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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17906
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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One of my dwarf hamsters babies appears to be missing a front

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One of my dwarf hamsters babies appears to be missing a front paw, is there any special treatment I need to give it or should I just let mum take care of things?
Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to see you've been waiting a bit for an answer and I'd like to help with your concerns about your new little one if you are still interested.

I'm sorry to hear that she was born without a paw. Is the missing paw area covered with normal skin and not raw looking? Sometimes new mums can get overzealous with cleaning their little ones and accidently injure them. If the area is raw looking you will want to watch closely that mum isn't further traumatizing the area. If the area isn't raw then I would not worry about doing anything. Hamsters can learn to get along just fine with 3 legs/paws. She won't need to hunt for food or escape predators so she can live a normal life. She probably won't even miss what she has never had.

I would caution you though that if she was born without a paw there may be other, internal congenital defects that you are unaware of that may change her lifespan. Hamsters are highly inbred and as such we do see a fair amount of congenital defects and diseases that can affect their lifespan.

If mum is rejecting her then I'm sorry to say that it is likely that she may have other congenital defects that you cannot see. If that is the case it may be best to have her humanely euthanized by your veterinarian.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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