Injured or Sick: Signs and Symptoms

pet-vet-health

If you are concerned that one of your pet hamsters might be sick, you probably already have a good feeling something might be wrong. By closely observing your pet’s behavior and physical appearance, you can determine if you have a sick hamster on your hands. Once you determine there is a problem, you can go about treating a sick hamster. Treatments can include things you can do yourself or if your hamsters are sick to the point the need special medication, you will need to go to the vet. Of course you can help avoid having to do this by learning how to prevent illnesses.




Signs and Symptoms

Change in Your Hamster’s Behavior: Good care involves observing your hamster often to see how it acts on a good day. Understand what a typical day is for your little pets. Watch the wake up routine; does the pet in question stretch and yawn like it usually does? Is your hamster eating and drinking the usual amount per day? Has the interaction it has among other hamsters roommates changed in any way? If you answered yes to any of these, it’s possible your little guy or gal is under the weather, injured or sick.
Interaction Between You and Your Hamster: Next observe how they interact with you. When you open the cage door, are your hamsters responsive? A normal reaction would be for it to perk its ears up and look towards your direction. A sick hamster might be completely out of it and not have any reaction when you open the cage. It might also cower or get nippy as it might feel vulnerable when it is sick or injured. Of course if your hamster is new, it might be a bit shy until it gets familiar with being handled.
Cute hamster standing


Coat and Fur: A healthy one with a satin coat should have a sleek coat or fur. If it looks dull or wet, it might be a sign that it is sick. If a coat that is normally rex, now has a ruffled or dried out coat appearance, it can also be a sign of illnesses.
Eyes: Healthy eyes are bright and alert without redness. There should be no discharge or crusty parts; the should not be dull or sunken in appearance. Some hamster breeds have reddish eyes to begin with so it’s important to observe what the eyes of this hamster normally look like.
Nose: The nose should be dry and not runny. A runny nose can be a sign of a cold or some other virus.
Mouth: Two common symptoms of a health issue include overgrown long teeth known as malocculusion and impacted cheek pouches. An impaction occurs when food or debris becomes stuck in the sides of the mouth. Both of these are capable of limiting a hamsters food and water intake which can become a serious matter if the issue is not resolved.
Tail: A wet hamster tail is not a good sign. This is wetness can either be fecal matter or urine. If you notice your sick hamster not moving away from where it just did it’s business, this is a strong indicator that there is a real health issue going on.


Syrian Hamster Breed

127 comments on “Injured or Sick: Signs and Symptoms

  1. Please help!! For the past few dayseconds my hamster, Pumpkin, has not been herself. She’s about a little over a year old. Her eyes are gooey, she’s not eating at ALL, barely drinking water, sits up and sways back and forth. Her skin seems red and she might be losing some hair. She’s normally a very active, hungry and full of life hamster! Any advice would be appreciated!! Thank you in advance!

    • She may have a cold or some other bacterial infection. I would consult a vet and see if you need to get some antibiotics. In the mean time, you can clean the eyes with a saline solution, clean the cage thoroughly and make sure the hamster is nice and warm. Lastly, make sure she is drinking water even if you have to feed her with an eye dropper

  2. i have two russian dwarf hamsters they are both female, and they playfight sometimes and it seems to be harmless and they sort it between themselves. they sleep together and play together. but today they were really fighting and one has blood around her bum and every time i try to touch her or lift her to inspect her wounds she squeaks in pain. should i take her to a vet ? i have split them up for now but dont know what to do because i dont have room for two cages and they seemed to get on fine before, i got them together and they already lived together from birth i have had them about three months. they seemed to enjoy each others company when they were lifted out to play with my son they would always go to each other and it would break my wee boys heart to get rid of one. please help

    • Usually two female dwarfs should be fine to live together but as you see now, they might also fight. if it continues like this, you might sadly have to separate them. If you don’t have the space for two cages, perhaps you can expand the current one and provide a few more spaces that are more private. This will give them their own area to call their own. Two feeding dishes, water bottles and wheels might help as well.

  3. I got a robo dwarf hamster a few months ago. When we first got her she was all over the place and played al day than ran on her wheel all night. She slowly calmed down and just went on her wheel at night. I see her eating but I never see her drink; however her water bottle shows she does drink. Nowadays she stays hidden all day and almost all night. I hardly see her and when I do she is just sitting on one of her floors eating. It worries me because of how dramatically her behavior has change. I hope you can help me.

    • It’s really hard to tell if there is an issue to be concerned about? Some of these behaviors are just what hamsters do. Are there any physical signs of a problem?

  4. Hi, I have a Russian dwarf hamster and he/she is usually very active but is not leaving his/her bed and I have not seen him/her eat since early hours this morning. is this anything to worry about and should I see a vet?

    • It probably isn’t anything to worry about but continue to monitor your hamster’s behavior. Make sure it is at least eating and drinking water.

  5. I got my hamster about a week ago it was very active and running around but the past two days it has just sat in its house it eats little she does drink and when I get her out she runs around but when I put her back she just goes and lays down she also has a bit of diarrhea, could it be stress I clean her cage often but I did get her out the day after I got her is this stress or sickness ?

    • It could be stress. It could also be its diet. make sure you feed your hamster a well balanced diet. Also, hamsters are more active at night so you might think it is not moving around a lot but in fact it might be moving around a lot while you are sleeping.

      • She’s not doing much at night she does a lot of sleeping … She does get up to eat and drink but that’s about all she has only been on her wheel for maybe a minute the diarrhea is still here but other than tired and diarrhea she has no other signs of wet tail ..I’m going to buy dry tail and see if it may help

    • hi, i also have a pet hamster and think if it has diarrhea, then i really think you should get a vet’s attention and get him checked out just to make sure it’s nothing serious :) i wish you luck.

  6. I’m a new time hamster owner andand my 2-3 month Syrian female hamster I see drinking but when I’m awake I don’t see her eating. She also stores her food in her sleeping area I’m just worried she might get sick from not eating a lot. and because she I’d little and they need to a lot it. And I can see her food were she stored it is not going down its staying the same

    And her fur is all ruffly and sticking up

    Is it anything to worrie about or am I just worrieing to much.

  7. I have a Syrian hamster he is always up at night and running around, today he bit my toe I think he was jus tired cause I woke him up before I left for work, but for a day or so I noticed he hasn’t been running so much and is really tired no change in his diet and he is still eating and drinking normal amounts a day.

    • He might just be more active when you are away. Continue to observe his behavior though and if anything else comes up, let us know.

  8. Hi

    Thanks for your response , i got her age wrong , is is 19 months old . I moved her cage to a coooler area of the room set up two frozen bottle of water a few inches from the corner she normaly sleeps at and some times put the fan on , she some times lies down in her own pee which is bizarre and her coat looks ratty these days , , shes skinny so i put some margarine on the tip of my finger and she went crazy to eat it , i wonder is she has teeth problems ?

    ill take her to the vet tomorrow to give her the once over

    waiting your response

    john ( thanks )

  9. My hamster got his teeth stuck on the cage when I was going to help him get lose he pulled and his tooth fell of he was bleeding am scared because if he can’t eat because of the pain he could die help me I don’t have money to take him to a vet I don’t want him to die

  10. My russian dwarf hampster is 1.5 years old ( female ) we live in france and it is hot and she sleeps outside her box in the cage but I noticed her bottom looks wet and sometimes she sleeps where she has a pee , she looks skinny and doesnt move around unless to find another place to go to sleep in. she eats pieces of cheese and some grains but not much else She normaly shares the cage with her daughter but they fight all the time now when they see each other , so we are thinking to buy another cage. does it sound like “old age” or should i take her to the vet ?

    thanks john

    • Dwarf hamsters live to about 1 1/2 to 2 years so your girls is certainly a senior citizen. Just keep the cage clean and provide clean bedding. It being the summer time, make sure it is not too hot for her. Try to find a nice cool room to place her cage. Finally make sure she is drinking water. If she isn’t, get an eye dropper and try to hand feed her. Adding some hamster vitamins into the water could also help. Hope this helps.

  11. I have had my hamster for about 30 days, it’s is a Russian dwarf hamster. It’s always full of energy and on his wheel. But the past few day he has been hunched over and doing nothing, he has been in his home all day and night I haven’t seen him eat today at all. If I pick him up he just sits in my hand and closes his eyes and doesn’t move, it’s almost as If he is having trouble moving. I thought he might be cold so I put his cage in a warm room and placed hi, in the middle of his cage. He is breathing but not moving just kind of falling asleep in the same spot and not moving. Can you tell me what is wrong?

    • Nvm. I took him to the vet. And he had a respiratory infection and it was too late and they couldn’t do anything so we drove home because we couldn’t do anything. And he sadly died in the car.

  12. My hammie is 10 months old. He was the runt of the litter but has always been happy, healthy and curious. I clean his thoroughly cage weekly, spot clean it daily (just take out soiled bedding and replace with fresh), give him fresh food and water, etc. I noticed today when playing with him that there looks to be a poo pellet stuck on his anus. Then I noticed the poos in his cage are a lot larger than usual. They’re formed and not soft or hard. I’m worried because it’s different from usual and I don’t want to dismiss it if it’s something I could catch early. He still loves to run around the room every evening (my eyes on him 100% and hamster proofed room) and seems ok. But why would hamster poo increase in size so much? No changes in food, not giving treats, he hasn’t had fresh veggies since a week ago. Thoughts?

    • It doesn’t sound like an issue to be concerned about. Continue to monitor your hamster’s behavior and if anything else changes, let us know.

  13. My hamster is in pain. My hamsters feet are swollen and her stomach is also swollen and has some scratches on it I’m very worried

    • What kind of bedding and cage habitat do you have? If the bedding is rough like wood chips, it can scratch your hamster’s belly. Additionally if you have wire bar flooring, that can cause bumble foot (swollen feet). Adding a protective layer over the top of any expose wire flooring, ladders or ramps will help. Lastly, make sure your hamster’s wheel is not a wire bar type. You need a nice smooth surface for your hamster to run on.

  14. Hi, my hamster is not doing very good. For the past few days he has been laying in the corner of his cage, just yesterday we got him up and noticed that he was in very bad condition. He was super skinny to the point where I could feel every bone in his body, he had lost some hair, his skin is pink, and his eyes are shut and he’s unable to open them. Up until today he really hasn’t moved much, but he tries. When he moves he’s really shaky and needs help to move sometimes. When he moves on his own he sometimes falls over and needs help getting up, because he is so weak. We noticed that the tip of his water bottle was a little hard to open so we were wondering if he is dehydrated, sick, or dying of old age. Keep in mind that he cant see at all so when he does fall down he cant see anything. I try to have him drink out of his water every 15-45 mins. Since he cant see I try to get him to eat but he sometimes struggles to see where the food is. He is moving a little more, but he cant get far with out help, it looks like he grew some hair back, and is still drinking water when I give it to him. I don’t know what the problem is and I don’t know how long he has left. Please help :(

    • How old is your hamster? This all might be due to old age. Just try to make him as comfortable as you can in his old age. Provide him with lots of warm bedding and continue to help him drink water. However, If he isn’t that old, you might want to consult a vet.

  15. My hamster got bitten by another male hamster on his scrotum the bleeding stoped and his injured part has turned into very dark red, the outer skin is been teared. He is not that much active as previous. Am very scared. I want him back… Will he ‘ll be okay?

  16. Hi

    my hamster has been breathing heavy for the last 3 days her urine is darker and shes not eating well she eats only a scoop a day (its a little itty bitty scoop) ans she gets 2 scoops a day please tell me whats wrong i have had lots of hamsters but this one is a really special one…???…

    • It’s difficult to say. The urine might be darker due to an infection or it could just be due to the change in your hamster’s eating and drinking habits. Breathing heavy can be due to a number of things so it is also hard to tell. Are there any other symptoms you can provide? Regardless, make sure she continues to drink water.

  17. Hi there. I recently adopt two robo hamsters and I am not sure what are their gender. It has been a week now that they are living in their new cage that my boyfriend got for them. We got them two running wheels so that they won’t fight but from what I saw for past few days, they are fighting each other often. Whenever one of them get down, the other one will chase after her and they fight until the one who got attack go up again and run in her wheel. Sometimes, the one who attack will chase her into the wheel and fight. I seperate them for few hours and they seems fine when I put them in the cage back but then the fight start back. I am so confused

    Secondly, my hamster who got attack by the other one are scared to be hold but the other one are already tamed. What should I do?

    Lastly, it is also about that hamster who got attack. Her fur is kind of messy or ruffled. Does this mean she is sick?

    Please reply. I need your help

    • It’s probably not sick. The ruffled coat is most likely a result of the fighting. Some fighting is okay but not to the point of bleeding and high stress. It’s good that you bought two wheels and it is good that you split them up for a time-out. If the fighting continues or gets worse, you might need to split them up permanently. You could also make the cage bigger so the two can have their own space or limit the time they are together. There is a chance they work it out and figure out how to coexist. Give the untamed hamster some time. Slowly build a bond/trust with it and then you could try again to hold it.

  18. I got my male Syrian hamster almost a week ago and wasn’t informed that I was supposed to leave him alone for the first week to become accustomed to his new surrounding. Last night I discovered that his water bottle was leaking everywhere and he was just laying in a puddle of water. I cleaned out the cage and got a new water bottle for him but he is just hunched over in a corner that doesn’t have any bedding and is surrounded by his own feces (which isn’t particularly solid). When I pulled him out he was acting normally and crawling all over me but he had some liquid fecal matter on his butt. I don’t know if I’m just jumping to the conclusion that he has wet tail but there isn’t a small animals veterinarian even remotely nearby and I don’t want to stress him out even more by traveling. He is eating but he shies away from me whenever I try to touch him. He’s only around eight weeks old and I’d like to know if I’m just overthinking it and if I’m not then what I should do.

    • You are probably over thinking it. Continue to keep the cage clean and give your little hamster time to build a bond with you.

  19. OMG please help. I have female Syrian hamster. She gave birth on 28th of May. Killed two babies right away. 6 survived and she was the perfect mom since. I found new home for 3 babies and I have 3 left. No idea about their sex. Can’t say if it’s a boy or a girl. Though tonight one of the babies started jumping around and lifts his back leg and act crazy. To the point where he can’t even sleep. His brother or sister begins to do this too. I split all hamsters. Mom, babies etc. Two of them calmed down. Though white one acted like this for over an hour. Two babies are back home with their momma. White one is alone in the box. I don’t have spare cage now :/ he is here alone with bedding food water etc almost 5 hours. He is calmer though he can’t sleep because of those new ticks. I checked all Google can’t find any answers. I must add that babies were done unfortunately by brother and sister. I had no idea they weren’t same sex. Can it be some genetic issue? If not what is it? What should I do? I can’t afford vet yet. It’s 60 euros for the visit only here ;(

    • That’s too bad about the two babies being eaten. unfortunately this does happens sometimes. Depending on the age of the remaining babies, they might need to be housed with their mother so she can care for them. Unless of course you think she will try to eat them as well. The issue with the nervous tics of the other baby is not something I have experience with. It could be a genetic issue due to inbreeding but it could also just be a phase it is going through. For me it is hard to tell. I wouldn’t want to give you any advice on something I’m not fully familiar with. You can try to seek out an active forum on hamsters and explain this to the members. Though they will likely tell you to take them to the vet. 60 euros is a lot of money to spend on a hamster that may not make it. It’s a sad reality but also an understandable one. Here are a few active forums to look at: hamsterhideout and hamstercentral

      • Thank you for your reply. I took her to the vet. He said she is perfectly fine. Those nervous tics he explained to me as a great shock. She was attached to her mom too much and when for the first time I tried to catch her she was already very stressed plus I eventually catch her and took out. She screamed back for her mom to come and save her. Apparently this sound was the sound of abandoned or lost baby. Though mother didn’t showed up. So she was close to heart attack. Now she’s doing fine back with the mother and her 2 siblings. Apparently because I never tried to touch babies or interact with them caused her to react in this way. He gave her something to calm down in a shot. Don’t know what it was. She slept half of a day. And now she look like a pretty healthy hamster. Eat and sleep. Play etc. Sometimes while sleeping she squicks and do weird noises. Maybe it’s PTSD if hamsters can have it at all

  20. My hamster has been acting funny. She pooped out a big ball of poop and it had blood in it. I’m afraid she’s pregnant because she is now making a nest out of toilet paper and she is storing food. I haven’t had her for very long but the pet store warned me she might be pregnant. ( I also think the blood and “poop” ball was maybe a miscarriage.

    Please help! -Emily and Liz

  21. My hamster has a cut just below his neck, he has had it for a while now and I thought it would heal by itself but it hasn’t. He seems to be scratching it quite a bit. He is still running on his wheel, eating and drinking so it doesn’t seem to be bothering him. Is there anything I can do to help it heal. Do you think I should take him to the vet?

    • A lump can be several things. A general lump, swelling from a skin condition (parasites), a cyst or even a tumor. A common lump probably doesn’t require vet care. You can try soaking a wash cloth in a thyme tea to help reduce the selling. Try reading the articles relating to skin conditions and lumps on, Hamster Illnesses for more care instructions.

    • Hi my hamster is acting normal but when I put her in my hand she won’t climb around and she
      Usally she will and she’s been rubbing her nose lately I’m a first timer so I’m probably just paranoid

      • It’s probably nothing to worry about but continue to monitor your hamster and check back if things get worse.

  22. My daughterson hamster lost it’s foot within 24 hrs all of a sudden it’s not there there is no blood but it’s bone is sticking out I don’t know what to do for it obviously a vet but we cannot afford a vet obviously I don’t want it to be in pain any advice?

    • Sorry to hear about that. There is not a lot of advice to offer. There is a very small chance that it doesn’t get infected but without vet care the wound will likely become infected. I suggest calling a vet at the least and asking them for their expert opinion.

  23. Hi,my hampster has blood running from his nose,mouth and bottom and he let’s out screams and splats of blood come out,please help I don’t know what to do!!

  24. Hi

    My hamster escaped out of his cage for a week and since we’ve caught him and put him back in his cage he’s not been his usual self. Used to be quite a clean hamster and would poo and wee in certain areas. Now there is big, soft poo everywhere! Particularly in his house and it stinks so bad!! His wee is also very yellow. We have to clean his cage every two days at the moment. He’s also got poo stuck around his bum and it’s all sticky. Otherwise, he’s drinking a lot and seems alright. Any advice?

    • If the cut is still bleeding after a few minutes of noticing it, you can use a clean paper towel or tissue to help stop the flow. Hold it against the wound for a few minutes but be gentle. If your hamster fights you over that, try adding a tiny bit of flour to help stop bleeding and then let it be.

      You can treat the wound several ways. Let it heal on its own if it is a minor cut or otherwise clean it with a Que-Tip and some mild antiseptic. Then add a tint bit of Neosporian. Some hamster owners use a thyme tea or UMF Manuka Honey to to clean wounds since they are completely safe for hamsters.

      The Manuka Honey is recommended because it will help keep the wound from scabbing. Scabs on the nose can easily be torn open since the nose is usually moist all the time.

      Lastly, you may need to separate the two hamsters if this behavior continues or get a larger cage. Only dwarf breeds should really be housed together. The larger Syrian breeds prefer their own space.

  25. My hamster got stuck in her bed for a day and night before i realised. Ive freed her and shes walking gingerly, and hasnt had a drink yet. Shes normally quick and full of life and she is very quiet and not keeping still for long periods of time.

  26. Hi! My hamster Marie looks healthy but then the other day, she can’t even walk properly! And her eyes doesn’t look good either, she had a hard time eating and drinking so I had to help her by holding the water bottle close to her. The next day, I just found her dead with a blood on her bum :( And this morning.. I found her sister dead with a blood on her mouth. I wasn’t around the last few days, my mom just told me that Marie’s sister acted the same. She can’t barely walk and had a hard time eating and drinking so my mom did the same, she helped her drink and eat. And now.. mama ham ham seems to act weak right now.. What should I do? What might have caused them to die? Is it a genetic disease or something? Because the other hamsters (from another mother) are fine and they are in a one big cage. I would really appreciate your help. Thank you!

    • It is hard to tell what the cause of death might have been. It could be an issue with genetics based on the info you provided. Regardless, consider quarantining the mother hamster away from the healthy hamsters, do some deep cleaning of the cage, clean the food and water dishes, keep the mother hamster comfy and makes sure she is drinking water. Depending on the mother’s age, she could get better. If you can provide us with more symptoms, we might be able to help narrow down the problem and see if there is an available treatment. Of course you could take her to a vet for a more accurate diagnoses and treatment options.

  27. my hamster had a serious accident. I keep a towel over her cage at night and she had pulled parts of it apart causing strings of all sorts. she got her foot caught in it and seems like she tried way to hard and now she has an extreme open wound and I’m scared bc I can’t take her to a vet bc none are open and I can’t afford it I don’t have her papers from when I bought her anyway I’m afraid she’s going to die but I don’t want her to die is there anyway I can help her?

    • To stop the bleeding, use surgical gauze or toilet paper as an alternative. The hamster will of course chew these off so you will need to keep replacing them. You might call a vet and see if you can purchase a small head cone to help keep your hamster from chewing on the bandage. I wouldn’t recommend making one on your own without first getting advice from a professional. We do not have the experience with these. Use an antibiotic ointment or spray to help keep the the risk for infection down. Avoid using adhesives like band aids directly on the hamster’s fur. The fur will stick to the band aid and make it painful to remove.

  28. My hamster is not sleeping this morning and I am not sure if this is not normal because she may be excited till tomorrow morning because we let her out in the garden and that’s the first time she has ever been there and we observe her to keep her safe from bad plants but I noticed she chewed on flowers and grass. Could this be the problem

    • It depends on the types of flowers and plants she chewed on. Grasses should be fine and many plants are fine too.

  29. I noticed earlier today my hamster’s eye is filled up with blood.I thought maybe he had a paper cut from some papers that were on my couch, but he wasn’t bleeding externally. I called Petco and I asked one of the managers his opinion. He suggested that maybe Dusty busted a blood vessel. Does that sound like something that could happen? He told me to give it a couple of more days since my hamster is still acting normal and playful. But I was told that if he does need help from a vet that I can relinquish him since right now I’m not able to afford to care for him.

    • From that bit of information, it does sound like a broken blood vessel. That’s not a given but the most likely. Monitor it over the next few days and see if there is any improvement. In the mean time, make sure your hamster’s living space doesn’t have objects with sharp edges. Also consider using a softer bedding if you currently use wood chips for example.

  30. I have a 2 month baby hamster and he/she is not eating or breathing and he/she has heavy breathing I’m afraid he might die

  31. mysyrian hamster had a fall yesterday and her nose started bleeding. I had to go to school so I made my mum make sure she is okay. When my mum got back from the school run the bleeding had stopped. She is really wary now and keeps sneezing.Please help me. I don’t know what to do and we can’t afford a vet at the moment

    • Like humans, hamsters are no different. When you get a bloody nose, which for some people happens easily, sometimes blood gets stuck in your sinus passages. Sneezing might just be a reaction to trying to clear them out. Being a little out of it is also common when you get hit in the nose or take a spill. There are a lot of nerves in the nose so is a normal response. Both issues should probably go away with time. The main thing is that the bleeding stopped. Observe your hamster but don’t handle it for a few days, let it rest and heal and it should be able to recover on its own.

  32. Hey y’all my hamster hurt herself she was obviously trying to escape and busted her tooth sideways. Now she’s breathing weird like she has the sniffles I’m scared and don’t want nothing happening to my baby. please help!! Ohhh and her nose was bleeding.

    • Same thing happened to my hamster, Eugene a few months back. He had to get the tooth removed, and the other filed down. Had to give him pain killers and antibiotics for a few days. Also soft foods, I crushed up his favourite biscuits into crumbs so he could eat it. He got better, then a few days back I noticed his nose looked like it had been bleeding and sounded like he had a cold, so back to the vet! More antibiotics. He was getting sticky eyes too. Poor wee bugger. Then yesterday morning he seemed very confused and wobbly and very bloated. Back to the vet for more antibiotics, unfortunately I lost him yesterday afternoon, I was heartbroken. But Eugene was very old. Hope this helped. :)

  33. My robo dwarf hamster has been recently screaming, or letting out high pitched sounds, and when i check on her she looks scared and is unable to move for a short period of time, what should i do?

    • Hi, dwarf hamster in particular are known to let out squeaks so it’s not a given that there is a problem at all. Furthermore, you picking it up when it might already be stressed could just make it more stressed and its reaction is to stand still or cower in fear. Continue to observe your robo and read up on our post on hamster body language. Let us know if any other odd behaviors come up, like, if it stops eating and drinking water.

      • She has been continuaslly scratchting, then she started to twitch and jump, and I saw the page in your response and she has not been to responding to anything after the twitching occurs. This is a new behavior, but she is getting older, she is almost exactly 2 years old, I don’t know what I can do for her if there is a problem.

        • Scratching could be a sign of mites or some sort of skin issue (see this post and the others on skin issue) It could be an issue due to her age and if that is the case, there is not a lot you can do to fix her. Try to make her comfortable in her old age. Keep the cage clean with lots of soft bedding. Taking her to a vet is an option but they will likely say the same thing.

  34. I’ve noticed alot of blood in my hamstets cage. Ive pocked him up several times and never see any woumds.He is little over a year old now. He just lays around he usually runs in hes wheel all night but he hasnt been doing that. Ive also noticed alot of blood on his wheel as wheel. PLEASE HELP I DONT KNOW WHAT I SHOULD DO FOR HIM.

    • Have you checked closely at your hamster’s feet? or could the blood be coming from its mouth or behind? It’s hard to tell what is going on without knowing more. Try to make sure your little guy keeps drinking water so he doesn’t get dehydrated.

  35. My new Syrian hamster that I got three days ago has just had a dramatic change in the way it’s acting. In the past few days it has been incredibly active and very responsive to me but now she’s barely moving and will just sit in one spot for very long periods of time when she is usually moving around. She hasn’t been drinking very much either. Her fur looks a little ruffled tu there’s no sign of wet tail, runny noses or problems with eyes. What’s wrong with her? Should I take her to the vets?

    • Sorry about the late response. How is your hamster doing? In regards to the not drinking issue, you should get a small eye dropper and hand feed it water. you can also buy some water soluble vitamins. Dehydration is a serious health issue for hamsters.

    • It could be that its living space doesn’t provide enough soft places for it to walk around on. If you have a wire cage or wire exercise wheel for that matter, the red blisters might be a symptom of aching feet. add extra bedding or at least adding something over top of the wire rungs. Continue to monitor the blisters, keep them clean and infection free. Keep us updated. See these posts: Drawbacks of Wire Hamster Cages and Safe Hamster Bedding Materials.

    • what your dealing with is bumble foot this happens when you have a wired wheel or that it has been putting its feet all over the cage which could also cause bumble foot its not dangerous just dont let her use the wheel and try as hard as you can to prevent her messing with the cage

  36. My hamster is sleeping all the time for the past two days, and when i take her and put her on a table or any surface, she just lays there not moving. She opens her eyes for a little while and then closes them like she is tired and wants to sleep. She wasn’t like this at all, she is usually very happy and energetic. By the way she is 1 year and 5 months old. What is wrong with my hamster?

    • Are there any other symptoms of a possible illness? Hamsters are animals that do prefer to sleep during the day and are up and active at night. Have you noticed if any food has been eaten or water drank? If so, it might just be that you and your hamster are on different sleeping schedules. In the mean time, just make sure your hamster is comfortable, the cage is warm and has plenty of soft sleeping bedding.

      • I am not sure but i think she eats less then usual. Other than that and the total lack of activity, I do not see any other symptones like sneezing, runny nose, wet tail, fur is also ok. I am sure that the problem is not a change in sleeping schedules, because whenever i take her in my arms (day or night) and put her back down she remains in the same position, she doesn’t even curle up in a ball, like she usually does when sleeping. It is really sad….

        • It’s hard to tell what might be wrong but obviously something is off about her. Dehydration is something you want to be concerned about. If she isn’t eating or drinking, she could die from dehydration. Try getting a small syringe and hand feeding her some water. Do it slowly and see if she drinks any of it. You might also want to go to the pet store and ask for some vitamin supplements that you can dissolve in the water. This will at least give her a chance to fight off her ailment. Considering your hamster’s age there is always a chance it is something more serious. Regardless of the issue, just try to make her as comfortable as possible.

  37. My moms hamster has been making this sneezing noise recently he looks like he has a runny nose & red. His right eye is closed & looks kind of watery. What may be wrong with him? What can I do? Should we take him to the vet?

    • It sounds like he has a cold or respiratory infection. On this post, see the section Treatment Basics to get some information on what you can do to help. Your hamsters can fight off these illnesses but it might need a little extra attention to ensure a speedy recovery.

  38. My hamster is about 6 months old, and I do have some gnawing block thingys. It lookes like its been used, because of the fact that its chewed along the edges. Its eyes are usually half open, however I am unable to see if its because of fatigue or sickness. I look at my hamster during the day so i think it looks tired. It has a running wheel that it uses during the night as our family hears it while trying to go to sleep.
    I will try to find vitamin drops. Do they sell them at the local pet shop?
    I changed its food bowl, water, and cleaned its cage. I will reply if things start to get better. Thank you for your help!

  39. My hamster is acting a little strange lately. It drinks a lot of water and I think its trying to gnaw on the water bottle, but Im not sure. It doesnt eat much, even its favorite food: sunflower seeds. Its grown skinny and its ears are flat against its back. Also its back legs are shaped funny. Sort of like a frogs back legs. I must admit I havent been taking care of it much, for instance not changing its food bowl often or not changing the bedding, but now Im concerened for it. What should I do? Will it get better if I take care of it more? Please help!

    • First things first, clean your hamster’s cage, change the bedding and its food and water. The good new, your hamster is drinking water. If it isn’t it will lead to dehydration which in hamsters can be a death sentence. Is your hamster getting old? Does it have trouble walking? Do you have toys in the cage for it to gnaw on and get exercise? Older or out of shape hamsters can get issues with their back legs. see our post on hind limb problems. Having toys for exercise and to gnaw on, will make it less likely for your hamster to gnaw on its water bottle. If your hamster is not eating, you might want to put vitamin drops in its water. See our post on hamster diet. Lastly, seeing its ears pinned back is another sign of an issue. It’s either stressed or has an illness. With only those few signs, it’s hard to determine what the real issue is but do these things mentioned in this post and it is a good start. Let us know if your hamster starts to improve.

  40. I’m getting a hamster and I’m scared it will get sick and I won’t notice! What should I do? Help! I’m scared!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-(

    • If you feed it well and keep the cage clean, you should be able to keep the little guy from getting sick. Also, observe it everyday to see if you notice any changes in behavior.

    • OMG!! my hamster’s back leg is injured i think……it’s like crippled……..wad should i do now???????????wad should i do now????!!!

      • I hope your hamster’s legs are better. There are many reasons their back legs stop working. An injury, old age or a lack of exercise to name a few. You can help treat some of these with a change in diet and more exercise options. In terms of an injury, you can either go to the vet or try to make your hamster feel more comfortable as it tries to heal. A vet might not be able to do much other than prescribe some pain medication. Surgery and casts on such a small pet is often impossible and many vets won’t. Follow some of the advice in this post and you can improve your chances of it getting better.

  41. My hamster has been very sick a few days now. Very lethargic and weak. We actually thought he had passed the other day but has not. He’s not eating/drinking either. He does have a yellow discharge that seems to have dried up underneath him. It’s a boy…is that his penis? I don’t know whats wrong with him but I believe it’s immenent that he’ll be passing away. My children are upset. Do you know what could be wrong? He’s a dwarf hamster.

    • Yeah, it’s likely dried up urine. It’s hard to tell what it might be. Is the hamster an older hamster, does it have any other symptoms like respiratory problems, runny nose? You should take a water dropper and make the hamster drink water since hamsters can become dehydrated quickly. I’d almost call a vet and tell them your situation; the vet might be able to give you some advice over the phone.

  42. My hamster hasnt been it self latley, it now and the sneezes and just sleeps all day, only getting up for 2 hours during the night. i was wondering if hamsters can have allergies since its spring right now, or do you recommend i see a vet?

  43. My hamster was fine yesterday. Today she seems very ill. When I talk to her she whines or squels back which she never does. She seems to be breathing fast, shakey and has a yellowish discharge. She is laying in her house with head stuck out the window and eyes closed. I have had the windows open the past few days with a breeze coming in, fed her a few celery leaves, and she may have fallen as her ladder was down in her cage and she was on lower level when I came home. She is walking fine. I cleaned her cage and she has plenty of water. I placed her in a warm dark room for tonight where its quiet so she can sleep. She is about 2 years old. I am concerned.

    • It’s hard to tell what the problem is but you are doing all the things I would do. It sounds like a virus but i’m not sure. Keep it warm and comfy in a quiet room and make sure it drinks some water. You can always try calling vet for advice or a professional diagnosis. Hope she feels better soon.

  44. I have a female dwarf hamster. She has been a year old since Christmas. When I got up today, I noticed that she has a runny nose. Last night, I heard a small very small coughing noise. When I get her out, she doesn’t move. It looks like she sleeps. She also hasn’t been drinking as much. Should I take an eyedropper and give her water to her like that? Does she have a cold? My sister has had a cold for about a week now, so could she have gotten it from her? Note: My sister doesn’t hold my hamster, only I do. What could be wrong with her?

    • it sounds like a cold. i would follow the steps on treating a sick hamster and also look at this post on hamster colds. germs get in the air and you should try to keep sick people out of the hamster’s room if possible. it’s not your sisters fault thou. If you don’t see your hamster drinking, you might try a water dropper. It’s important to get it hydrated.

    • my hamster is acting the same however she is also very slow hobbling around like an old lady. she knows what she wants but is also very weak on one side im wondering whether she has had a stroke or even worse has knocked herself out as one of her habits is to monkey bar the roof of her cage and let go.!! i took her out the cage last night and she tended to turn round in slow circles. the rest of her appearance is normal. what do you think??

      • She may have hurt herself when she fell, you might need to see if she can heal on her own. If it was a stroke, there is little you can do to treat that. I would call a vet and a see what they recommend. I would make sure you have nice soft bedding in your cage so your hamster has a comfy place to walk on.

  45. Hi there I have a Russian dwarf hamster who is about two years old, recently she had a cut on her nose that got infected. I took her to the vet and after a series of injections the swelling went down and she seemed to be doing well for three weeks. Today I noticed her one pouch is blocked and her face is very wet and icky I messaged a bit of food out of her pouch like the vet said I should do in case of an impacted pouch and I immediately smelt an awful rotting flesh smell, she’s lost so much weight she’s practically just skin and bone, tomorrow I’m going to try giving her the unsweetened plain yogurt and have temporarily moved her cage away from the other hamster in case it is contagious. Her mouth inside is black and horrid is there hope for her and what can I do to keep her a bit healthier if not. I can’t afford to take her to the vet again so soon :(

  46. My hamster has a swollen and discolored abdomen. She is also dragging her hind legs. She seems to be having difficulty breathing and is staying in one corner of her cage(fish tank). This seems to have come on very quickly (she was fine yesterday). I am concerned however, because she did fall recently. Could you give me some advice?

    • I’m sorry to hear about your hamster. try reading this post on hamster hind limb problems. A fall could mean it hurt its back but there are other reasons for hind limb issues. discolored abdomen and hind limb issues could be a digestive problem. It could have a gut impaction from eating too much of something. I would call a vet and see what they might suggest. It’s hard to diagnose the problem over the Internet. hope she gets better.

  47. MY HAMSTER HAS BEEN SICK FOR A FEW DAYS. . .SHE DID HAVE A BIT OF DIARRHEA, BUT SHE IS NOT EATING OR DRINKING, IS VERY SLOW MOVING AND SLEEPING ALOT!! SHE CAN NOT OPEN HER EYES. . .WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE WRONG???

    • It could be a lot of things but it sounds like the flu. You should follow these steps on treating a sick hamster. More than anything, you need to keep it hydrated. If you have to, use a water dropper to get some water down. Think about calling a vet if your little pet doesn’t start drinking soon.

  48. Hi. My hamster was preg. and gave birth to cute pups. 😀 but today, one of the baby hams. has a wound on its neck. the baby hams. is 3 or 4 wks. old. HELP! idontknow what to do.

    • Hmm? for starters, I would read this post on raising a baby hamster. the wound could be a scratch mark or a bite but it’s hard to tell. You have to be careful when treating babies because early on, if you handle them, the mother might get stressed and end up killing her babies. You might want to consult a vet if the wound doesn’t heal on it’s own.

  49. Our hamster seems sick. It isn’t eating much and it is lethargic. When I pit it in its’ ball it seemed just to fall around on it’s side-kind of going in circles. This is very unlike him. He is normally very active and loves to be in his ball. He has one eye that looks a little matted. Do you think this is a cold or something more serious?

    • It’s hard to tell but to make it feel more comfortable, see this post on treating a sick hamster. It’s all about giving him a low stress environment for him to fight off an illness. If he doesn’t get better in a week, you should consult a vet. Keep him hydrated.

    • Is the blood in the stool of your hamster or is there a some sort of cut in/on its backside. Blood in the stool can be a sign of a serious problem but some blood on the backside might not be as serious. I would clean up your little pet and observe it. If the condition doesn’t get better soon, call a vet and ask them for an opinion.

  50. my hamster was chewing on the bars of her cage and I just touched her nose to make her stop. when she dropped down and I looked at her she looked like she had hurt her mouth and her nose was bleeding. what could have happened?? could she have broken her teeth?? I did look and her teeth are fine but after when she went to eat she would only eat the soft peanuts. will she be able to eat if its her mouth that she hurt?? How long will it take for an injury involving the mouth and nose to recover?? I feel so bad for it. I need to know she’ll be ok

    • Just like humans, hamsters can easily get nose bleeds. I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself, it’s not like you hit her. Her teeth are probably sensitive right now and need to rest. Give her some time to heal and in the mean time, feed her soft foods that won’t hurt.

  51. my hamster fell down from my second floor to my first,at first we thought she was dead but when i went to pick her up she moved around and now she seems fine just scared.is there anyting i should look for to see if she has broken bones or anything? i am very scared she is dying,

    • That’s is a big fall and it is possible that your hamster sustained an injury. You might also have gotten really lucky though too. Check to see if it is limping or has trouble breathing. these are signs of a broken leg or rib. Also check to see if there is any blood coming out of its mouth, ears or eyes. Additionally check to see if there is blood in the urine or poop. These are all signs of an internal injury. lastly, if your hamster appears aggressive, that is a defense mechanism and might have an injury.

      If something is wrong, call around to find a vet that can treat your hamster. They might be able to offer you some solutions and also pain medication to help relieve any pain it might have. What you can do to help her is to remove the exercise equipment, confine her to one level of her cage and make things nice and soft for her so she is comfortable.

      Going forward, avoid falls by blocking off gaps and stairways. Also don’t let your little hamster run freely in areas that you can’t hamster proof. I hope your pet is alright

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