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Constipation in Hamsters

Constipation in hamsters causes them great discomfort. It is usually due to them eating the wrong things, so can generally be easily prevented.

If you notice that your hamster seems to be passing fewer faeces than normal (or even none at all) it is likely to be constipated. A constipated hamster will usually show signs of abdominal discomfort, (a hunched up stance). You may also notice the hamster straining to pass faeces and/ or wetness around the tail. The hamster will stop eating and have a bloated abdomen. Young hamsters that are just weaning (approx. 2 weeks old) are very susceptible due to fact that they are just starting on solids.

Constipation is likely if the hamsters are fed a very dry diet. Hamsters of all ages need moisture in their diet to prevent constipation. Provide them with some green vegetables and fruit. Make sure they always have access to fresh clean water. Take care that animals can reach the tip of the sipper tube on any bottles attached to the side of the cage, (you may need to lower this if you have babies in the cage).

Occasionally constipation may be due to the hamster eating it's bedding (cotton wool is a problem). Very rarely it is the result of infestation with parasites.

Most constipated hamsters will respond to a change in their diet, try adding fruit and vegetables or giving 1 drop of vegetable oil orally. If this does not work don't delay more than 24 hrs before seeing your vet. Some cases will require an enema.

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