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Do elderly roborovski hamsters behave unusually?

(4 Posts)
Runoutofideas Mon 01-Jul-13 13:42:38

I have 2 Roborovski hamsters. We bought them 2 1/2 years ago. One especially has recently started to behave differently. More manic scrabbling at the hutch as though trying to dig its way through plastic, or climb up the water bottle - less running around in the wheel. Seems to have taken up residence in the bottom half of the cage rather than make the effort to get to the sleeping compartment at the top, where they used to sleep... They look less alert and purposeful somehow.. Is this just old age?

I read that they normally have up to 3 year lifespan so they are getting on a bit. One of them bit DH at the weekend which they have never done before. Hard to tell if it is the same one as they are identical! Can't really see any point in taking them to the vet without something more specific to go on. Any ideas?

OnceUponAThyme Mon 01-Jul-13 13:52:48

if your hamsters are eating and drinking normally, and are still grooming, then it's most likely the change in behaviour is old age.
2 1/2 is old for a hamster, and they can become less active and sleep more as they get into old age.
the scrabbling may just be digging behaviour that he's doing more if he's not burning energy on a wheel.
maybe move his bed/house down to the floor level so he has somewhere to hide. another thing you can do is using a soft toothbrush, brush his fur as when they get older they can miss hard to reach places.
just keep an eye on them, if they're relatively healthy.

Runoutofideas Mon 01-Jul-13 14:00:41

Thanks - they do have shredded paper bedding on the floor of the cage anyway so they hide and dig in that. They do seem to be eating and drinking ok, although it is hard to tell what they eat as as soon as I fill up the bowl they move it all to their stores under the bedding. I guess because they are still doing that, they are ok?
Thanks for your help.

OnceUponAThyme Mon 01-Jul-13 15:35:59

they're probably doing fine, just elderly smile they're a good age smile

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