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Health Hazards in the Cheek Pouches

Practical: With its two stretchable cheek pouches, the hamster needs neither a suitcase nor a shopping bag to transport its food. The little rodent diligently stuffs it with everything it thinks it can eat and drags the prey into its pantry.

Many of the little guys are so passionate about hamsters that they only eat when all the food is safely hidden away. But this passion can have dire consequences, especially if the hamster ingests unsuitable food. A notorious example is a chocolate. It melts in the cheek pouches and the sticky cocoa goo clogs the cheek pouches. The vet then has to turn them inside out and rinse them out.

Food can spoil in the cheek pouches

If the lining contains sharp and hard materials, these can injure the cheek pouches from the inside. The small sores become easily inflamed and lead to painful abscesses. These too must be treated by the veterinarian. Another danger with hamsters is that the food in the pantry will spoil. The spoiled feed can then trigger severe diarrhea. So make it a habit to check your rodent’s hiding place every day and clear out anything that could become moldy or rotten.

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