I've been a lurker on most of the main Hamster/Dwarf Hamster communities for quite a while now; when I was thinking of getting a Hamster again after having 3 as a teen. That was about ten months ago, and I found my little baby; Milo. Milo isn't an aggressive Hamster, he would nip occassionaly, but it was never painful, I think he meant it playfully. Although I keep reading webpages that say Russian Dwarves are very aggressive, I think I've gotten lucky with the Hamsters I've chosen, and they've all been Campbell's, I would never choose another breed because of their aggresive reputations, but it wouldn't surprise me if Milo was a cross breed. But recently... Milo has become very aggresive =<
Back then I lived in a house near my University where I was able to keep Milo in my room, and I was so happy that I could see him, basically whenever he was up and awake. In June I moved back home to my parents house where my room is much smaller and simple hasn't got the proper space in which to keep a Hamster. So Milo was placed downstairs in the living room. He seemed to like it downstairs but as a result, because I spend most of my time in my bedroom, I didn't see him as often, but he didn't seem to mind, he just seemed extra happy when I did get him out.
During Christmas, the tree was placed in the spot where his cage usually is, so my parents agreed to let me keep him in my room until the Christmas tree was removed. Previously I had tried to convince my parents to let me move my room around so I could put a shelf on the wall for his cage, but I was refused on the basis that they don't think I can look after him; go figure. Parents are illogical, I've kept more than enough Hamsters and read more than enough before I got Milo to know what to do and what not to do.
Now anyway, just before I moved Milo's cage into my room during Christmas, he began biting. It was infrequent and he never drew blood, but it was worrying given that, sometimes when he was sat on my shoulder, he would go for my neck. I didn't always feel it at first so when i did I would panic a little and have to guideh him away and put him back where I could see him.
Since he's been in my room, Milo's first and intial instinct when he seems my hand, is to bite. He bites hard and quick and draws blood, he holds on tight and he has gotten more than one vein on my finger when biting. It's gotten to the point where I cannot take him out of the cage because ever outside it, he will bite after a few moments, and so I cannot handle him properly, if at all.
I've tried to think of a number of things that could be making him doing this; the obvious one was something on my hands, a strange smell, but using every different hand wash in the house has yeilded the same biting results. I tried going back to basics, feeding him treats and laying my hand flat in the cage, removing him from the cage in a tube, and still, he bites when he gets the chance and spots a peice of my hand or finger he likes the look of. The only two things I can think of are that either, he's having teeth problems, or he simply does not like being in my room, and he does not like having his cage moved; I have to migrate his cage twice a day (During the day his cage is on my bed, but during the night, he's on the floor). But when I was at Univeristy he cage was moved often, as I could not leave him at my house for a long period of time when I went home, and all that moving around did not bother him at all.
I am, at a lose of what to do. He is almost a year old, so I cannot see him having only just matured and now he's decided humans are they enemy. He bites inside and out of the cage, so I do not think it's a territory issue, and I can't see any obvious...physical or medical issues wrong with him. And recently he has been chewing the hell out of a wooden log in his cage; he's had this in his cage for a long time, and he's never gone at it -at all- before this. He's nto a big chewer, he doesn't even use the Mineral Stone.
I used to, and still do hand-feel milo regularly, he doesn't mind it at all. Even now. But before all this started, he would go for a peice of food, and if he accidently got my finger, I'd obviously jump, he'd pause and then try again, he would realise he'd bitten me and would try not to do it again. But now he will go for my finger after a few moments of rummaging through the food; when he loses interest, he goes for my finger and he knows it's my finger, because he doesn't stop.
I really have no idea, what I've done if anything, or what to do. It's really upsetting that Milo has gone like this and past taking him to a vet or giving up on handling him properly, I don't know. I'm thinking of trying to handle him with gloves, but I've heard that sometimes can make them even worse...
Any advice or ideas for my little one would be greatly appreciated =<
As a side note, I have some videos of him on youtube, from when he was barely 3 months old xD
Crossposted to hamsters hammieworld , dwarfhamsters , and dwarfies .