How to empty the cheek pouch in hamsters?
You can empty the pouch in the hamster’s cheeks by massaging it, using saline solution, or using a tool to remove stuck food.
This is a very common question because hamsters often get food stuck in their cheeks.
Usually, when they are in nature, they are often the prey of other predators, so they have to constantly run away and hide.
Cheek pouches help hamsters store food and have multiple feedings.
By storing food in cheek pouches, hamsters save themselves from predator attacks.
3 Ways to Remove Food from Hamster Cheeks
Removing food from a hamster’s cheek pouch is not difficult; you just have to be careful not to injure your hamster.
Therefore, let’s read about 3 very effective methods of removing food from the pouches in the cheeks of hamsters.
Gentle massage of the hamsters’ cheeks
To remove or release food from the pouches in the hamster’s cheeks, you need to gently massage the lower ends of the bags themselves.
This way, the food will be transferred to the mouth, the hamster will eat it, and its pouch will be released.
Hamsters also remove food stuck in their pouches by themselves with the help of their front paws, and they do this quite successfully, but sometimes they can fail.
We must observe the hamster before deciding whether to help it remove food from its cheek pouches, as this is only sometimes necessary.
If his pouches are full for a long time, or if he has swelling around his mouth or shoulders, then we need to help him.
Using a tool
Using a spoon to dislodge food from cheek pouches in hamsters is another very successful method.
You should always start by massaging their cheeks because that procedure is the most reliable and safest for hamsters; if it doesn’t work, use it.
To do this, you just need to carefully remove the food from his cheeks with a small spoon, but be careful not to injure your pet.
Scooping out the food with a spoon is not something that all of us can do, so if you are unsure or afraid, take the hamster to a vet, who will do the job.
Using a saline solution is a more straightforward procedure for removing food from the pouches in the cheeks of hamsters because there is less risk of injury to the mouth of our pets.
To prepare a saline solution for him, you need the following:
- 10 ounces of water
- a teaspoon of table salt without iodine
First, heat the water, add a teaspoon of non-iodized salt, and stir the solution to dissolve the salt.
Put the solution in a dropper and apply a few drops to the cheek pouches of the hamsters.
Before you start using this method, you should consult a veterinarian so that he can tell you how to do the procedure easier and better.
If you are unsure and are afraid of injuring your pet, do not start the procedure; take the hamster to the vet as soon as possible.
Instead of a salt solution, you can use only water; just make sure it’s lukewarm and put it directly into their bags with a dropper.
The water will act as a lubricant and help moisten the food in their pouches.
And make it easier to slide in and out of their cheeks.
What problems can food cause in cheek pouches in hamsters?
If the food is not promptly removed from the pouches in the cheeks of the hamsters, serious health problems may occur.
Here are some of the problems that can occur:
Tumors are common in hamsters and can affect cheek pouches in hamsters.
Since tumors are mostly cancerous, they negatively affect the pouches, and they look different than when they have food inside.
When hamsters have abscesses, pus appears in the cheek pouches of hamsters.
Sunflower seeds, for example, can cut inside their cheeks and cause abscesses and pus.
Pus also appears due to some local infection and causes pain when our pets eat.
The pus is very dangerous because it can spread to other parts of the hamster’s body and cause diseases.
Eversion is a rare phenomenon, but it can still occur in hamsters.
When hamsters have eversion, it is characterized by a pink bump in the corner of the hamster’s mouth.
Eversion is a problem that makes eating and chewing food difficult for our furry friends.
When hamsters have eversion, they must be taken to a vet who will need to sew the cheek pouch back into place.
Why do hamsters fill the pouches in their cheeks?
Now that we know how to get stuck food out of their cheeks let’s find out why they use their cheek pouches so much.
Hamsters fill the pouches in their cheeks for several reasons:
- Storing food – so they can eat it later- allows them to save themselves from predators in the wild.
- Wearing bedding – as needed when they make their own hiding places and holes to be safer.
- Carrying the babies – that’s right, they use their cheek pouches to have the babies, thus protecting them from predators.
- So they can float – they fill their cheeks with air so they can flow more quickly in the water, so they don’t drown.
Frequently asked questions
What food most often gets stuck in cheek pouches in hamsters?
Often, hamsters get stuck in their cheek pouches with sweet food, bananas, and berries. Soft foods also often get stuck in their cheek pouches.
How long do hamsters keep food in their cheeks?
Hamsters store food in their cheek pouches until they feel safe. If they are in danger of predators in the wild, they will keep food in their cheeks until they come to a safe place.
Can hamsters stuff their cheeks?
Yes, hamsters can sometimes overfill the pouches in their cheeks. That is why the food gets stuck most often, and then it is more challenging to get rid of it, and a problem arises, for which we have to help our pets.
Cheek pouches in hamsters are essential to hamsters because they store food there so they can eat it later.
When they are in nature, the cheek pouches save the hamster’s life from predators often because they don’t have to look for food too often.
Hamsters sometimes get food stuck in their cheeks and therefore have to be helped to get rid of it, with several methods that are not so difficult to perform.
Use the methods we’ve listed, or if you can’t do it yourself, then take your hamster to a vet to remove the food from its cheek pouches.