Stress in a hamster.

Stress is an emotionally disruptive and upsetting condition that can have adverse effects on both animals and humans. Stress can affect hamsters' young and old alike and occurs in response to adverse external influences know as external stressors. These can include but are not limited to, excessive heat, cold, uncertainty, threat and trauma.
Separating a baby hamster from the relative safety of its mother can be a traumatic time for the animal, then Moving locations from or to the pet shop and onto his new home can result in a baby hamster becoming stressed. Rough handling and relatively simple tasks such as cage cleaning can be a very traumatic and stressful time for a hamster, young or old.

It is acknowledged that in the long term that the physical symptoms of stress are detrimental to the animals well being. Stress can manifest itself in many different ways; there is no standard pattern of reaction. It is important to understand the causes of stress and how to minimize some of it.
Once a baby hamster leaves its mother the trauma of leaving can cause a baby hamster to become stressed. They can stress more so when they are put into transition, usually in overcrowded conditions to the shop, a noisy and temperature fluctuating environment then on route to its new home. The signs of stress in a newly acquired young hamster may show in different ways. Symptoms can include irregular breathing, trembling, irritability, refusal to eat and drink, hiding or confining themselves away in the nest or other parts of the cage.

Stress in itself is not particularly harmful for short periods it is when stress becomes persistent and prolonged the symptoms then become aggressive and severe. The digestive system is usually the first line of attack; prolonged stress can disrupt the digestive system irritating the large intestine causing diarrhea, or constipation.
To relieve some of the stress always let a hamster relax in his new home for a few days before you commence handling. This will allow him to become accustomed to his new surroundings and environment, keeping handling to a minimum for this period.
Stress has also been associated with the development of insulin resistance. This is a condition in which the body is unable to use insulin effectively to regulate glucose. This can lead to the onset of diabetes type 2



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