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Gerbils & Hamsters/Hamster has impacted cheek/pouch



I noticed that a corn is stuck in my dwarf hamsters pouch for several days... I did some reading and wanted to know if massaging the cheek/pouch will help or must I seek out vet help?

Hi Ruan

Thanks for your question - apologies for the delay in responding.

Sometimes hamster do get food stuck in their pouches. This could be for a number of reasons.

You can try to empty it but be careful as you don't want to damage it. Working from the bottom of the pouch gently try to squeeze the impacted food out - a bit like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. If you can feel the food moving carry on. If it doesn't move don't continue but instead get veterinary advice. Hamsters can develop tumors or abscesses and there is always the possibility it is this. If so your vet can advise you. They would also be able to flush out the cheek pouch.

Some foods such as hamster 'chocolate' can block pouches due to its high fat content and therefore foods like this should be avoided.

I hope this helps you.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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