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Oh, We have a 5 month old teddy bear hamster who has a

Oh, HI! We have...
Oh, HI! We have a 5 month old teddy bear hamster who has a swollen pouch - no bad breath and no signs of other problems just wondering if he stuffed too much food in there - Im not going to feed him for a day or two
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the teddy bear's name?
Customer: Squeak
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Squeak?
Customer: No, the pouch is a little red, round and underneath his chin. I massage it and squeak has no problem
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
10/14/2016
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 21,743
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has Squeak had this swelling?

Is he eating and drinking normally?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
He drinks normally and has been eating quite well - loves broccoli, and timothy pellets. He keeps looking for food but I don't want to give him any until that pouch is down

Thank you,

First, you don’t want to withhold food from Squeak. Hamsters are a species that do need to have continual access to food. So, withdrawing it even for a day is risky and could do more harm than good. Instead, you can offer soft foods and encourage him to dink.

Otherwise, we need to tread with care. His lack of discomfort when you massage the area does fit with a mild cheek pouch impaction but can be seen when tumors are present. Still, since this has been sudden in appearing and he is quite young, we’d hope that is a lesser concern for him.

In any case, instead of starving him, you will want to gently massage the cheek pouch contents forward to see if you can help him dislodge anything stuck. If that doesn’t help, then you may need to carefully open his mouth and try to remove any material that may be sticking out of the pouch. If you were to use any forceps, make sure they don’t have any sharp edges. If he is too active, then we may need his vet to sedate him for this. Finally, we can also try to use an eye dropper with water to try and moisten anything caught to again help remove via the above.

Overall, withholding food is highly inadvisable. Instead the above would be our mainstay of tackling a cheek pouch impaction. And if you cannot get it clear with the above, then we’d want him to his vet to have this checked, rule out other issues (tumors, abscesses), and get this settled for him before it can put him off eating for us.

If you don’t already have an exotics vet, you can find one near you at http://www.aemv.org/vetlist.cfm. If you are struggling, then also check @ http://www.guinealynx.info/vetlist.html or @ http://rabbit.org/vet-listings/ as these vets usually will see pocket pets as well.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

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Oh dear,

That is actually quite low for where we'd expect cheek pouch issues, so I would be concerned that we have an abscess or possibly even a tumor. Therefore, even more we dont' want to starve him but a check up and sampling of the mass would be ideal here.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
ok thank you.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, please rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited by the site for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 21,743
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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