This Animal Welfare Foundation two-part video tutorial is from expert veterinary staff demonstrating the correct procedures for handling small mammals for clinical examination and medication. Its aim is to show that the primary consideration should be for the the welfare of the animal. This video guide will show you practical animal handling for a hamster.
The techniques used to handle small mammals vary slightly with each species, however many of the general principles are the same. When handling all small mammals, a firm but gentle approach is advisable. This tutorial will outline recommended techniques for handling hamsters. The adoption of these techniques will help to minimize stress for the animals and help reduce the risk of bite injuries to the handler.
It is important that animals are aware of the handler's presence before attempting to restrain them, particularly if the animal is initially asleep. This will reduce stress for the animal and help to avoid bite injuries.
Handling and Restraint:
To initially restrain a hamster, the animal can be placed beneath the palm of one hand.
The hamster can then be restrained by the scruff starting with the skin near the front of the shoulders.
The scruff can be grasped between the thumb and forefinger whilst maintaining a grip on the tail. The animal is then secure and can be examined or injected safely.
Handling for Injection:
The hamster can be restrained by the scruff for intraperitoneal and subcutaneous injections.
Injection techniques for the hamster are similar to those previously discussed for the gerbil.
These videos were made by the AHWLA (Assessing the Health and Welfare of Laboratory Animals).