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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2010, Article ID 951708, 5 pages
Research Article

Cause and Possible Treatments of Foot Lesions in Captive Syrian Hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus)

Département de Biologie, Université de Moncton, Moncton, NB, Canada E1A 3E9

Received 23 March 2010; Accepted 21 April 2010

Academic Editor: Takashi Umemura

Copyright © 2010 Mélisa Veillette et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) run extensively in exercise wheels. This running may cause paw lesions. Three treatments of these wounds (topical application of vitamin E, wheel blocking, and a combination of both) were compared using both sexes. A pretreatment period with or without wheels lasted 15 days and the ensuing treatment period lasted 45 days. At the end of the pre-treatment period, none of the animals without wheels had paw wounds, whereas at least 75% of the females and 100% of the males with wheels did. Females had fewer and smaller wounds than males at this point. At the end of the treatment period, no effect of vitamin E could be discerned, but significant wound healing occurred after wheel blocking in both males and females. Wheel blocking is an easy way to prevent or treat paw wounds, but it presents problems in terms of animal welfare, as wheels are an important cage enrichment for hamsters.