Any feedback for hamster teeth?

Freela

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I'm concerned about my daughter's Syrian hamster, Carmen. She is about 2 years old, so getting up there for a hamster. I noticed this week that her front teeth are worn unevenly... the top ones are definitely worn at an angle. She has a wood chew hanging in her cage where she always climbs the bars and chews on the metal clip at the top rather than the wood part made for chewing- I wonder if she has worn her teeth down unevenly on that? It's very hard to tell how well she's eating, as she typically doesn't eat where we can see her. She just pouches her food in her cheeks and then eats it in her hidey. I gave her some apple today to try to assess her chewing (she cant pouch a whole apple!) and she did appear to be gnawing on it okay. She does seem to have slimmed down a bit lately, but I had checked it up to aging, she is now 2 and is getting that 'older hamster' look where she has less muscle mass and her fur doesn't lay as smooth... now I'm wondering if her teeth need work. I checked her against our other Syrian hamster's teeth and the other hamster's teeth are definitely more even, but she is also a whole lot younger and I'm not sure how maloccluded they have to look at the front to be a problem. Just looking for some feedback- I will probably take her to the vet anyhow, as I may have to take Hadley in as she's limping on her back foot and I might as well take them both, but just wondering if anyone has any advice.
 

Robin_

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Hello!

I would definitely take her in to the vet. Uneven teeth can definitely cause more issues over time, and just getting them evened out now will be much better in the long run :)

As for the cause, I would definitely remove the hanging toy. If she starts to get issues with bar chewing, I would try to move her into a cage without bars, such as a tank (not sure how common those are in Canada but at very least a 40g will work, 75g being preferred). Bar chewing can cause broken teeth, head trauma, and irritated nose/mouth skin from rubbing against neighboring bars, so it’s something you definitely want to avoid.
 

Skullblits

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If they need to be put under in order to clip a hamsters teeth I'm certain a vet wouldn't touch the hamster because of its age.

But if they don't then it should be taken to a vet.
 

Freela

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I'm going to take her in to get it checked out... I already took the toy out and substituted some wood chews that don't hang up (which she ignores, of course.) I could definitely move to a tank... so far she doesn't chew the bars that much, but had a real fixation on that stupid toy!
 

Robin_

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Sounds good :) Most hamsters don’t like traditional chews, but my previous syrians (particularly my extra destructive ones) have loved shredding willow tunnels and hay tubes. May be worth a shot if you have those available :)
 

Freela

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Sounds good :) Most hamsters don’t like traditional chews, but my previous syrians (particularly my extra destructive ones) have loved shredding willow tunnels and hay tubes. May be worth a shot if you have those available :)
I will definitely try that! We have some willow balls around, Hadley likes those too!
 

Freela

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Update: We did see the vet eventually (Canadian Thanksgiving led to the vet being shut for four days and a backlog of appointment after that!) and they do feel she needs a teeth trim. She is scheduled to go in tomorrow morning. She will be briefly anesthetized with gas, which makes me nervous, but she got a very thorough physical and the vet feels that she is in really good shape with good heart sounds, clear lungs, nothing weird in the abdomen, and so even though she is turning 2, the vet feels like the risk is fairly minimal. At any rate, we don't have much choice, as we can't leave her teeth reducing her ability to eat and there are no vets here that will do rodent teeth without anesthesia (not even for guinea pigs or rabbits.) So please, can you guys send some good vibes to Carmen tomorrow morning? I'm nervous about this, but don't see another option for her! She belongs to my teenager daughter and is a big favorite of my son too (he says he's her uncle) and she is an all-round nice hamster, I really want things to go well for her!

Just to add, the vet also pointed out what a nice, friendly hamsters she is and gave us kudos for clearly handling her and socializing her a lot. I just took the compliment on board with the thought in my mind that I don't think her disposition has much to do with us, as we also raised Eevee the attack hamster who would go from sweet as anything to chewing your arm off within seconds for no apparent reason. I did pass the compliment along to my daughter, who said, "This must be how parents feel when their kid gets an A."
 

Robin_

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Update: We did see the vet eventually (Canadian Thanksgiving led to the vet being shut for four days and a backlog of appointment after that!) and they do feel she needs a teeth trim. She is scheduled to go in tomorrow morning. She will be briefly anesthetized with gas, which makes me nervous, but she got a very thorough physical and the vet feels that she is in really good shape with good heart sounds, clear lungs, nothing weird in the abdomen, and so even though she is turning 2, the vet feels like the risk is fairly minimal. At any rate, we don't have much choice, as we can't leave her teeth reducing her ability to eat and there are no vets here that will do rodent teeth without anesthesia (not even for guinea pigs or rabbits.) So please, can you guys send some good vibes to Carmen tomorrow morning? I'm nervous about this, but don't see another option for her! She belongs to my teenager daughter and is a big favorite of my son too (he says he's her uncle) and she is an all-round nice hamster, I really want things to go well for her!

Just to add, the vet also pointed out what a nice, friendly hamsters she is and gave us kudos for clearly handling her and socializing her a lot. I just took the compliment on board with the thought in my mind that I don't think her disposition has much to do with us, as we also raised Eevee the attack hamster who would go from sweet as anything to chewing your arm off within seconds for no apparent reason. I did pass the compliment along to my daughter, who said, "This must be how parents feel when their kid gets an A."
Good to hear her teeth are the only issue! If your vet is responsible (sounds like it) they wouldn’t recommend putting your hamster under an anesthetic if there was a high risk, so she’s should be able to pull through. Even still, sending good vibes :)
 
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