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Aggressive hamster.

Species: Other
Breed: russian hamster
Age: Less than 3 mon
hello,
i got a russian hamster yesterday and in the store and at home he was really nice letting me handel him and pick him up but the next day i couldent even put my hand in the cage with out him biteing me. I couldent even pet him whilst he was still in his cage as i had also done yesterday.
why is he doing this?
will he stop?
what can i do to help?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi and thanks for your question.

I have seen a number of hamsters who bite when frightened. It's hard to say why he was allowing you to handle him yesterday though and not today.

My guess is that he is frightened about his new surroundings. There is a good chance that given a few days to a week in his new home he will be much more tame.

For now it's best to only pet him when he is accepting your attention. Never try to handle him when awake and immediately put him back if he starts to get aggressive.

Try to approach him regularly with some sort of treat that he may like such as a vegetable like broccoli. Don't push things too far. So, offer him the food and see if he will let you pet him. It shouldn't take long for him to come around.

It is also possible that he is aggressive because there is pain somewhere. If this is the case you will likely notice a lack of appetite and also lethargy. If you are seeing this then you should have your vet look at him.

I think, knowing that he was tame at first gives me hope that he will calm down soon.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.