Will You Please Stop Chewing Those Bars!
From Hamster Central WIKI
A common minor injury is bar-rub, the hamster will rub its nose as it continually gnaws at the bar, leading to bare patches, raw or inflamed skin, or even open sores.
The most serious injury that can be caused by continual bar chewing is broken teeth. As hamsters teeth are open-rooted (they grow constantly), when one is broken they do not wear evenly and may become misaligned. If left untreated, the hamster may become unable to eat, and in serious cases teeth can grow up through lips or into the roof of the mouth. There have been claims that misaligned teeth can grow up into the cranial cavity and/or the continued shaking of the head whilst chewing can lead to brain damage, although these have not yet been substantiated, and other problems (anorexia, excess salivation, or possibly eye problems) would become apparent before any possible brain damage could occur.
If your hamsters teeth have broken because of bar chewing, they will need to be regularly trimmed to ensure they are an equal length. This should ideally be done by a vet using a dental burr. Sores caused by bar-rub may be treated with skin creams or similar, and should be monitored in case they develop a secondary bacterial infection.
Bar chewing is often caused by boredom, so make sure you have many toys for your hamster, as well as regularly taking time to play with it out of the cage. Swap the toys around often so that the hamsters environment is not always the same, and make sure your hamster has enough space too. You can give give your hamster other things to chew, like fruit tree branches (make sure they havent been sprayed with pesticides) or wooden chews from the pet store. Some hamsters may not want to chew on wood, in which case you could try unflavored dog biscuits or cardboard tubes.
Stress can also cause bar chewing so make sure all of your hamsters requirements are fulfilled� space, privacy, temperature, cleanliness of the cage, suitable bedding etc.
If bar chewing still occurs it would be best for your hamsters wellbeing if you switched it to a bar-less cage, such as a plastic duna-type cage, a converted aquarium or a home-made bin cage.
I hope that this helps you to prevent your hamster start cage bar chewing, or helps stop an existing problem.
"Article originally composed and submitted by Hamster Central Forum member (carefresh). Resource - PDSA- for pets in need of vets
Cage Chewing - Tips to break the habit!
Hamsters usually chew their beloved cages because they are bored, their teeth are too long or they just need a chew toy.
1) Try buying a chew toy, this could be a block of wood, or something that will last a while, but get your hamster munching! This usually works, especially if you've nipped this nasty habit in the bud! If you really want to be creative, try adding more floors, toy and tubes to your hammys cage!
2) If this doesn't work, your hamster is probably just really bored or fed up. Try moving things around in his cage, changing his diet, or just give him more attention. A great way to do this is to take him out of his cage, and set up some obstical courses, something fun - for the both of you!
3) If none of my suggestions have worked, then I strongly recommend changing your cage, maybe get a tank or bin. Something with no wire, which is easily accessible, but this is your last resort.
The reason that this is so important is because cage chewing could easily led your hamster to teeth or gum problems, it may even end up in taking the teeth out. Which is unpleasant for the hamster, as well as you!
Article by Hamster Central forum member - by BubblesandSqueak