Can Hamsters Have Down Syndrome? : Exploring the Possibility

If you see your beloved hamsters showing up with similar symptoms to those of Down syndrome, you would need to ascertain whether they are suffering from that condition or not. So, in this article, we have addressed everything you need to know about this topic. So, to first answer the question of whether hamsters can have Down syndrome, no, they cannot. They will not experience Down syndrome as humans do. If your hamster has a different facial shape, it is most likely because of a craniofacial abnormality.

This is a commonly spotted condition that you will come across among hamsters. However, the symptoms they may exhibit are very similar to those of Down syndrome. So, if your precious hamsters develop any of these symptoms, you should not ignore them. So, before you go for any medical treatment, it would be worthwhile to go through this article to educate yourself in this regard.

Can hamsters have Down Syndrome?

The answer is no, hamsters cannot be affected by Down syndrome. Having said that, several experts are conducting studies to discover more in this regard. Even though some hamsters may develop different facial shapes, you should not assume that they have Down syndrome.

As aforesaid, it would be a craniofacial abnormality, which you can commonly spot, especially due to poor breeding. Having said that, if you are concerned about the condition of the hamsters, you can consider taking them to a veterinarian. This condition was commonly observed in Syrian hamsters, particularly satin-coated hamsters.

What is down’s syndrome?

It is more like a condition where the hamsters are born with an extra chromosome. It can pave the way for several birth defects and would badly affect the normal functioning of the animals who go through this condition. You can come across Down syndrome conditions in dogs, cats, and humans. As per some research conducted, approximately 6,000 American babies are born with this condition every year. Down syndrome usually accompanies facial deformities. Besides humans, animals who suffer from Down syndrome don’t live longer. However, hamsters will not get Down syndrome, and it would be more like a condition that occurs due to poor breeding.

What is the cause of down syndrome hamster

In agreement with an earlier theory, two researchers from Dartmouth Medical School propose that a virus may be the main etiologic agent in Down’s syndrome.

Common signs of a Hamster with down syndrome

Hamsters may show the following signs if they suffer from these conditions: For example, those hamsters may develop craniofacial abnormalities. Besides, they may have slanted eyes as well. A satin coat is another sign that you could use to presume that they are suffering from this craniofacial abnormality.

Aside from that, stunted growth is another common symptom in hamsters suffering from this condition. Moreover, the hamsters affected by this condition may have dental problems. There is also a chance that they have missing teeth. Blindness and abnormally shaped paws are more commonly observed symptoms in hamsters with these conditions.

Treatment for Down syndrome hamster

Hamsters won’t get Down syndrome. However, you must take care of the hamsters who suffer from deformities or any other abnormalities. For example, hamsters may suffer from craniofacial abnormalities, and due to that, they may sometimes lose teeth in the mouth too. So, this would be a critical condition for the hamsters, as the teeth play a major role in their day-to-day lives. If you don’t look after them, chances are that they may die quite quickly too.

The lifespan of Down syndrome hamster

Down syndrome hamsters might not be possible, although craniofacially malformd hamsters are quite vulnerable. Since they must be fed soft, mushy food by their owners alone due to their facial defects, they are fairly feeble.

What to feed a hamster with Down syndrome

I suggest using a high-protein diet for hamsters with conditions similar to Down syndrome. That way, it would help them have consistent growth. Having said that, feeding a hamster who is suffering from a condition like this would be somewhat tough. It would be tough to handle for experienced hamster owners as well. However, many hamster owners opt to go ahead with specialized homemade diets or even with commercial feeds to provide for their hamsters.

If you want to use commercial diets, you need to choose diets that contain 20 % protein. In addition to that, you may also consider using calcium supplements for these hamsters. However, you need to provide those in moderation. Sugary foods should not be given to these hamsters. For example, don’t give them fruits such as pineapples or peas as it would make the hamsters probe for diseases such as diabetes.

How to care hamster with down syndrome

Even though hamsters cannot contract the Down syndrome condition, you must look after the hamsters who suffer from any deformities. You need to ideally provide the food, which is explained above. Furthermore, if the requirement arises, you’ll need to take them to a vet doctor as well.

Protect your hamster from viral infection

According to studies, hamsters may exhibit symptoms similar to those of Down syndrome if they get a virus-caused illness. Therefore, you must take precautions to keep your hamster free of any viral infections.

Keep your hamster’s cage as spotless as you can to do this. If you have multiple hamsters and one of them gets a viral infection, be sure to keep the other hamsters away from it.

Symptoms of viral diseases can spread swiftly, and your other hamsters will also experience them.

Can down’s syndrome cause death in hamsters?

Irrespective of what you do to take care of the hamsters, it is very likely that their life spans will be shortened due to these health-related conditions. So, if your hamsters are suffering from any medical condition, it is obvious that their life span will be reduced. However, you need to keep looking after them well and loving them, as it would help them.

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