A-Z Directory of Hamster Diseases

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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

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47 comments on “A-Z Directory of Hamster Diseases

  1. I really need help ASAP! My hamster has been really porley and I’m not quite sure what condition he has. He has gunge from his ears along with scabs, he has hair loss on his back and has lost weight. He also has a strong smell and I think a prolapsed penis. I have already taken him to the vet which they weren’t sure what he had but I was given antibiotics along with pain relief. He hasn’t gotten any better and it’s been four days. He’s still eating and drinking but seems to be in pain from the noises he is making .. can anyone help me please 🙁 🙁

  2. My hamster had wet goey eyes last week and it couldn’t open its eyes so we put warm water on the eyes and made sure it drank lots of water. This week the eyes are fine,but it’s body seems to be bloated. What is wrong with it. It’s family day so the vets is closed. 😁

  3. I got home today and took my Chinese (dwarf) hamster out of her cage and I instantly knew something was NOT RIGHT. Her bottom area was wet and missing hair and all red and sore-like kind of. there is a white thingy that looks like a bone or a parasite or something. I couldn’t get a very good look because she (is always hyper and kept squirming out of my hand, but that is her normal personality and also) nipped/bit me when I got too close to it (whatever it is). I also noticed that she had a small sore/bloody (I don’t really know) area near the middle of her tail. also, there was some blood on the food bowl. I washed my hands well and moved my other hamster to a spare cage (she was without a scratch)
    She (sick/injured one) just didn’t look well in general. Her eyes were like smaller or something and I can tell, she’s just… off. She has been sitting in the food bowl for hours, grooming herself and eating (by grooming I mean, like hands in her mouth kind of grooming, sitting up), real shaky. I have no idea what happened. I am really upset and confused. I am going to try and bring her to a vet on Monday (2 days from now). I saw her drink, and eat, and she seems to be walking fine. For now, I have just tried to make my room dark and quiet. I have no idea what it is, how it happened, or what to do. Any suggestions for this mystery?

  4. My hamster has gone insane lately bitting the cage scratching the bottom of the cage I give it attention but it keeps on doing it plz help

  5. Help, my hamster has changed and is worrying me. He somehow has a cut above his nose and he is acting like he afraid of me, I’m the only person who touches him, and his fur has changed, it’s all ruff and crazy compared to before… He been sleeping longer to, idk what to do. Also his cut is in a bald spot area, he looks like he losing hair

  6. Hi my Russian short haired hamster is bleeding from what looks like his nose and his feet. It may be thAt his feet were bleeding and be tried cleaning them. He was in his cage and then last night before bed started making noises. My fiancé checked on him this morning and found the blood and he is still making noises. I don’t know what to do.

  7. Please help me !
    My hamster has a swallowed feet , what should I do ? I don’t what to do I can’ttake him to vet cause its so expensive . please help

  8. I got two Robo Hamsters and they live together. After 2 days I bought them, one of them have an eye problem it seems like she doesn open her eyes and just very inactive. So I took her to the vet and when I opened the house door, I saw her eyes and nose were bleeding. Of course I got antibiotic to drops on her eyes. But now Im just worried about my other hamster (the one which is fine) because when I took her out of the cage to clean it so no bacteria is there, I can see her right eye begins to blink (like she got dull on her eye) I was just thinking that it was too late because maybe she got INFECTED too! Please help me if you can because the vet said my hamsters could you know, d.. 🙁

    • You did the right thing by going to the vet. They are the experts and provide good advice and the appropriate medications. Just make sure you hamster continues to drink water. You may need to hand feed her water so she doesn’t get dehydrated. I’d also recommend giving her some space and downtime to allow her to get better.

      • My hamster has dry eyes and his mouth is puffed or swollen and he is not moving that much i got him to the vet but he said that he is ok and its only a bruise can u help me plz

    • I have a robo dwarf hamster that is about 1 and a quarter years old. She has lost all her fur in a semi circle around her back leg area. She also looks alot skinner then normal and has lost some hair under both her eyes. All the hair loss is in the same spots on both sides. and each patch of skin has a scab where the skin bunches up. Please help.

  9. Please help! There is something very wrong with my sister’s hamster. His eyes are shut and he won’t/can’t open his eyes. He hasn’t been taking care of himself properly, his coat is unclean. He can’t seem to eat and he wants to but he can’t and I think he’s hungry because he keeps chomping his teeth. He can’t walk properly with his back legs and has to drag himself around everywhere. He is constantly making noises (most likely of pain), and when he makes theses noises, his breathing is rugged, and it almost sounds as if there is water in his lungs. He is a little over a yeat old. Please help! I am so concerned about him and I hate to see him going through this pain. Any advice would help. Thankyou in advance.

    • It could be anything from a cold to something more serious. It’s a good idea to consult a vet to help diagnose the issue. You need to make sure the hamster continues to eat and drink water. you can use a water dropper to help force feed it. You can even add some vitamins into the water. Keep the cage in a nice warm room.

  10. My hamster is pretty new to ourhome but I know how he usually acts. I think he might be hurt or something but I’m not sure. He started tilting his head sort of left and his body mainly turns left. He can turn it other ways but he’s been having a hard time with it. He keeps falling over from not being able to walk straight. He likes to climb so I’m not sure if he fell and hit his head or something. He does his normal stuff like climbing in his tunnels, eating, drinking. He’s been trying to run on his wheel but he can’t run straight and falls off. I don’t know what to do and I’m really worried.

  11. 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…

    • 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    • 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.

  14. 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.

    • 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.

  15. 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?

    • 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.

  16. 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

    • 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.

  17. 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?

    • 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

    • 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.

  20. 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:(

  21. 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

  22. 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:(…..

    • 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.

  23. 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?

    • 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.

  24. 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?

    • 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.

  25. 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?

    • 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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