Skin Sores on Hamsters

Signs and Symptoms

Skin sore can occur anywhere on an injured hamster but mainly these can be found on the underside of the hamster’s belly, legs, face and scent glands. These sores an be described as open wounds on the surface of the skin. They will appear raw, red and occasionally bleeding.


There are many causes for skin sores to appear on an hamster.

  • If the belly of the hamster has sores and it’s also an elderly hamster, these can be caused by scratchy bedding. Even if your hamster bedding has always been the same, when a hamster gets old, its skin can become sensitive.
  • If the chin of the hamster is covered in sores, it could be causes be a leaky water bottles that runs down its chin or from rubbing it’s face on the bars of its wire cage.
  • If the scent glands of a male hamster has open sores, this could be caused from excessive grooming or licking.
  • A hamster that constantly rubs its face on the bars of its cage can be the result of anxiety or stress caused by a cage that is too small.
  • If the legs of a hamster contains skin sores and you have a metal exercise wheel, the wheel can be the cause.

Treat Hamsters

You can treat a hamster’s skin sores by using Betadine (topical antiseptics), hydrogen peroxide and an antibiotic ointment. a salt water solution can also be used to clean the wounds. To prevent the skin sores from returning: remove the cause of the sores. Remove sharp or abrasive accessories; get a solid exercise wheel without metal rungs; change the bedding to softer material; and give your hamsters plenty of room to run around.

8 comments on “Skin Sores

  1. My brand new hamster has a blister looking sore on the inner part of his rear leg. I don’t want him to be in pain or bite it. What can I do to treat it?

    • you can try applying a thyme tea mixture using a washcloth or q-tip directly on to the blister. It might help reduce the swelling. You can also try feeding her some dandelion leafs which also helps with swelling. If there are areas/toys in the cage that she might be rubbing on that is the cause of the blister, either remove those items or cover the areas in question so the issue doesn’t continue.

  2. My 2 year old hamster have several wound near his belly. He keeps licking them. I use toilet paper as bedding. What is a softer option? I am really worried about his sores. Do you think they can heal?

    • you can use some manuka honey to help protect the wounds. It’s safe for hamsters so if it keeps picking at it, it won’t be an issue.

  3. My hamster got sores on each of his sides because of a metal wheel I had. He’s had them for quite a while. He keeps licking them. Is it ok to put triple antibiotic ointment on the sores?

    • some owners have used it but others say it is bad for hamsters. If your hamster is prone to licking its wounds, you might try manuka honey. it’s safe and helps wounds heal. If anything, you an antiseptic and just clean the injured areas….and get a better wheel.

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