Eye Problems

Hamster Eye Problems

There are several problems that affect the eyes. These include the following issues, injuries and illnesses:

  • Foreign Matter in Eyes
  • Sticky Eyes
  • Entropion Condition
  • Pink Eye
  • Loss of an Eye
  • Blindness

Foreign Materials: When a hamster gets a foreign object like bedding, sand or dust in one of its eyes, usually its natural tears will wash away this foreign material. If that doesn’t work, you can use a clean Q Tip or cotton ball dipped in a warm saline type solution to help remove the foreign bodies. Use Steripod sodium chloride; it’s a solution that is used to clean wounds, rinse the mouth and remove debris from the eyes. the solution has a 0.9% salt solution, the same concentration found in the body.
Stickiness: The condition is more consistent with older mature pets. For one reason, an older hamster sleep more and while its eyes are closed, they secrete fluids to keep them moist. Occasionally, there will be too much fluids secreted which will flow out from the eyelid and dry on the outside of the eyes. Routine grooming should help remove any buildup and allow it to open its sticky eyes. If this doesn’t work, you can use a lukewarm wet wash cloth to gently loosen up the buildup. This will encourage additional grooming on the part of the hamster. Eventually the eyes will open.

Medical Eye Chart
observing hamster behaviors
Entropion: Entropion is a problem that causes the eyelid to turn inwards. This is more common among Syrian and dwarf breeds that have a rex curly haired coat. The inward turned eyelid can cause an irritation, decreased vision and excessive tearing and pain. This condition will probably require a trip to the vet. Eye drops and ointments like Neobacimyx can be prescribed and sometimes surgery is needed.
Pink Eye/ Conjunctivitis: There are several types of hamster pink eye and those include: viral and bacterial. The viral type will be accompanied by a respiratory problem and discharge from the eyes. Bacterial pink eye involves symptoms that include mucus discharge and sticky eyes accompanied by a hamster cold. To treat a hamster with pink eye, it will require cleaning the eyes of discharge buildup and perhaps the use of a saline solution or Steripod Sodium Chloride solution. Most cases will begin to get better on their own after one to two weeks.

Blindness: Some hamster breeds get a gene passed down called Anophthalmic, which is also referred to as an “Eyeless White”. These hamster end up with no eyes what so ever. Other hamsters can become blind from illness or injury to the eyes. So how do care for a hamster that is blind? A hamster can live a perfectly normal life assuming you keep its surroundings the same. Keep the food dish and water in the same location so your hamster can remember where it’s hamster food is at.
Loss of an Eye: Eye loss can occur anytime during a hamster’s life. A hamster can get an injury that removes the entire eye or damages it to the point that its vision is lost. If this happens due to a mother picking up its baby hamster by the face, the baby hamster’s eye can heal and lead a normal life. If the hamster’s eye is bleeding or severely damaged due to an injury or hamster illness, you should seek assistance from a veterinarian.
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94 comments on “Eye Problems

  1. My hamster’s eye is covered by bedding dried up on her fur, I tried using a wet Q-Tip from small amounts of tap water, but nothing as of yet. If I can simply leave it to her, how long would it take? Would using a pipette of water help loosen the bedding?

  2. My dwarf hamster 🐹 has a grayish – white covering on his right eye. I went over to check on him earlier this week and notice the eye difference, no discharge , doesn’t look swollen, he isn’t scratching it or anything.
    He’s only like 1 yr and some change old and doesn’t seem to be in pain since he lets me pet him. Although he hasn’t been really active like before likely, he stills eating and sleeping normal. Please help any ideas as to what is going on with Speedy?

  3. I recently adopted an elderly Campbell’s Russian dwarf hamster. He came to me with an eye problem. One of his eyes is red and wet around the outside and he can’t open it properly. I thought he had a sticky eye but it’s not crusty or gunky. What do you think it is and what do you think I should do?

  4. My hamster is getting old now and I have just noticed she is getting gunk trapped on the outside of her eye I don’t know what to do someone please help me as I am very upset because my friends hamster had to be put down and I don’t want that to happen to my baby girl!! 😭

  5. My hamster is an older winter white. She is fairly healthy but has a red, bulging eye that I just noticed today. I would like to know what is wrong with her and how to help her.

    • My hamster had the same thing! Every 4-5 hours get a cotton bud with cold water on it and wash around the eye. If it hasn’t got any better go to the vet and buy the hamster eye drops. There about 9-10 pounds/ dollars. Follow the instructions on the bottle and then it should work.

    • i had the same problem. it is either trauma. i recommend a vet gives you medicine for you hamster. i did that and it worked although, the trauma can lead to blindness. Just make sure when you give it medicine to keep everything in same place just incase to know your hamster is going blind. how to know hamster is going blind: it will have white inside of its eye.

  6. One day I took hamster down to sunlight in morning.then i bring them back till night they were all right but after that it started eyebleeding can tell me the home remdies

    • I’m not a expert on hamsters but I think that is because hamsters can’t take the bright light keep them away from direct sunlight as they would go blind.

  7. I have 2 dwarf hamsters who lived in the same cage but when I came home one night, they had been in a fight. I separated them but the injured hamster was bleeding a bit, his fur was all messy and one of his eyes won’t open. He doesn’t look seriously injured as he still has the strength to move and drink but I’m what to do about his eye. Can someone help?

  8. I had a teddy bear hamster that passed away a little over a year ago. She was really sick. Was not acting like herself and her eyes seemed really dark and sunk in. I made a vet appt for her for the following day. She did not make it through the night. I have 4 other hamsters and one of them is doing the same thing. Not eating or drinking.. and when it walks it seems to be walking on all 4’s but looks like it is in pain and holding it’s stomach in. It is very creepy. But she has the sick eyes and I do not think she is going to make it through the night. They get sick fast and usually on the second day.. they leave us =(

    • My hamster escaped one night, and got a eye infection the day after. She wasn’t able to feed or do anything herself. Died a week later, I know how you feel.

  9. My hamster stopped eating his eyes are both closed shut won’t open one eye is purple around it and is a little bump I took a damp warm wash cloth and tried to loosen it I slolwy opened his eyes a white goo started to spue from his eye it looked like puss but I don’t know what to do it’s coming out of both eyes and it’s scaring me and after this his eyes still won’t open I’m scared he’s my baby and now this white goo is scaring me it’s literally covering his black eye when I open it and I don’t know how to clean it I don’t know if he’s dying or not but all he does it sleep

  10. My hamster’s eye it’s kinda close but I look at it it has a really big bump it’s blood red he has both eyes closed but one Heald comply the one eye is still not Heald I don’t know what to do someone help me😔😔😔😔😔

  11. My sunfire dwarf hamster’s left eye is red and crusty around the rim and compared to her other eye, half shut. Does anybody know what’s up?

  12. My hamster had crusty eyes one morning. I used a wet q-tip, and they opened. Later that night I noticed a wet tail/diarrhea, and she was acting quite lethargic. I bathed her, and noticed her dunking her head and gapping. Made me check the water bottle, and although I had changed the bedding, food and water the day before, the water was empty again. I changed out the water bottle in case there was a problem, but she drank a lot of water, and looked back to her old self the next morning!

  13. one day my male winter white started developing crust/sore/bumps, whatever it is, around his eyelids too. I find cleaning it with thyme infused warm water helps but the problem would then come back a few days later and so I have to clean it quite regularly. It’s been months now, he’s still looking healthy and didn’t seems to be in pain (fingers cross), but I just don’t know what’s causing it and poor baby he’s only a year old. Sometimes I think majority of it could be a result of bad and irresponsible breeding where these hamsters are more prone to illnesses, especially at a young age and hence are short lived 🙁

  14. Our hampster has a swollen and almost buldging eye – cheek is puffy to – maybe like an abcess – any DYI to help until we can get him in to a vet?

  15. My 7months old golden winter white hamster’s left eye started getting watery since 2weeks ago. Occasionally, there would be some white mucus like discharge and very little redness around his eyelid. His right eye is fine. Just some time ago, he dropped down due to clumsiness from quite a height and there’s some blue black ball which I think it’s blood clot below his left cheek near the neck (my previous hamster had this when she fell too but I gently massage it and it suddenly disappeared one day). He didnt sneeze or cough or hiccup etc. He’s eating as much as he used to and as active as ever. I think it’s conjunctivitis but I’m not sure… The vets here arent specialised on hamster care. What do you think it is and what should I do? Why should such cute animals need to suffer 😢😢

    • My hamster has been acting normal but today when I fed her I noticed that one eye is 3 quarters of the way shut there was no redness or gunk it was just shut plz HELP!😫

  16. My daughter has a winter white that we have had for about 7 mo old. We noticed the other day that one of his eyes is turning red. He’s acting normal in every way, there’s no discharge and no th We symptoms that we can see? What could be the cause of the color change? Should we be concerned?

  17. My hampster, Holly’s, eye is squinted and red around the outside. I tried cleaning it with a wet washcloth and it opened but a few hours later, it came back. She is eating and drinking regularly. I have had her for about 1 and 1/2 years. What should I do?

  18. My hamster, Holly’s, right eye is squinted a lot. It is surrounded with hard red stuff. I cleaned it off with a wet washcloth and she opened it but it has been a few hours and it came back. I got her about a year and a half ago. She’s still eating and drinking. Thank you!

  19. My pregnant hamster got her eyes closed and she has some yellow thing on her lids. I think that’s what keeping her eyes closed. What should i do? Help.

    • Help asap. She is pregnant. Her left eye is big compared to the normal size. Her right eye is now opened slightly and there is a blood or reddish thing around her eye

      • My hamster has the same problem. I don’t know what to do. I will probably take him to the doctor tomorrow. Did you able to get the treatment for yours?

  20. My hamsters eyes are sealing shut almost immediately after washing them off, she is lethargic and seems very weak. she moves around but falls over and its very discerning. she for some reason uses her bedroom as a bathroom and is almost acting like someone with depression, we feed her some liquid fruits/ veggies and gave her fresh water and that seems to have perked her up a little bit but im just concerned she may not pull through and i currently cant take her to the vet because someone has hacked my debit card and theres a hold on it. she ate some fresh carrots and snap peas but i dont know what else to do. if anyone has GOOD advice i really need to know what to do for her. i love my animals very much and hate seeing them in such a bad state please help

  21. One of my hamsters eye won’t blink and its very dry and he can’t move it and he can’t see out of it either could someone tell me what’s wrong with him.

  22. My hamster is acting normal, but she has a crusty eye.. I’ve used warm water and a washcloth and it opened yesterday and last night, but today its worse.. it barely opens… WHAT SHOULD I DO??

  23. My roborovski dwarf hamster has a red ring around its eye is it because of the bedding cause I use carefresh idk what it is but who ever can help me thx u very much !!!!

      • Me too first of all it was fine last night,this morning, and tonight ( 12-25-2016 ) when I saw her she had a red ring and she never opened her right eye and right now ( 11:09 pm ) I saw her and her I was opened! U guys should take out the cotton there we’re using and put a new one

    • The hamster may have gotten the bedding in it’s eye and couldn’t get it out for a long time. Just wait a few days and see if it heals. Good luck!

  24. I just got my new roboroski hamster , April today and i realised that she has some crust around her bottom eye lid and her eye at the upper eye lid area is kinda red and i have not idea what happened to her.

  25. My Syrian Longhair hamster, Butterball, has a cloudy spot in her eye. It started small, and grew. My Winter White hamster, Snowball, who recently passed away, had the same problem. She was getting old, and lived a normal life after that. It didn’t really seem to affect her much. Butterball is only about one year old. I think she’s going to be fine. Does anyone else have this problem and does anyone know if I should do anything about it?

  26. My hamster is about one and he is 1 he got icky goo around his eye and i cleaned it of with a q tip . When i got it off there was a red circle around his eye my parents won’t take him to the vet or get him drops .Help!

    • My hamster has crusty stuff around his eyes and one wasnt opening so i opened it myself and this gooey puss stuff started comin g out please help this hamster is very important to me and god bless u please leave.a comment.

  27. My hamster just got a big eye and red on the sides and my parents dosent want to go to the vet for a hamster so my mom put eye drops in it what will happen plz tell me

  28. My daughter’s dwarf hamster has redness around one eye. It’s gotten worse this week. I’ve read about hamster eye problems, but none of the symptoms apply. The eye is NOT protruding and doesn’t have any goop or stickiness. The hamster is active as usual and eating. Any advice? Thanks so much!

  29. I have a problem with my hamster , he’s eyes are crusty and it looks like the skin got infected somehow but it’s all over his legs, nose, tail aswell as his genetil area and his bum even his ears can you please help me to a solution to what might be the problem and how I can treat it.. cause I’ve got no money at all to take him to a vet.

  30. Our hamster splinter is about 2 years old and he isnt his normal self…he doesnt move around his cage and when he tries to walk it looks like its hard for him to beacause hes slow and he shakes from side to side and one of his eyes is closed shut…does anyone know what might be wrong with him??

  31. I think a very important step to treating your hamster’s pink eye is after you clean the eye do not put the hamster back in his or her cage.. the bedding contains dust and a wet eye will immediately be irritated by the bedding. Also when the hamster goes back in the cage he or she is more comfortable and will start cleaning its eye of any medication. Best to keep the hamster in a small cardboard box without any bedding for 15 minutes after administering or cleaning its eye to ensure it dries completely. This little technique seemed to make a world of a difference for my hamster, hope it helps yours.

  32. My sons hamster had goop coming out of his eyes. I cleaned them and they seem to be better but now he can’t seem to hold his food so he’s having trouble eating anyone know what would cause this? I’m afraid he’s going to die and my son will be very upset

  33. Well I got a 5 mounth old Syrian hamster. He had 2 levels and he would run into EVERYTHING!!!! He has a little white in his eye and I’m pretty young so I have no idea what to do and when he is in his cage ether dose he. One time I said come here Raider my hamster and he was walking and fell down his ladder and he started squealing. I nearly cried of course. I’m going to change his cage and help him around for a few minutes or hours to get Raider used to his new cage. Another time I had treats in my hand and let him come to me. Well Raider went in loops and circles and zig zag to the treats, after that I still had the smell of the treats, I put the treats down so he could get them by himself, well he did the opposite, he still smelled my hand and followed it and just walked over the other treats. I got him when he was only 11 weeks old. He wasn’t as bad as he is now but when I got him he had the biggest roundest eyes ever!!! I don’t know what to do can one of you help me? I love my little Ray-Ray I want him to be aye okay!!!!

    • My sisters hamster, Oreo, got that exact same problem, we did research, called the vet and then we found out she had glochoma. It’s where the eye tends to get reddish and then becomes white in the middle. We didn’t give it any medication because they said there was no cure. They can’t see with this problem. She eventually got it in both eyes and lived the rest of her life blind. I don’t think it effects their life span because Oreo live for three and a half years and got glochoma at the age of one. This might not be the case with Raider but it sounds like what Oreos eye looked like. Hope I helped and I hope Raider is okay, best of luck!

    • He could possibly be blind. It kinda seems like it on the way that you are describing it but your hamster might be dsick if possible you might want to take it to the vet

  34. Well I got a 5 mounth old Syrian hamster. He had 2 levels and he would run into EVERYTHING!!!! He has a little white in his eye and I’m pretty young so I have no idea what to do and when he is in his cage ether dose he. One time I said come here Raider my hamster and he was walking and fell down his ladder and he started squealing. I nearly cried of course. I’m going to change his cage and help him around for a few minutes or hours to get Raider used to his new cage. Another time I had treats in my hand and let him come to me. Well Raider went in loops and circles and zig zag to the treats, after that I still had the smell of the treats, I put the treats down so he could get them by himself, well he did the opposite, he still smelled my hand and followed it and just walked over the other treats. I got him when he was only 11 weeks old. He wasn’t as bad as he is now but when I got him he had the biggest roundest eyes ever!!! I don’t know what to do can one of you help me?

  35. My female Syrian hamster was in her ball perfectly normal and when I take her out I notice that it looks like her eye ball is slightly turned in and there is white stuff around her eye, I haven’t touched it with anything just because I don’t want to make it worse or it be contagious and it spread through my family. My hamster is acting normal it’s just her eye what should I do? Please help.🐹🐹🐹

  36. My hamster is about 2 years old. I believe he’s sick because I’ve never seen him this way. His breathing is making a noise and one of his eyes is sticky. He sleeps a lot and hardly runs in his wheel. But that’s normal for him which is why I take him out for 30 minutes a day for him to walk around in his ball. I don’t know what else to do. Warm water on his eye didn’t work and he has comfort and warmth. I even gave him a little water with milk and a hint of honey and nothing.. What else can I do for my little bobby ?

    • From what you say it sounds like a respiratory infection but I’m not certain….you can try a saline solution to help free up the sticky eye. The most important thing to do though is, make sure your hamster drinks water. In addition, if it isn’t eating, you can try to add some water soluble vitamins into the water.

  37. My babyI winter white will open her eyes sometimes but do u think it can be dirt in there cadge I replaced beting with dirt

  38. Our hamster is a winter white, less than 2 months old. We put her in a new cage on saturday and since then she hasn’t eaten anything! (5 days). On Monday she was happily playing in her new hamster wheel. Since Wednesday night, she has been sleeping a lot (not her usual pattern) and won’t open her eyes. She is still drinking water but nothing else. Any thoughts/suggestions would be welcome.

  39. I have a Russian Dwarf hamster and she is having an eye problem and its all slimy and sticky. She cant open her eye very well. I cleaned it once but as soon as she closed it it was all slimy. What could be wrong with her?

    • It could be a cold, flu or some other type of infections. Continue to clean the eyes with warm water or a saline solution. Do you notice any other symptoms like trouble breathing. You need to make sure the cage is warm and comfy and that the hamster continues to eat and especially continues to drink water. Dehydration can lead to more serious issues so if you have to, hand feed your hamster water using an eyedropper. You can add some water soluble vitamins to the water if the hamster isn’t really eating either. If the issue doesn’t get better soon, consult a vet as you might need some antibiotics or medicine.

  40. I have a Syrian hamster which has a problem with its eye, it looks like there’s a ring of fur or something around it but he’s behaving very normal? What do you think is wrong with him?

    • Can you offer more detail on what the eye looks like? Is the ring of fur wet or is the color off? Details like that might help to diagnose the issue. You can also consult a vet for their expert opinion.

  41. Conjunctitivis can spread to other hamsters, so make sure the affected hamster is isolated from others if it is a social species, such as one of the dwarf hamster species like Roborovskis, Campbell s or Winter Whites. Practice proper hand-washing after handling the hamster. Watch other hamsters closely for squinting or crusty eyes.

  42. My female hamster has labored breathing and does not open her eyes our even move ache been like this for a week went to pull her out and she just layed on her side really worried.not sure off her history as we got her free three weeks ago

    • How is your hamster doing? It’s tough to say what the issue might be. Consulting a vet might be the best thing to do. She could just have a cold or some other bug or it could be something more serious. The main thing is to make sure she is at least drinking water. You may even need to hand feed it water using an eyedropper.

  43. i just got a new baby russian hamster and she wont open her eyes i and i want to know why. keeping in mind she isn’t that young to still be blind or anything.

  44. My hamsters eye keeps closing on one side and has white pus looking stuff coming out of it I wipe it with a qtip and it opens but like an hour latter his check on the same side looks like it is fool and he isn’t as fluffy as he was and his hair looks a little wet he is only around 8 months old

    • Does the other eye look like it has issues as well? Does the hamster have any issues breathing or is it also sneezing a lot? Does the eye appear to have any cuts or scraps? Continue to clean the eye and consider using a saline solution to flush the eye as well. Make sure your hamster continues to drink water. You may want to get an eyedropper to force feed it water.

  45. My girl hamster is bleeding from one eye.i keep using a q tip with warm water to clear it off.now here eye is open and looks dull and blood crusted ..I have no money 🙁 how can I help her ?

  46. I’m looking after a friends hamster. One eye was closed on arrival. Nowthe other one has closed, the hamster is very old, panting and whimpering now and then but eating and drinking ok and moving about in his cage although slowly and shakily

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