Hamsters are cute, they’re cuddly, and they might just be the perfect pet to start off with if you’re new to the pet world. That’s why so many people are drawn to them, but they’re not as hardy as you may think.
In fact, most common hamster ailments can be prevented or treated quite easily if you have the right information. Keep reading to find out more about the common ailments that affect hamsters, and how you can keep your little friend healthy and happy!
These nasty little buggers are a common ailment that can be hard to diagnose. If you suspect your hamster may have them, check for strange lumps or bumps that feel firm and move slightly when you prod them.
This is probably not something you want to Google, so head to your vet for help if you notice anything suspicious. Also, remember that all pets should be dewormed regularly. Some signs of worms in your pet include weight loss, excessive itching, sluggishness, and diarrhea.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms in your furry friend.
When it comes to keeping healthy animals at home, don’t forget about your own health too! Many parasites aren’t harmful to humans, but they can cause serious problems for other animals (including yours).
Make sure you keep yourself clean by washing your hands before handling any animal; use good hygiene habits while cleaning up after them; and make sure they’re properly dewormed every few months.
Some hamsters can develop tumors, which are usually benign. If you find a lump or bump in your hamster’s body, consult with a veterinarian who is familiar with these little animals. Surgery may be necessary.
To prevent future problems, watch your hamster carefully for new lumps or bumps in addition to overall changes in appearance and behavior. Lumps that appear near the anus may indicate an infection there and should also be checked by a vet right away.
In some cases, infected hamsters will lose weight even though they still eat well; check for diarrhea or other signs of illness. An abscessed tooth may require extraction by a vet; if not treated promptly, it could cause more serious problems such as pain and infection in other parts of your pet’s body.
Sometimes tumorous growths will resolve themselves without treatment but still need to be monitored closely. Ask your vet about periodic X-rays to keep track of any changes over time.
Treating your hamster’s dental issues is a good way to protect its health. By regularly cleaning your hamster’s teeth, you can prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar, reducing bacteria in its mouth that can lead to tooth decay.
Fortunately, cleaning a hamster’s teeth is easy. To clean its teeth, use a soft toothbrush and water or other liquid for rinsing that is at room temperature—never hot or cold! Gently rub your hamster’s teeth with a circular motion until they are all brushed.
If you have trouble reaching its back molars, gently pull out your hamster’s cheek pouches to gain access to them.
If your hamster falls off a surface, be especially careful when picking it up. Often, they’ll quickly become frightened and attempt to flee. One common consequence of these escape attempts is neck injuries.
To prevent further injury, scoop up your hamster gently in one hand and hold it close to your body as you carry it back to its cage. If its neck appears injured or swollen after such an incident, you should contact a vet immediately for further instruction.
In addition, make sure to keep a close eye on your hamster over the next few days for any other signs of discomfort or illness.
Before bringing your new pet home, take time to learn about how much care he needs and how best to interact with him. Many types of pets can live comfortably indoors; others may need special attention during cold weather months (like cats) or when pregnant (like dogs).
Don’t bring home an animal that will require extra time—or cost—to care for properly.
Running wheel injury
One of a hamster’s favorite toys is its running wheel. But if your hammy is overweight, out-of-shape, or arthritic, he may not be able to use his wheel without pain and injury. If your pet is experiencing problems with mobility, try buying him a softer, larger wheel.
Also, keep in mind that exercise is vital for any animal—hamsters included—to stay healthy and happy. Give your little guy plenty of time outside his cage every day so he can run around at will.
Don’t forget to provide him with an extra-large water bottle and lots of fresh food. And make sure you don’t overfeed him! Fat hamsters are prone to joint issues. Obesity can also lead to diabetes, which makes it harder for your furry friend to move around comfortably.
It also shortens his life span by several years. So when it comes to caring for your hamster, remember that less is more.
Cuts and bruises
These are very common in hamsters and may require medical attention, especially if they aren’t healing or if your hamster is lethargic. If there are any open wounds or cuts, you should flush them out with mild soap and water.
Then treat them with antibiotic ointment. Finally, keep an eye on them and see if they’re healing properly—often a wound that doesn’t heal is a sign of illness. If it becomes infected, take your hamster to a vet immediately.
Don’t try to self-medicate; most antibiotics used for people cannot be used for animals, so taking them can be harmful (and expensive). It’s also important to remember that human medicine isn’t always safe for pets.
So while aspirin might help ease your headache, it could send your pet into shock.
The most common and easily diagnosed respiratory problem hamsters face is known as Sneezing, which can be attributed to a wide range of factors such as allergies, or even stress.
To combat sneezing, try placing your hamster in a quiet area and providing her with plenty of chew toys to alleviate boredom. If your hamster continues to sneeze uncontrollably, visit your local veterinarian for further evaluation.
As with humans, wheezing indicates an underlying condition that needs attention—it’s not just a temporary annoyance. Respiratory infections are more likely if you have multiple animals living together, especially if they’re kept in close quarters without adequate ventilation.
So it’s important to keep cage cleanliness at its peak!