Kidney Disease

Hamster Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a common hamster illness. One of the main causes of this disease is the deposits of a certain protein, called amyloid within the body of a hamster. In terms of a hamster with kidney disease, these amyloids are localized in one or both of the kidneys. This protein accumulates and settles in the tissues of the hamster causing what is called Amyloidosis. This occurs more often in female hamsters.

Heat stroke can also cause kidney failure in a hamster. This can occur when cystitis travel and accumulate in the kidneys. Without proper treatment, this disease can kill an infected hamster.

Symptoms and Signs

If you notice your hamster is thirsty all the time and is urinating much more frequently, your hamster could be suffering from a problem with its kidneys. This symptom can be caused by several things though. In addition to kidney disease, diabetes, Pyometra, Cushing’s and Liver disease can cause a hamster to drink and urinate more often.Other signs of hamster kidney disease include: blood in the urine called, Haematuria; weight loss do the loss of protein through the urine; a swollen abdomen caused by water retention; hamster alopecia, also know as hair loss; and eyes that stick.

Treatment Options

Sometime there are little to no symptoms and a hamster can live well with only one functioning kidney. However, kidney issues can be serious if left untreated. If you notice the above symptoms, you need to take your hamster to your pet vet to see if there is anything that can be done. There might be strong antibiotics to treat kidney infections but many times, the only option is to euthanize a hamster sick from kidney failure.

To attempt to prevent this hamster illness, proper hamster care involves lowering the protein in your grown hamster’s diet (lower than 16%). Younger hamster can handle a bit more. Additionally, always provide plenty of fresh water in your hamster habitat and you can try adding vitamin supplements into the water.

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24 comments on “Kidney Disease

  1. My 4 month old female Syrian hamster (Pepper) had these symptoms obviously at the time I had no idea. She started out with a sticky eye which I was cleaning twice a day with warm saline water. It went away but came back a few weeks after. I did the same but one night I noticed she had a swollen tummy so I thought she was constipated and gave her some apple. It didn’t get any better so I took her to the vets in which they prescribed her Isathal for her eye and Enrofloxacin for her tummy. Her swelling went down on her tummy slightly and her eye cleared up. Two weeks later I came to check on her and couldn’t see her breathing and that’s when I had found her dead. Mind you thought all this she wasn’t running on her wheel and only got up for food and drink and started sleeping outside in her sandpit where she peed and everytime I put her in an exercise ball she would sleep in it. I mistakenly didn’t observe her eating habits as she lost a whole lot of weight through this and went from 175g to 101g. Obviously it could have been caused from an eye infection but it’s so sad to see a 5 month old Syrian pass away she was still a baby and I was in disbelief that I may lose her the whole time. Definitely take your hamster the vet if you suspect anything is wrong and it’s best to take them for check ups yearly even if an illness isn’t visible.

  2. Hi,my hamster has had a hunched back for a couple months now. Also when I first got her I dropped her and ever since then her back legs don’t work like her front. Her back legs drag a little and sprawl put. Is that normal?

  3. My panda bear hampster just died 😥😥 I noticed last night his sides seemed swollen but have never had a hampster so didn’t know if it was abnormal. Ever since I have had him he just sleeps all the time my husband said he would be up late at night and first thing in the am so thought it was normal I’m heartbroken!!! I got him the topper for the tank to make his living space larger and he had the life of a king for two months ….or so I thought😞 I cleaned his cage weekly gave him treats and lots of love what happened 😥

  4. I have a female Syrian who is about a year old now. She has always been a very active hamster, and has never really been cuddly. She has been bred once, a litter of seven healthy pups back in August, and had no issues.

    She has a horrible smell that doesn’t seem to to away, though it does get stronger sometimes. She is no longer as active as before, sleeping the majority of the time(she is still pretty active when awake). She is more cuddly now also, not running all over me like she used to. She’s also never slept outside of a cage or carrier, but has recently even gone to sleep while sitting on my shoulder. She doesn’t seem to eat quite as much, but she is drinking lots more water. Her belly is a little bit more prominent than usual, but not really swollen.

    At first, I assumed it was just heat that got worse after giving birth, but as I’ve noticed her behavioral changes as well and the amount of water she drinks, I am thinking this could be something to do with her kidneys. Any ideas of what this could be?

  5. Hi, my male teddy bear syrian hamster is about 1 year..well okay I will be honest I am not really sure how old he is because the petstore didnt give us any details about his age. On the first of the year will be 2 years that I have had him. He has been drinking a lot of water and been sleeping a lot less. Should I be worried? Should I go to the vet? Please help!


  6. I need help! My hamster is about two years old, maybe older, but yesterday I found her curled up in the corner of her cage, sleeping. She never sleeps outside of her little hut, so I knew something was wrong. There was bedding stuck to her behind, and the bedding looked like it had urine mixed with blood in it. There was bedding scattered around her that was wet with urine and blood, and when I opened her cage door, she jumped, like she was startled. When she got to her paws, she was wobbling back and forth like she couldn’t keep her balance. Then she slunk over to a new corner and slept again, shivering as she did. When I tried to touch her, she reared up like she was threatened. And this morning, when I called her, she rolled onto her back with her claws out. She has never done that before. If anyone has advice, I’d be happy to have it.


      • Mine was acting wobbly and one sided and nathrlic I knew something was up allday the pet store petco said ride it out she was breathing heavy but I found her later that evening dead was there something I could have done so sad

  7. My hamster has all but stopped eating. She drinks a lot and her urine is matted on her belly. She just lays in her cage but is super active if I hold her. It showed up 2-4 days ago.
    What can I do?

  8. my male dwarf hamster has sticky almost syrup-like stuff on his bum. I suspect it may be kidney disease. He is also very skinny and drinks a lot but hardly eats. His bedding sticks to the stuff on his bum and it wont really come off. Please tell me wheather or not it os kidney disease and if it isnt than what it is.

  9. My 2 year old hamster has dried urine matted into his underbelly fur, he’s lethargic and is hardly eating, all he does is drink and go to the toilet, he can hardly open his eyes and his eyes are no longer shiny. He’s not willing to run around and doesn’t like leaving his cage or coming near me anymore. What can I do? This all came on in the space of 2-4 days.

  10. My hamster has dried urine on his underside and is going to the toilet in his bedding.he is drinking a lot of water but he’s barely eating, is really inactive suddenly and no longer likes me coming near him. He is 2 years old, is there anything I can do?

  11. My hamster butt (i think its butt) seems swollen..but he never show any kind of illness except sometimes theres a red mark at his butt…is he in good condition?

  12. My hamster is over 2 years old and is drinking and weeing a lot she is also losing a lot of hair where now she is nearly bald she is just sleeping a lot is this normal or not?

    • It could be a sign of old age and be perfectly normal. You can consult a vet for more insight as hair lose can be the result of many issues. Alopecia, mange, skin irritations, rubbing and more. You can view this post on hair issues, but I think it’s probably due to age. In this post we suggest feeding an older hamster more protein and iron containing foods.

      • The article says LESS protein. Not more! So consider what your feeding. Yogurt and nuts are high in protein. Veggies are low protein (except peas).

      • To clarify, the statement about feeding more protein was for the post about alopecia or more so, hair loss due to old age that is referenced in the comment, not for kidney disease

  13. My hamster escaped from her cage and then came back all skinny so we gave her lettuce. I think we gave her too much that she got sick but i’am not to sure if she has liver or kidney problems.

  14. hi my hamster belly is all big and when you pick him up he makes a wired sound what can I do or is it to late to help him

    • It’s belly is bigger than usually you mean? Is it eating and drinking water and does it still use the bathroom? It’s difficult to say what exactly it is. It could be a digestion issue or it could be something more serious. If it gets worse of your hamster stops eating, drinking and going to the bathroom, you may need to seek an opinion from a vet.

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