A mouthful hamster looks cute. When you keep food inside of a hamster cage, you can see that the hamster takes the food inside as much as it can.
Some of that food stays in their cheek pouch. Yes, hamsters are able to store food inside them and can have them when they want to. So, a cheek pouch sounds very handy, right? Yes, it is indeed. But there are some cons of cheek pouches too. One of the main problems a cheek pouch creates is- food sticking. Hamsters sometimes stick food in their cheek pouch and face some difficulties.
So, how to empty hamster cheek pouch? In this blog post we will try to cover this topic. So, let’s go.
How to Empty Hamster Cheek Pouch?
By massaging a hamster’s cheek gently or with some tools, you can empty a hamster cheek pouch. There is another method called a saline solution.
If you are searching for ways to empty the cheek pouch of your hamster, follow the next ones.
What’s A Hamster Cheek Pouch?
All hamsters have cheek pouches. These cheek pouches are like two bags inside of a hamster’s mouth. They are kind of big cheeks and can stay long inside of a hamster. Hamsters can use them whenever they wish.
Hamsters can move easily while having food inside of those cheek pouches. These pouches are sort of elastic and stay under a hamster’s shoulder.
Cheek Pouch Problems
Cheek pouches are really blessings for hamsters, indeed. But there are some problems too.
Hamsters use their cheek pouches for storing food. But sometimes, they can stick their cheek pouches while trying to store larger foods.
Moreover, a hamster uses paper towels, plastic items, or any rubber items for playing or nesting. That’s when it unintentionally put those items in cheek pouches. Those items are not digestible. A serious harm can be done if they keep any rubber or plastic item inside the cheek pouches.
So, cleaning hamster cheek pouches is an important thing to do. Check the next one out to know how you can do it.
Cleaning A Hamster Cheek Pouch
A hamster usually cleans its cheek pouches on its own. But if the situation gets worse, then you have to do it manually. In the wild the hamsters use their paws to clean their pouches. But in captivity, you are the one who can take good care of them.
Notice if your hamster is looking for help or not to clean their cheek pouches. Generally, a hamster can clean the pouches by itself. But if the hamster gets stuck and can’t do it, then you should give it a hand.
Just use your fingers to do this. First, check the time. If you see their pouches are stored with food for a long time then you should take steps.
First, hold the hamster softly on your hands. And then try to push the hamster on the shoulder and mouth. Don’t push too hard. Just give a gentle massage on the hamster at the lower ends and the stuck food will come into the mouth. Soon your hamster will be able to terminate the problem.
Use a Tool
If you can’t remove food by using your hands, then you can use a tool. The tool you want to use should not be sharp or pointy. The sharp or pointy tool can make internal damages inside of a hamster.
So, which tool is preferable for this? You can use a tiny minimal spoon.
To use a spoon for removing food from cheek pouches, you need to pick your hamster up and open its mouth. Then enter the spoon inside of its mouth and pull back the food. Don’t push or pull so hard. It can scare the hamster or can cut the inside of the hamster’s mouth. Also, if you are a weak-hearted person, don’t try it. You can take the hamster to the local vet. The vet will do it all.
If the two methods mentioned above fail, then you can use saline for a solution.
For saline solution, you need iodine-free salt, one eye dropper, and water.
What you have to do is:
- Take 10-12 ounces of water in a cup.
- Heat the water to make it warm.
- Put one tablespoon of salt and keep it to dissolve.
- Fill the water in the eye drop.
- Use the drop to push the water into the hamster’s mouth.
Hopefully, this will bring the food out of the cheek pouches soon.
Things to Consider
Food stuck in cheek pouches are not any simple issue for a hamster. There could be several health problems if a hamster stuck food in cheek pouches.
Here are some easy and safe steps we have described but it is not sure that these steps will solve the problem. If you find any unusual or can’t do these properly, don’t take risks. Just visit the vet soon and hopefully your hamster will get relief.
If your hamster affects its cheek pouches by food or other particles, it may suffer a lot.
The most probable medical complications of infected cheek pouches are:
The most common problem of affected pet hamsters is abscesses. If this happens, pus piles up inside cheek pouches for infection. If the liquid spreads in the body, your hamster might face serious trouble.
Another common problem is tumors. If a hamster gets a tumor, it may last to cancer! And cancer leads to death!
Though this is not a common problem, it happens. If eversion happens, the cheek pouches can even come out from the hamster mouth and then the hamster might not feel so good while eating.
If a hamster’s cheek pouches are full, it can’t eat properly and digest food easily. It can be a cause of vomiting for hamsters.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Can A Hamster Fill Their Pouches Over Limit?
Yes, a hamster can overfill their pouches. Hamsters can’t understand the limit when to stop while storing food. So, it can cross the limit and get into trouble.
How Much Food Can a Hamster Store in Cheek Pouches?
It depends on hamsters’ bodies, weight and strength. The common answer is 20% of their whole body weight.
As hamsters are prey animals, they can’t easily move while in the wild. So, they become nocturnal and come out of their hole at night. They try to find and store as much as they can. At this stage, a hamster uses its cheek pouches. How they manage to empty their cheek pouches in the wild, we can’t say. But when a hamster is your pet, it’s your responsibility to help him out. Now you know the ways, hope you can work on it.