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Old 09-27-2005, 10:20 AM   #1
babyboos
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Default Black hamsters browning - saliva to blame?

"If it's the same process as occurs with black cats, it's oxidation caused by the saliva. As the hammy licks his fur, the chemical composition of the saliva reacts with the light (real or artificial) to change the color. My science teachers always claimed there was no such thing as truly black fur, it was all dark, dark brown. The saliva and light cause it to lighten in color so that we perceive it as a true brown."



I asked for comments on this statement (not originally mine) on another forum I frequent. I thought I would share a really interesting reply.



"Hi I have been a syrian judge here in the UK for many years, and turning brown is a problem with blacks, it is also found, in greys be it light, dark or silver, lilacs, sables etc, infact anything of the brown/black gene. As the syrian gets older you will often see the brown working from the hip spots over the bottom and creeping up the back, hence why the show shelf life of these animals is very poor due to this colour change, infact it got so bad that some dark greys and silvers were only being shown upto the 4 month age bracket.



A lot of it is down to breeding, most syrian breeders and I have been amoung them breed for pretty and not for standard colours, so often blacks contain a multitude of other colours, there was cases a few years ago of goldens becoming too darkly ticked with the crescents being too black because in the background some people were breeding blacks into them to enhance the colour.



Saliva can play a part but it won't cover the whole hamster, the hip spots are often affected as the hamster will lick these. In my business as a dog groomer we are plagued by westies and bichons with nice white fur stained brown on their faces, feet and bottom of their tails, this is due to the salt in the saliva staying on the fur when the dog washes, the same principal with the syrians.



Anyway hope this helps a little.



As a matter of interest until 6 years ago our blacks here in the UK were the sables, until pure melanistic blacks were imported from Scandinavia (them again, we import alot from the Scandinavians). "
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:43 PM   #2
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Default

Can you all see little black Syrians running around with those lampshade collars on to stop them licking themselves

Or rinsing in special mouthwash to neutralise the saliva
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