Basic hamster anatomy and body parts
Each section of a hamster’s body serves a specific job that aids in carrying out daily chores, according to its anatomy. You should be able to better care for your small pets if you comprehend and pay attention to these characteristics.
Pouches and cheeks
One of the most distinctive features of hamster anatomy is its cheeks. The majority of hamster species have elongated cheek pouches that go from the jaw to the shoulders. They may hunt for a longer amount of time and bring a plenty of food back to their burrows without having to make multiple excursions thanks to these expanding pouches. They improve their chances of surviving in difficult surroundings by reducing the length of time they are exposed to the elements and predators.
There are no salivary glands in the cheeks. This enables them to transfer food or nesting materials while keeping them dry. To prevent the stuff being carried from spilling out, the pouch’s interior is lined with coarse skin.
Cheek pouch issues
There are a wide range of illnesses that may be an issue for these pouches. the left and right ventricles and atria, respectively (but it has three vena cava to our two). A developing infection requires draining the abscess and administering an antibiotic in order to be treated. The cheeks turning inside out is another potential issue. The only solution for this critical issue is veterinary surgery. The easiest approach to avoid these tragic occurrences is to frequently inspect the animal’s teeth to ensure that they are being properly filed down by chewing.
Hamsters crunch seeds and other hard foods with their teeth, shred materials to make sleeping nests, and gnaw on just about anything in their home habitat. Since they help wear down the teeth, hard foods can be advantageous. Commercial pellets and seed mixtures are both good choices. A hamster will tear up any paper or cardboard that is placed in its cage in order to make a nest, including the cardboard from toilet paper rolls. However, if they get too long, they won’t be able to utilize them to assist build nests or even to eat, thus this practice may not help keep the teeth short.
Like other rodents, your tiny pet’s teeth will develop throughout the course of its lifetime. It only receives one set, and it must maintain good health. Rarely do chips and cracks occur, although enlarged teeth are considerably more typical. Serious health issues like anorexia, malnutrition, and infections can result from this.
Give your pet chew toys to ensure that the teeth are kept at the proper length. These can be found in the small rodents area of your neighborhood dog store. It can start chewing on its cage bars or their food dishes if you don’t give it something to chew on. The infrequent chips and cracks may be the result of chewing on improper things like these.
It’s critical to supply these chew toys for hamsters because overcrowding can harm the mouth’s tissues and make it challenging for them to consume. But occasionally, teeth that are severely out of shape or overgrown will need to be trimmed. Only a trained professional or a seasoned hamster owner should trim back a hamster’s teeth. By badly cutting the tongue or mouth or by smashing a tooth, those who conduct this have a higher risk of critically hurting their pets.
Blind at birth
A hamster’s eyes are closed at birth and don’t open up for about 11 to 14 days. Although newborn hamsters are typically blind, with practice and memory, they are able to navigate their environment very well. Before their eyes open, for instance, babies who are born and nursed in a nest that their mother has built at the end of a maze will already be walking and familiar with the layout of that maze.
Fact:– They perceive in grayscale and black and white.
– The eyes are located on top of the head so it can see predators better.
– They have a third eyelid called a nictitating membrane.
They have poor vision
Since hamsters have very weak eyesight, their eyes are not very useful for navigation. Their capacity to see is significantly worse in direct sunshine, and they will act as though they are blind. Again, this doesn’t significantly impair their capacity to navigate their environment or locate their burrows.
Poor eyesight is not a major worry for them because they use their whiskers and their sense of touch and smell to navigate largely. The larger golden breeds shouldn’t be kept in communities because they will fight; only dwarf species should. The majority of this exploration will take place when it is dark or early in the morning.
Albinos, commonly referred to as white hamsters, have red eyes. Other breeds have extremely black eyes. The eye color of the hamster has no bearing on whether or not it is blind or how much it can see.
Coats and furs
There are numerous breed varieties to choose from, and each breed has a wider range of colors and fur textures.
Types of fur coats
- Satin: Short, shiny and smooth.
- Short Haired: Original hamster coat.
- Rex Shot Haired: Curly tufts, velvet like.
- Rex Long Haired: Wavy and scruffy looking.
- Long Haired Males: Long and stringy skirt.
- Long Haired Females: Medium tufts (teddy bear hamster).
Skin or fur issues in hamsters
Some new owners discover that after a few weeks the fur has thinned or come off in some locations, exposing the skin in those areas. For starters, cuts like this can become infected if your skin inside the pouches lacerates because of whatever it carried or if its teeth grew too long and sliced the skin. The hamster’s heart functions just like a human heart with two right chambers and two left chambers.
The left atrium and left ventricle of the hamster’s heart receive new, oxygenated blood. All of the hamster’s bodily parts receive oxygenated blood from the left ventricle via the aorta. When the blood returns, it passes through the three vena cava, enters the right atrium, moves to the right ventricle, and then exits through the pulmonary artery to the lungs. The heart of a hamster beats 250–500 times each minute.
Hamsters unquestionably have hearts. This might be the result of a little altercation between two hamsters, an illness, or persistent rubbing on the cage’s side, typically close to the feeder. However, before they can navigate in that way, they must have had sufficient time to become familiar with the location.
A fight is not the only circumstance that can result in fur loss. Molting is the cause of one of these. Even if you don’t learn anything new about how to care for them from this knowledge, you could learn something new about your tiny pet.
Additionally typical in aged hamsters is fur loss. It first appears in the area of the belly, then moves to the chest and limbs. Again, there is no reason to worry excessively about this. Since vitamin deficits can also be the cause of the loss or thinning of fur, you might only need to change your diet.
Consider a vitamin deficiency as the cause of fur loss when it first appears. Try to fix the issue by supplementing your hamster’s feed with water-soluble vitamins to help correct any vitamin imbalance. These water-soluble vitamins should be available in pet stores. Giving your pet occasionally some breakfast cereal or fresh vegetables is a good approach to take care of it.
Hands and feet
A hamster has small, short, stocky hands and feet. Hamsters frequently dig tunnels beneath the ground. A hamster’s feet must be able to dig into the ground in order to create tunnels and living chambers for this reason. This task is made possible by the fingers and toes’ tiny claws. The capacity to climb is one of the additional advantages of having claws or the requirement for having them.
This helps you avoid being attacked by predators and makes it easier to gather a wide range of food. Berries, nuts, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and occasionally even insects are among the dietary items a hamster may have to climb to reach. To keep the food they gather, hamsters have cheek pouches on either side of their faces.
Issues with feet
Your pet may occasionally develop pododermatitis, also known as Bumblefoot or painful feet. Pain and swelling are brought on by an infection in the foot. Although it usually starts in the feet, it can gradually move up to the legs. Lesions and swells in the foot pads are signs of this disorder. Typically, a wire hamster cage with a wire floor is the culprit. It can also happen when a hamster lives in filthy settings or has inadequate hygiene.
They do have a tail, however it is tiny and occasionally hardly apparent. Typically, the hamster’s tail is 1/16th as long as its body. The tail might not be visible through the hair if you have a long-haired type. The Chinese dwarf is the exception to the rule that all animals have short tails. Nearly as long as their body, their tail is.
By observing the tail line, you can utilize the tail anatomy to identify whether you have a male or female. A female that is sexually mature has a tidy, streamlined tail. Although the tail line may not always be obvious in some species, a male’s tail line bulges on both sides.
Wet tail is the most vital item to understand. The bacterial illness is extremely contagious among hamsters. Severe, foul-smelling diarrhea, soft, pale-colored pellets that may contain mucus, lethargy, a wet, filthy bottom and tail, the ability to walk stooped over, and a propensity to squeal in pain are all signs of wet tail.
It is important to visit a veterinarian since, if the symptoms of this sickness are not addressed right once, the hamster will frequently pass away within 24-48 hours. A bite or scratch that develops into an abscess, a splinter stuck and developing into an abscess from wooden housing or wooden bedding, hair loss caused by ringworm, skin irritation, mange, or stress are some less serious disorders that could affect the tail.
Due to their poor eye sight, hamsters must have a keener sense of smell in order to find food and detect approaching predators. Having whiskers makes it easier to detect and find food. The nose itself has a lot of nerve endings and a lot of blood flow, making it fairly sensitive.
Hamsters’ ears may actually curl up while they’re trying to fall asleep and have superb hearing. It’s ideal to keep your cage in a quiet corner of a room as loud noises in busy places can severely stress them out. Hamster ears can develop infectious ear mites.
A hamster’s mouth has two distinctive characteristics. The first are its cheek pouches, and the second is its split upper lip (The cheek pouches are explained below). This cleft lip separates in the middle rather than running the full length. When the hamster’s mouth is closed, the incisors (teeth) are visible due to the cleft lip.
Understanding the anatomy of a hamster will help you become a better hamster caregiver. It can be easier to take better care of your pet hamster if you understand the fundamentals of all of its anatomical parts. Fur loss is common during the summer, and this is a normal process.
A hamster’s stomach is divided into two distinct regions. Beneficial bacteria or microorganisms in the first stomach aid in digestion by digesting the hamster’s food. The hamster can ingest fibrous things like grass thanks to these microorganisms. The second part is a stomach that resembles a human’s. Before moving into the intestines for additional digestion, it is composed of acids and enzymes that break down the meals for a period of time. A ruminant digestive system is the one that hamsters have.
Because they are mammals, hamsters require oxygen to exist. A hamster can oxygenate its blood with the necessary oxygen it needs to survive and remove the harmful byproduct, CO2, by inhaling fresh oxygen through its lungs while also exhaling used up oxygen (CO2). Given that humans only have two unique lobes, hamsters have five. One lobe is on the left, and the other four are on the right. A hamster may breathe anywhere between 35 and 135 times each minute. When it is sleeping or “hibernating,” its respiratory rate is slower; when it is awake or exercising, it is faster.
Internal and exterior reproductive organs are present in female hamsters. The ovaries, uterus, vagina, and mammary glands are among the internal components; the nipples and exterior vagina are among the external parts. Despite having just two mammary glands, female hamsters can produce six to seven pairs of nipples. It has a large number of nipples so that it can feed a litter of newborn hamsters. A female can start reproducing as soon as 30 days after giving birth and will cycle every four days. The male hamster has a penis and two testicles. Hamsters are simple to sex because the testicles of a male hamster are obvious and the males have a rounder back.
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