen. When kiln dried pine is urinated on, it reactivates and starts to release these things called phenols which give the smell of pine. It is that which wreaks havoc on the resp system and commonly their skin.

    Safe bedding or substrates are as follows:
    -aspen
    -hemp
    -paper or cellulose
    -sand (not coloured, just plain sand)
    -top soil with no added fertilizer or pesticides or anything else like that
    -coco coir
    -tissue
    -teabag

    Maybe some more but I don't know of them. Hope this helps
     
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  12. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Thank you so much for this list!

    If he is currently itching or I suspect he is itching, should I just go with paper bedding rather than switching to hemp? I still have some left from last time and still the [email protected] one.

    Wait, teabag?! Lord Marble living in teabags?! How does that work? :O that sounds super lordly and fancy!

    Edit: I had a brainwave this morning...I'll give Marble even more paper bedding for him to make his nest with, so that when I make the change at the end of the week I will be keeping a load of paper bedding and chucking the wooden one. Hopefully the larger amount of paper bedding helps make it less stressful for him. He has come to grab the paper bedding pile I left for him so I assume he is upgrading!
     
    #12 Knighterist, Mar 2, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  13. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    So I put out some food for Marble and watched him eat for a little while. He is content eating in my presence and all but I noticed he's got bald patches? That's not a scent gland is it? I have to wait until 11th for his second dose of xeno. I guess with bedding change end of the week I hope that will be an improvement for him...I think he's gotten a bit hairier behind the ears with a bit of longer hair coming through there now.
    IMG_20200303_224944.jpg
     
  14. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

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    I'd go with paper to be on the safe side. Yup teabag bedding. I have never tried it and don't know enough about it to help any further on that.

    Hard to tell from the pic but pretty sure it's his scent glands. Syrians have one on each side. They may appear as 'bald' patches or lumps. They may appear wet if he's rubbed up against something which makes the hair look thinner. I wouldn't worry about it :)
     
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  15. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    He's a bit shy at the moment when I try to have a better look (come in Marble, I stare at your behind no need to be that modest!) But I think it's a bit higher than the scent gland. I am not seeing too much scratching happening since he hides and grooms in his den nowadays. But I will continue to keep an eye on him...I hope to change his bedding on Friday night or so...Let him settle in his current set up a little bit more...

    Thanks again Engel!
     
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  16. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

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    I thought scent glands were further down but I have found that they're actually higher up than people think. If you run your finger over that patch you'll feel a slight lump. No worries
     
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  17. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Thanks Engel, it would be difficult, Marble hasn't let me touch him yet...Most I have managed was supporting his elbow when eats the food he's taken off my palm
     
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  18. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums Senior

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    Oh ok. Well when he allows you, do so and you'll know what I mean. Tbh if you know what you're looking for then finding the glands are pretty easy :)
     
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  19. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Thabks!
    I will try and convince Marble that I have no had intentuond when I said I wanted to feel him up ;)
    I really want to be able to give Marble pats and stroke him one day :)
     
  20. Knighterist

    Knighterist PetForums Member

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    Not looking like scent gland bald spot tonight...

    IMG_20200304_215615.jpg
     
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