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Female winter white keeps pushing her cheeks pouch outwards


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#1 Blooo

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 10:21 PM

Hi

I have two female winter whites of around 6 - 8 weeks old. Recently one of my winter whites, stormie, keeps having a repetitive action of using her paws to push her left cheek out of her mouth, I don't really know how to describe but it is like trying to push her cheek pouch out of her mouth!

As a result, her left cheek is a little swollen by all the pushing. Her daily activities are still normal.. But she seems to be aneroxic because my other winter white is twice her body size! Although stormie is still actively storing food in her cheek pouch.

I have researched and read a few articles on impacted cheek pouches and tumours/cancers. I'm ruling out tumours because I don't see any visible lumps on her.

My stormie bites (the kind that draws blood) whenever I try to handle her, so I don't really have the chance to scruff her and check if there is anything stucked inside and when she is trying to push her cheeks out outwards, I will scrutinize the inner cheek pouch to see if there is anything lodged in there but so far it's empty.. But still, I am going to try to see if I am lucky to be able to scruff her up later. meanwhile, I'm feeding her sunflower seeds with the shell removed. In case her cheeks hurt.

Although I have only been with them for 4 weeks, I really grown attached to them and it hurts me to see stormie struggling every night doing something that seems to be irritating her ( she don't seems to be in pain but I can't be sure ).

I am thinking of bringing her to the vet because im scared that her current mild swollen cheek gets worse, but I'm abit constrained financially wise. So I am here to get advices from any kind souls if possible..




#2 missPixy

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 11:34 PM

so are you saying the inside of the cheekpouch actually comes
out of her mouth? so that it's inside out?

#3 Blooo

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:19 AM

No, but when she pushes it, it is. When she stops doing that. It isn't. but I think it is going to be inside out sooner or later..

#4 Blooo

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:47 PM

I'm also sourcing advise on any methods I can use or feed stormie to reduce her swell? Please do help..

#5 missPixy

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:01 AM

online you'll find many instances of people posting about this issue.
what you will have trouble finding is the "why" behind this behavior
in hamsters. I do not yet know if it's whether there's something
fundamentally faulty with that particular cheekpouch~~ for example,
if it's not attached into the hamster's mouth to begin with, as in a
genetic problem? or is there a cut/skin issue causing the cheekpouch
to feel irritated and causing the hamster's behavior?

or is it just a behavioral issue, caused by boredom or neurological
issues (like stargazing)?

the insides of cheekpouches are much drier than the inside of our
mouths, so various kinds of foods can get stuck easily, such as
peanut butter. if something is stuck, a hamster will try over and
over to empty the pouch.

once the cheekpouch is everted for a long period of time, it dies and
has to be removed. if it's everted for just a short time it can be re-inserted
into the hamster's mouth; but if it is a frequent occurrence (again, without
knowing the "why") a stitch can be made into the cheekpouch attaching it
more firmly into the hamster's mouth, to prevent it from happening again.

one way you might be able to handle your hamster is by putting on some
gloves and wrapping your hamster "burrito-style" in a small facecloth so
that the arms can't push away and you have more control. this way you
can examine inside the mouth more closely.

#6 missPixy

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:32 AM

if her swelling is due to slight infection, you can use thyme tea and
fresh thyme. however, you'll need to orally administer the tea using
a syringe, so you'll have to wrap her as I directed in the previous post.

buy fresh thyme, the herb (not the dried spice thyme). put a generous
handful into a teapot or mug and pour boiling water just to cover the
thyme. lid the teapot or mug and let steep for 30 minutes, stirring
occasionally to release the beneficial oils.

after 30 minutes, using an oral syringe, take up 0.1ml of the tea.
going into the side of her mouth where she has the affected cheekpouch,
squirt in the tea. do this 3x a day.

also, sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves in her food; some hamsters will
eat thyme leaves, and this will add a further anti-inflammatory action.
thyme is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic.

#7 Blooo

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:44 PM

Okay, I will try the thyme method at the moment while she waits for her appointment at the vets'.


Thanks, you have been a great help! :)