If your hamster is sick or injuries and you don’t know what it is, this directory of diseases and illnesses covers many of the common health problems that can affect them. Each entry contains the signs and symptoms of the particular hamster health issue, its cause for it and how to treat a sick hamster affected by it. Learning how to care for hamsters involves observing them while they are healthy and thus having an idea there is a health issue when they begin to act abnormally.



sick hamster treatment care

If you are looking for a resource on hamster illnesses, we highly recommend purchasing, Hamsterlopaedia Guide.

If you need help finding a hamster veterinarian, try the State Veterinary Medical Association

Photo: marinaavila

33 comments on “A-Z Directory of Hamster Diseases
  1. Mandy says:

    Do hamsters have leptospirosis ?????????

  2. TJ says:

    I have had my hamster for almost 2 1/2 years one day she was fine but when I came home from work the next day I noticed she cant barely walk without falling over, she twitches & jerks her head around & her eyes dont seem to open very far!? But she is still eating & drinking!? Thought maybe she might have had a stroke but I dont know…

    • admin says:

      unfortunately, hamsters only live 2-3 years so it is possible that it did have a stroke or has some other serious issue. You can consult a vet but other than giving you a prescription or antibiotics, there isn’t much they can do if it is something as serious as a stroke. Just try to make it feel comfortable in its old age. soft bedding, quiet location, warm and comfortable.

  3. Charlyn says:

    Dear admin,
    My Syrian hamster is about one year old and she has been living actively before last Sunday after she played with a group of kids. Then, since monday, i started to observe that she eats lesser than she used to be and has “whooping” kind of sound which is more prominent and worse at night.. i brought her to vet ( but not hamster vet) , he told me maybe she is too stress and gave me some medicine.. But my hamster still suffering from the same symptoms which I really don’t know why.. Can you please shade me some light on what should I do now to help my hamster?
    Thanks.

  4. alif says:

    my robo hamster do not want to drink his water and i try a syringe without a needle to put water in its mouth; but he bites me twice.plz help me

    • admin says:

      try feeding it some foods that have a lot of water in them. Water mellon might be a good solution until your little guy starts using its water bottle.

  5. Crystal says:

    My friend had a hamster that suddenly died. It was fine a hour before, but then it died. Could it have died of lead poisoning? The cage had wire bars and was painted. The cage was brand new and it was a CritterTrail cage. The hamster was less than a year old. Is this something that happens often? It did not appear sick and was actually quite healthy with none of the usual symptoms. What could have happened? Please reply.

    • admin says:

      I’m not entirely sure if there is lead in those cages. I don’t have that information. if anyone knows the answer to this, please reply.

  6. dan says:

    Hi, my Siberian hamster was perfectly normal last night and now this morning she is lethargic and sleeping in an usual manner: flat on her stomach and not curled up into her usual bedding bed that she makes. She seems very weak and thinner. I know that’s not a lot to go off of, but I can’t take her to a vet until tomorrow – any ideas on what to do for her until then?

    • admin says:

      Continue to monitor your hamster and see if it is still eating and drinking. It could be a lot of things; it could be constipation or it could be something more serious. Make sure you feed it a well balanced diet to avoid gut impaction and also keep the cage clean to avoid illness. A vet could be more help obviously. You might try calling one to see if they have some free advice to give you.

  7. catherine says:

    Hi,my hamster is abt 2 years +…lately i realised there’re a few lumps around the stomach areas. It is still eating but move around lesser. I went to 2 pet shops to try to buy medications for it but the owners told me it’s likely due to old age & bringing it to a vet will not help either.They advised to make it comfortable while waiting for its day to come.Pls advise.Thank you

    • admin says:

      Lumps are not necessarily an issue. Yes, it comes with old age and yes a trip to the vet might not solve the problem either. In old age, change the diet and add a few drops of cod liver oil onto it’s food a few times a week. This helps the heart, brain, joints and skin. Keep it happy by keeping the cage clean and the bedding soft. The point here is, hamsters have short lifespans but as a pet owner, you can make that life a great one with love and care.

  8. Della says:

    My dwarf hamster has been acting really weird lately. He is constipated and randomly will squeck repeatly and will flip on his back and spin in circles. The last time he did that, I was holding him and he bite me twice. He seemed fine afterwards, but he isn’t quite acting his normal, insane self. What can I do?

    • admin says:

      Hamster constipation can be cured by feeding more fiber like fruits (melons or cabbage) and veggies – also make sure it gets enough water. Squeaking is more common among dwarf breeds and that might not be a problem but in combination with the flipping and spinning, it sounds like your little guy could be in a bit of pain from the impaction or constipation. Let us know how it goes. if it doesn’t get better soon than later, consult a vet.

  9. christina says:

    i’m not so sure whether my hamster have a wet tail… but when i put my hamster to the bathing sand, some of the sand get stick to it… Is wet tail a serious illness?

  10. brittany says:

    we just got a hamster a week ago she is pretty active when we turn the light on today she isnt moving feels cold and barely opening her eyes… we thought that she was gone but realized she IS breathing. any ideas of what could be wrong with her?

    • admin says:

      It could be a lot of things? It can be a an illness, the bedding could be toxic, the food you are feeding it could be bad, it could have been that you woke her up and she wasn’t ready to get up. other not moving and not opening her eyes, is she displaying anything else. I her breathing shallow or rapid? I’d consider consulting a vet since it sounds serious. Let us know how she is doing.

  11. christina says:

    I’m not really sure if my hamster is sick… I bought it from a friend’s friend. She had too many hamsters to take care of. My hamster have been dropping some fur at the back.. Is it due to the food or beddings i gave it? The food i bought have oat, sunflower seeds, etc… PLZ help me:(

  12. kendra hoff says:

    i have 3 girl baby hamsters that are a month and 3 days old and they are not feeling good and i need some help with what to make them feel better i asked the vet and they said a little bit of water down 1% milk its a little bit helping but what ealse can i give to them please help me out

  13. Lena says:

    Our teddy-bear hamster is around 2yers old, has been breathing faster and heavier than normal (since Friday morning) , had bleeding nose , closed tightly eyes, slowly moving ….. over all fur didn’t look groomed( stroke???) He seemed to do better today , No blood, better breathing , but still doesn’t move much, didn’t eat or drink much. I put him in quiet and dark place, tried to spoon feed with warm milk ..What else I can do to help…Vet is too expensive option for us:(…..

    • admin says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your sick hamster. I know, a vet can be expensive and you can’t always find one that will give you a deal based on how small your little pet is. Two years old is getting towards the average lifespan of a hamster and I know it’s sad to see these things happen. Even with the best care, hamsters still get old and sick. The best thing to do is to make your pet comfortable during these times. I think you are doing what you need to by placing it in a quiet place and trying to get it to drink. Dehydration can become a problem so keep trying to get it to drink. You might try a syringe without a needle to put water in its mouth; but do so slowly so it doesn’t go down the wrong tube.

      Did he take any falls or did you see him sneezing or are you using bedding that might be causing respiratory problems. A fall can lead to internal bleeding and explain the bloody nose and heavy breathing but so could a cold and bedding that contains toxic chemicals. Monitor your little guy and keep trying to get him to drink.

  14. mie says:

    Hi. My syrian hamster isn’t so active lately. It had just gave birth but unfortunately the babies didn’t survive. So now she isn’t running like she used to before. Help?

    • admin says:

      A mother hamster that has just given birth will be exhausted. It will take time for her to bounce back from it. Keep her comfortable, offer her food and water and give her some space until she is back to herself. Read this post on hamster breeding and babies for more information.

  15. Victoria napier says:

    Im worried about our robinsoki dwarf hamster, he has lost weight and has ared patch of skin and he is loosing his hair, he also lost the use of his back leg he is still eating and drinking. What could it be?

    • admin says:

      How old is your hamster? Where is it losing it’s hair? It could be a sign of old age but it could be a few other things too. See this post on hamster limb problems. Limb problems can be due to hereditary traits, a lack of exercise, an injury or a bacterial infection. Some of these are treatable or might fix themselves. Hair loss can be due to a diet low in protein or because of things like mites. See this post on hamster hair loss. It’s good that is eating and drinking though, that’s always a good sign. Best of luck to you and your little robo.

  16. Estie says:

    Hi there,
    I am worried about my dwarf hamster, over the last two months he gained a lot of weight and is just lying around in the cage.
    He doesnt run as actively anymore?
    Might it be due to illness? Or does he need a tonic?

    • admin says:

      He might just be a bit obese. It’s probably due to its diet. You should avoid feeding your dwarf hamster anything fatty. Take a look at our post on hamster food. If you notice your hamster only eating parts of what you provide it, the food it does eat is probably the more fatty food. Just like with us humans, we tend to like to eat what’s not always the best for us. You can make sure it gets a balanced diet if you feed it pre-made blocks and avoid the seed mixes with sunflower seeds. Get your little guy some exercise it a hamster ball or build it a maze to encourage it to run around. Let us know if you have any more questions and keep us updated on how your hamster is doing.

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