Malocculusion of Hamster Teeth
Signs and Symptoms
A hamster with overgrown teeth will have difficulty closing it’s mouth which can lead to dribbling or saliva. This medical condition can lead to other illnesses. The affected pet will have a hard time eating which can lead to a case of hamster anorexia. An anorexic hamster will appear thinner and possibly stop going to the bathroom if it can’t eat anything.
Hamsters are animals that only have one set of teeth for life. From the day a hamster is born until it dies, like all rodents, its teeth will continue to grow. The teeth of a hamster are similar to finger nails in a human. As humans we can trim our nails with clippers but a hamster doesn’t have that luxury. Sometimes hamster teeth will become over grown and out of control. When this happens the teeth on the top will not meet up with the ones on the bottom. Malocculusion of hamster teeth can be caused by a congenital defect or a chipped or damaged tooth caused by gnawing on metal or hard materials or a hamster that has a diet low in calcium.
To treat a hamster with Malocculusion, you will need to clip them. If you don’t know how to do this, of don’t have the proper tools to take care of a hamster with this condition, you should take it to your vet. Some pet hamster owners will take a pair of clean and sturdy nail clippers and very carefully clip the ends of the teeth (clippers for trimming cat nails work well). They do so by holding the hamster be the scruff on the back of the neck. This hold forces the hamster’s teeth to extend. It’s vital to take care in the clipping of the teeth so you don’t accidentally cut the tongue or mouth of the little guy.
Prevent Brittle or Overgrown Teeth
If you offer your hamster plenty of chew toys, it will be able to wear down its teeth. It won’t have to rely on using any metal bars or its wire hamster cage. This will also make it less likely that your hamsters will chip their from gnawing of the bars. You can also feed your hamster a diet that includes calcium to help keep the teeth strong. Finally clipping of the teeth every few weeks might be necessary if these other methods don’t work.