Care

Black Was Sooooo 2 Months Ago Darling!

My hamster is changing colour!
No seriously, HE IS CHANGING COLOUR!

So its a bit difficult to explain this in pictures as the little tinker won’t sit still for 2 minutes! But I can just about do it.
Here is a picture of day 2 of Banjo coming home. Hiding under his saucer you can see his very BLACK bum fur poking out.
Black fur turning brown you say?!

So more recently, the photos I have just about captured of Joey show a much more chocolatey coat!
The black fur is fading and a rich brown coat is emerging.

Much more chocolatey!Now this sparked me into trawling through Google to find an explanation. There are some wacky theories out there I tell ya!

One reason for a hamsters fur changing colour is age.
As a hamster gets older the fur thins out and lightens,much like a human’s! This lightening of a rich back coat would certainly lighten to a rusty brown tone.
Banjo is only 6 months old so it certainly couldnt be an age related change surely?!

Another reason for this change in fur colour is the change of seasons.
If hamsters werent domesticated they’d be out in the wild fending for themselves. And like all small and tasty critters, they have to help themselves stay protected from the predators out there using camouflage. So in winter their coats brighten to match with colder surroundingsand then as the temperature increases, their coats darken. What colour coat do we want today Joey!!
Makes sense I guess, but Joey is in the constant warmth of a centrally heated apartment, so that can’t be right either?

A more likely explanation is simply genetics.
Like humans have highlights in there hair, hamsters can have a similar thing going on with their pigments.

The main thing is that this isnt a bad sign for your hamster! Its perfectly natural and nothing to worry about.
Your hammy just wants to change his fur coat a little.
I always knew brown was more Banjo’s colour anyway!

If you could change your hair or fur colour to anything in the world, what would it be?
Comment in the box below 😀

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Until tomorrow folks
xx

Categories: animals, Care, General, Hamsters, Pets | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Reasons Hamsters The Perfect Pet For A Child

Internet kisses from Banjo!Everyone will associate hamsters as a childs pet.
Ask anyone – even the kids who don’t like animals either had a hamster or a goldfish as a young’un!

So why are these cute critters the perfect pet for a child?

  1. Having a pet is the best way to teach responsibility.
    This goes for any creature not just a hamster! If you give your kiddie something living and breathing, not to mention rather adorable, to care for and feed and clean up after, they learn valuable lessons from the start! I had my first hamster when i was like 5 or 6 or something – did me the world of good 😀
  2. Hamsters are really simple to look after – even for a child.
    They need water and food and an exercise wheel. Syrian hamsters dont need other hammy friends so its just a cage and the essentials. No fuss, minimal mess and all the cuteness!
  3. Syrian hamsters are hand-sized.
    You may think this is a weird point to make, but if you have a small kid you don’t want to give them a pet that is going to squash them or knock them over. Just like you wouldn’t want to give them something tiny and small that they’re going to lose! Syrian hamsters are the perfect size!
  4. They’re quite robust little pets.
    Kids are not the most gentle of admirers, yanking tails etc. Syrian hamsters can squeeze through holes the size of a 50 pence piece, so if your kid is a The perfect pet - Dexter flashback!little heavy handed, they’re not going to cause a huge amount of fuss! Granted the hammy might not like it, but a little nip from a hamster is a much lesser evil than a nip from an annoyed dog for example.
  5. They’re cheap!
    You can buy a hamster, all the food and the cage for a very reasonable price. So there is no need to break the bank with an expensive pedigree breed or getting pet insurance etc. What more could you want!

So if you are considering a little Syrian hamster for your child, I’d say DO IT! They are adorable and sweet and the perfect low maintenance pet. And once they are tame they are gorgeously fun!

Subscribe to HamsterDiaries using the subscription box on the left hand toolbar. Once subscribed you’ll receive an email for every post made. Don’t miss out on your hamster fix!
xx

 

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Help, My Hamster Is Crying!!

Banjo was just a little baby hamster when I got him and when I got him home for the first time, it very quickly became apparent that I did not have a happy hamster!

Introducing him slowly to his new home became a very stressful event and there was a lot of noise coming out of my little hamster!

The only way I can describe the sounds, were like a screaming and crying baby!

What you are about to hear on this video is going to sound distressing – you have been warned!

Please note I had left little baby Joey to get accustomed to his new home for a whole day.

As you can hear Banjo is really putting his lungs to the test.
The crying continued for what felt like hours!

What does crying mean?

Like with babies, crying is a sign of distress. Hamsters are solitary creatures and so they need to be vocal to be heard! Banjo being curious! :D And hamsters aren’t so good at speaking human 😉
It can also be a sign of pain, so if this is out of character behavior for your little hammy then take note – they’re trying to tell you something!

How can I stop my hamster crying?

Give them some space. You are big and scary, they are little and easily intimidated! It is going to be frustrating when you just want to cuddle with your new pet but your hamster is nervous and they will need time to adjust to their surroundings. Patience is the key with this one!

The main thing to remember is DON’T PANIC!
This will get better over time.
You just need to build up trust with your new furry friend. Every pet has their own personality. Some need a little longer to get used to people than others.

Taming hamsters can be a lengthy process. And little Joey here is going to be a challenge – but all shall be shared!

If you have a new hamster then make sure you subscribe via email, then you wont miss a thing. And with a new hamster there is plenty to talk about!
More of Banjo the hamster coming soon!! 😀

xxx

Categories: animals, Care, Hamsters, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Casper’s Illness

In yesterdays rambling post, I explained that my gorgeous white Syrian hamster had passed away after fighting a mysterious illness. Well for the sake of all my hammy friends and all those who are worried about their little fur-babies, I want to explain what happened and the tell-tale signs that something wasn’t quite right.

So I was having a routine evening cuddle with Cas and I noticed that he didn’t look quite right. The first sign, bulging eyes...His eyes were really bulging and he was veeeeery slightly tilting his head to one side.
Now don’t get me wrong hamsters can be very bright eyed but this was out of the ordinary for my little Casper who as you may know spent the majority of his time with them shut!

As you can see from the picture, his eyes look very rounded and almost protrude from his face.

He kept on blinking normally and his behavior hadn’t changed at all so all I really noticed was he looked a little different.

All I could really do at this point was monitor it.

Over the next week or so the tilt in his head became more prominent. It was affecting the way he walked about too.
My first thought – inner ear infection.
The inner ear affects balance and can be treated with antibiotics.

I took my poorly baby to the vets and he behaved as good as gold! Only wriggled a tiny bit when they were examining him.

I always feel like a horrible hamster-mummy when I get the tank out. But it’s the best thing to take them to the vets in. Small and nowhere to hide so the vet can get them and treat them with as little stress as possible in my opinion.

So the vet gave Cas a thorough examination. And as is usually the case with hamsters, the vet couldnt do very much at all for him.

Vet Visit for lil CasperIts the sad thing about such small critters in that they are so small treatments such as surgery are next to impossible.

Never the less, the vet gave me the verdict.
There was something wrong with Caspers brain. A swelling, possibly a tumor.
It was this tumor/swelling that was causing his eyes to protrude and causing his behavior to change in terms of walking lop-sided.

They gave him some antibiotics in the hope that it wasn’t as serious as they thought and that it was an infection of some sort. The hope was that the medicine would improve the swelling and make him more comfortable.

Unfortunately, after 2 weeks there was no improvement on his condition. If anything he had deteriorated. He was still eating and drinking but his breathing had become incredibly laboured and his eyes were starting to get a little weepy.
My poor fur baby was not looking healthy at all. 😦

I moved his cage into my bedroom and kept a close eye on him. Poorly Cas, cuddles o'clock!Every available opportunity, he got cuddles and snuggles in warm blankets. I hand fed him water and moist foods to try and keep him as hydrated as possible.

As you can see from this picture, he really was starting to look unwell.

He had no energy at all.
Laying still and breathing was hard work for him.

He did manage to nibble at the food infront of him although it was never very much as his weakness was starting to really show.

It was at this stage I knew Casper wasn’t going to make it for much longer.
Watching him fight so very hard for life was torturous and my heart was genuinely breaking. I would put his tired body on my warm tummy and we would sit quietly together for hours and hours of an evening. He knew I was there and he knew I was watching him and he didn’t given up!

It was the third day of this very poorly Cas and I had booked a vet appointment. I didn’t want to let him go but it was cruel to let him struggle any longer.

It was on this very evening that he curled up on my tummy for the last time.
Struggling to breath :(He was really struggling to breath.
He took his last breaths while being stroked and snuggled.

It was a very very sad time.
Even now, months and months later, I miss this little hamster so so much. He was the perfect pet, friendly, tame and just the cutest.
He has left an unimaginable space.
I am beyond grateful for this blog and all the memories I have captured and shared.

To re-cap Casper’s symptoms for you worried hammy-parents;

  • Bulging eyes
  • Tilted head
  • Lethargic
  • Laboured breathing

I can’t stress enough, get to the vets! There is a million and one things that could cause the above. Chances are good with antibiotics! Its best not to waste any time.

RIP Casper
xxx

Categories: animals, blogging, Care, Hamsters, Health, Pets | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are You Getting Your SEVEN A Day?

I read in the news a few months ago that apparently getting your 5 portions of fruit and veg is no longer good enough (I am on about humans now just so you know). It has now been recommended that 7 portions is what you should be scoffing!
And all I’m thinking is SEVEN?!
Its difficult enough to get 5 in on one single day let alone 7?!

Anyways to try and help my fellow mankind, Dexter and Casper are here to inspire you to eat 7 portions of fruit and veg like good little hamsters humans.
Pleeeeease do not go feeding your hamsters 7 portions of fruit and veg in one day because that is just silly and actually very bad for them! This is for us humans only mkay!

1. Broccoli
You know what they say, always eat your greens! You show ’em Casper!
casper eating broccoli

2. Sweetcorn
Baby corn is just as good as the big stuff, isn’t that right Dex?dexter eating sweetcorn

3. Strawberries
They sure are scrumptious!!casper eating strawberry

4. Apples
An apple a day keeps the doctor away? So why risk not eating one?!dexter eating apple

5. Banana
Bananananananananananana! Say no more!
Casper and the Banana

6. Carrot
They help ya see in the dark dontcha know! 😎
dexter eating a carrot

7. Cucumber
Its yummy, winky face!
Casper eating cucumber

Do any furries out there have a favourite fruit or veg? Us humans need to be shown what we are missing 😉

xx

P.s. Am I the only one who now feels a little peckish? 😛

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Keep Calm And Clip Them Claws!!

^^^^^^ Try saying that 10 times really fast! HAHAH..

So just a few days ago, I posted about Dexter’s incredibly LOOOOOOONG claws.
I finally managed to grab my mumma to help me and we tackled the stressful event that is cutting his claws.

As I said in the post a few days ago, you CAN take your hamster to the vet to get this done, but in my opinion you are paying money to do something you can do at home. If anything, I think its more distressing taking them to a vet because the smell of all them other animals tends to spook hamsters pretty badly in the first place. And thats BEFORE you start trying to clip the claws.

I didn’t manage to take any photos of the event. Every hand was busy trying to hold Dexter still.
He really can wiggle and fidget when he wants to!
Even thought I was going to pull his leg off at one stage!
But we finally managed to clip all of his claws to a much more healthy length.

Here is the before picture of Dexters unruly paws…
Long hamster claws, in need of a clip!

It’s a little hard to see but we were mainly concerned with that front paw.

It wasn’t even like they were sharp claws! They were just SO long that they would soon impede his ability to eat and maybe even run!

And here is the after piccy 🙂 …
Clipped claws, a much healthier length!

I even think I could clip some more off of certain toes there!
But it is a much needed improvement I can assure you.

And also it would have been risky to clip them claws any shorter at this stage because of them blood vessels within the nail (called the ‘quick’ if you remember that diagram from the other day). As they are now shorter, the quick will recede further back into the nail which means I can clip them again in a week or twos time and I should be able to clip shorter than this even.

It has to be a gradual thing to stop me from hurting little Dexter’s tootsy’s! 😀
Well now that ordeal is over, I need a glass of wine to relax myself hahah! I’m glad I don’t have to do this very often as its not much fun at all!

At least he no longer looks like Freddy Krueger though…
xx

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“Does Fresh Fruit & Veg Make My Hamster SMELLY?”

I am pretty sure I have ranted and raved about the goodness of apples before on here…Munchings and crunchings! Apple for Cas!
For hamsters, apples are brilliant! Full of moisture, perfect for hydration, with that sweetness to give them energy and set their little taste buds alive! (Masterchef need me as a voice over person or something, I know!)

So I am bringing this up again because I wanted to show you Casper tucking into a chunk of apple. Dexters methods are ‘shove into the cheek’ which isn’t so interesting to watch as its over and done with in 2 seconds flat (if that)!
Casper likes to munch and crunch and chase his food around the work surface which is MUCH more interesting to watch.

More to the point of this post however, someone actually said to me the other day, they didn’t feed their rodents fresh fruit or veg ever because (apparently) it made them smellier
I think that is a very cruel thing. Dry hamster food is fine to give hammys their needed nutrients and sure it’ll keep them alive but fresh fruit and veg breaks up the diet! Imagine if you were fed the same muesli day in day out for your ENTIRE life, you’d get pretty fed up and bored of it!
Okay so hamsters aren’t human. But they deserve a little variation in their diets! I have never thought any of my hamsters were smelly down to their diet and I have always fed them this kind of thing from day one!

Understandably, too many greens will give your small furry a dicky-tum but thats why everything is in moderation and I even posted a list of good foods and bad foods for hamsters and other small critters.

Remember Dexter stuffing his face with fresh apple ?!

Remember Dexter stuffing his face with fresh apple ?!

So refer to that if you are positively stuck on what to feed your furry!

I find you don’t even need to go out of your way to do this either. When you are cooking, if you peel a carrot, save that peeling and give it to your hamster. When you chop tomatoes, leave out a slice for your hamster, same goes for the lettuce leaves (small size portion only of course) and any other additions like cucumber for example. You can even feed them the end of the banana thats always a bit icky for you to eat – they won’t care, they’ll demolish it!

Its so important to give your pet a rich and full life, I think leaving out treats like this is so unfair on them.

What do you think??
Let me know in the comments bit below! Or if you have any questions about what is good and what isn’t so good to feed a hamster then drop me an email: hamsterdiaries@yahoo.co.uk
I try to answer all messages within 48 hours 🙂

Categories: animals, blogging, Care, General, Hamsters, Pets | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Paws Up For A MANICURE!

So I mentioned a few weeks ago (I forget the exact date) about Dexter’s TALONS.
I don’t understand how or why but Dexter’s claws grow at an incredible speed! With the amounts of running the little guy does, I don’t understand quite how they get to the lengths they do!

LONG hamster claws !<—- Check them out!!

They are stupidly long!
And way way back, when Casper had a long claw, it got caught and ripped and there was even a little infection to clear up! Remember that sad picture of Casper with a bloody swollen paw?!

Well basically, this has led me to keep a VERY close eye on both hamsters claws and paws as I don’t want any trips to the vet!

So when I see that Dexters claws have somehow managed to get this long, I realise its about time to have them clipped before he gets them caught anywhere.

I already have to be careful if hes crawling along any of my jumpers because he regularly gets his claws stuck and ends up panicking and freaking out! I have to then quickly and gently release his toe before he ends up hurting himself!

But anyway, onto claw-clipping.
You can of course take you hamster to the vet to have their claws clipped but to be perfectly honest, you at home can do an equally as good of a job as they can. You don’t need a Degree in Veterinarian Science to be able to clip hammy claws.

 As long as you follow a careful guideline you can’t go wrong. nail-cutting-pictureAnd all you need is a pair of normal human nail clippers and probably an extra set of hands to hold your hammy still.

Now the diagram to the right is actually for a doggy blog (click on it to go to that blog) but the method is essentially the same for hamsters. Except dogs obviously are a lot bigger to see this.

There are blood vessels inside of the nail so you can’t go lopping off the whole thing or else there will be a lot of blood and a very distressed hamster on your hands!

You need to cut just short of the tip, at a slight angle, about 45 degrees away from the paw. This will give you the best chance of avoiding this inner claw bit.

When me and my sister clipped Dexters claws a few months ago, we clipped one of his claws a little too short, and it bled very slightly for a moment. If you do this too its nothing to worry about, just maybe take a break from claw clipping and let your little furry relax a little before continuing.

I shall clip Dexter’s claws real soon and post the results.
xx

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The Towel Of Terror

Me and Casper don’t disagree on much. We both like our sleep. We both like our food. And did I mention we both like our sleep?!
Incontinent Hamster Alert!! YES YOU CASPER!Anyways there is one thing we definitely do not see eye to eye on.

Casper’s bladder.
He has ZERO control over it.

With previous hamsters and even Dexter, I could usually tell if they were about to wee everywhere. There was a dead giveaway shuffle backwards with their tale in the air. That movement would be T minus 2 seconds before they pee everywhere and you have an icky puddle!

Casper seems to defy all my previous knowledge of hamster-peeing…
As is his style at the best of times!

He wont shuffle or squat or even lift his tail, he just pee’s no matter what he is doing!!

He could be walking around, exploring, eating, cleaning, stretching or even sleeping! He just seems to do it without noticing. This gives me no opportunity to catch him and stop him from ruining my sheets.
I cannot tell you the amount of times my bedsheets have to be stripped off because my excitable little Syrian cannot contain himself!

It has come to the frustrating point where I no longer have the patience or time or energy to strip my bedsheets every time so no more free roaming on my bed like in the picture above.

It has now required a spare beach towel (you may have already seen this in my pictures before now, it has been a work in progress).

Yes, I now have to cover my lap/bed in this towel just incase of little accidents.

Casper doesnt seem too bothered about this new surface to explore. He has enjoyed nibbling and digging at it, which I can only take Nice carpet here mom! as a sign of approval!

And to this day, he has not peed once on it!
Im not sure if thats a success or what!

The odd occasion I have forgotten about the towel, we have had accidents. Yet everytime I remember it, he has the bladder control of a saint! 😉

If anyone was wondering, its incredibly difficult to potty train a hamster! I used to own a ‘potty’ for rodents, complete with litter to absorb it all but my hamsters never once used it and it became more hassle filling it up and changing the litter than anything else!

You unfortunately have to take the good with the bad on this one folks.
They cannot be tamed in the bathroom department.. I can only suggest, avoid holding them for long periods of time (especially once they have just woken up) and keep an eye out for that suspicious backward shuffle!

If anyone does discover a fool proof method of potty training these critters, LET ME KNOW!!!

xx

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Eve’s 2nd Birthday

On this day, back in June of 2012, I introduced the blogosphere to a very beautiful little girl hamster called Eve.
(Click here to read that very first post!)

She was a brave little hamster, and when I say little I mean she was diddy!! She could easily fit into the palm of my hand and needed no taming at all! She was docile and friendly right from the get-go, which in hamster terms is a pretty rare thing.

The first picture of Eve on this blog back in 2012! The picture to the left is of Eve’s first exploration of her new home.
I hadn’t planned on getting another hamster at the time. Me and the boyfriend went to the pet shop to pick up supplies for Dexter and there in the cabinet was a gorgeous little hamster, paws against the glass and adorable speckled ears all alert!

She really was absolutely adorable!! 😀

I immediately knew she had to come home with us and next thing we knew, we had bought a new cage and she was mine!

Eve. A suitable name for the first girly hamster I’ve ever owned I think. 🙂 Plus she was completely full of beans so having a name that meant ‘life’ was 100% appropriate.

So there she was, Dexter’s new girlfriend 😉

If you haven’t followed the blog before then you won’t know that Eve has had an action packed little life. She died sadly too soon in February of this year 😦

As this is the anniversary of her joining the hammy-fam, I thought a little look over her cutest pics would be a fitting tribute to this beautiful pet 🙂

After being with me for nearly two months, Eve had very much settled in and become a comfortable member of the family.

We decided in the August of that year, to breed her and Dexter.13 pups is a BIG responsibility

Now it didn’t end up the most triumphant of tales with her litter of 13 pups sadly passing away over the following 2 weeks after their birth. Eve just wasnt quite the mothering material we had hoped for, shying away from the pups.
But due to the babies illnesses and birth defects which were really beyond everyones control, who could blame her for struggling. I don’t know how many people would cope fine with 13 hungry needy newborns!

Anyway she did her best.
There were 3 little survivors that battled on to their 2nd week of life, but sadly liver problems caught up and they too passed away.

Even though Eve wasnt caring for the pups at this stage you could still
sense the grief from her. She had become a very slow and meticulous hamster. She barely came out of her bed anymore and would continue to build the most impressive nests I have ever seen a hamster produce!
Eve, showing off her pre-mum bod!She really was mourning and I have never seen that side to a hamster before. Shocking how something so little can show such an emotion.

After many months and LOTS of love and attention, she slowly had come back to the brave little monster she became.

Don’t get me wrong she stayed slower, but it came across as more of a maturity thing now.

She had been through a lot of drama and hassle and now she was finally back to herself again.
And she really was the most beautiful little hamster.

She gave me a lot of reasons to boast about female Syrians, as I had always heard horror stories about them being angry and vicious. Eve showed me not only was I wrong but the vast majority of people who think that were also very wrong!
I tend to find hamsters reflect their owner in terms of friendliness.

I will never change my mind on the fact that I think she was taken to early from life.RIP Eve and happy blogging birthday! :D xx Today would have been her 2 year blogging birthday, and I would have expected a third birthday next year too but alas some things are just not meant to be.

I have never been more grateful for this blog in that respect.
I managed to document and capture her life in words which are now immortalized on the internet. She may have died but she lives on through this blog and through the pictures and memories. And that is nothing to sniff at!

So this is a happy post really.
A poignant day in my blogging diary.

I hope all the words and waffle in this post doesnt bore you to tears. I just felt today should be a post about Eve.
(And I hoped you all enjoyed a different furry face to ‘awww’ at today too!)

Have a great day now! 
xxx

Categories: animals, blogging, Care, General, Hamsters, Health, Love, Pets | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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