The Hamsters Cheek Pouches


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A hamster filling his cheek pouches

 Hamsters have large lateral pouches in the oral cavity. These extend from the mouth to as far back as the shoulders. The cheek pouches are used for transporting nesting material, and food to his storage area. 

A hamster may occasionally get food stuck (impacted) in their pouch. Although very rare, food and other material such as bedding may become stuck within the pouch and the hamster cannot de-pouch. This may appear as a permanent swelling on the side of the face. It can sometimes be difficult to tell if the hamster is just storing food in the pouches, or moving food around. If you notice the pouch has been full for some time, lightly massaging the pouch may dislodge the food. Remember that the pouch is a very delicate area. If this proves unsuccessful it may require manual evaluation by a vet.
If the hamster is having difficulty eating there could be a problem with the teeth, or a problem affecting the cheek pouches. Veterinary advice should be sought

Everted cheek pouches:

cheek pouches

Hamster with full Cheek Pouches

Thankfully, cheek pouch Eversion is not a common problem but not unknown. In some hamsters the cheek pouches may Evert
(turn inside out) the pouch will appear as a pink moist mass coming out of the corner of the mouth. A visit to the vet will be required; the vet will return the pouch to its normal position. Just returning the pouch back to its normal position will not solve the problem, it will happen again, the vet will need to insert a suture (stitch) to keep the pouch in place.

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