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Sunday, March 13, 2011

3

the syrian hamster

The Syrian Hamster is approximately 6-7 inches in length when full grown with a very short tail. It has hairless feet with four toes on the front feet and five on the back feet. The Syrian Hamster has expandable cheek pouches which it uses to collect and carry food and bedding and it can carry up to half its body weight in grain in its cheek pouches.

The Syrian Hamster is a solitary animal and will not usually live with another past 8-10 weeks of age and is nocturnal, usually waking during the evening.
The average lifespan of the Syrian Hamster is 2-2½ years although they can live longer and up to 3-4 years is not too unusual.
The Syrian Hamster is sometimes referred to as the 'Golden Hamster' due to its original wild golden colouring although today there are many different colour and coat mutations. The 'original' colour of the Syrian Hamster in the wild is golden brown with an ivory belly, dark cheek flashes and ivory crescents. The Syrian Hamster is also sometimes referred to as the Standard or Fancy Hamster and Long Haired Syrian hamsters are sometimes referred to as 'Teddy Bear Hamsters'. In addition the Hairless Syrian Hamster is sometimes referred to as the 'Alien Hamster' and the Black Syrian Hamster is also referred to as the 'Black Bear' or 'European Black Bear' Hamster.
Hairless
This gene causes the hamster to have no fur although it may have curly whiskers.



Long Hair
Female long hair hamsters have a longer coat than the normal short hair and may have tufts around their bottom. However it is the male long haired hamsters that have the true long coat. They may have long tufts around their hips, a long skirt around their lower body, or a thick long coat all over. The long haired Syrian Hamster is sometimes referred to as the Teddybear Hamster.

Rex
This gene causes the coat to become wavy and the hairs to be lifted and a Short Haired Rex is plush in appearance with a velvet feel to the coat. The Long Haired Rex (particularly the males) can have a slightly scruffy look. Rex hamsters also have curly whiskers with a 'crimped' appearance.



Short Hair
This is the normal coat of the wild Syrian Hamster and the coat is short and dense all over the body.


All of the above coats can be combined with any colour or pattern and Short or Long haired coats can be combined with Satin or Rex to produce eg Long Haired Satin Rex.



How to Bathe a Syrian Hamster:

Things You'll Need:

* Soft-bristled toothbrush
* Washcloth
* Water
* Small bowl
* Sand

1. Comb a soft-bristled toothbrush through the hair of your Syrian hamster if he has long hair. Long-haired Syrian hamsters can have shavings tangled in the hair and a toothbrush is the gentlest tool you can use to remove this.
2. Check your Syrian hamster often for dirty areas, such as around the anus. Clean the hamster gently with a soft washcloth and warm water as needed. Bathing removes oils from the hamster's coat so it is not recommended.
3. Examine your Syrian hamster frequently for any changes in skin or hair. Changes in his stool can signal a problem as well.
4. Keep your Syrian hamster's cage clean and keep him on a regular schedule of food and water. Make sure he gets plenty of exercise by placing a hamster wheel in his cage. Handle him on a regular basis to give him some human interaction.
5. Make an appointment with a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals if you have any concerns about your Syrian hamster.

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