Signs and Symptoms
The glands of a hamster will appear bluish and swollen; typically 7 – 10 days after giving birth. There might also be a bloody discharge from the nipples. If the female hamster suffering from mastitis is not feeling well, she might kill off her litter by eating them. This scene can be traumatizing to pet hamster owners, especially small children.
Mastitis is a bacterial infection of a mammary gland. It’s a condition that all animals with mammary glands can get. Often it is caused the by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. An infection to a hamster can occur when this bacteria enters the body through a crack, cut or scrape on the hamster’s nipple. The tissue right behind the affected nipple becomes infected. A female hamster that has a litter of baby hamsters can get a cut on its nipples when a baby hamster cuts her with its little teeth. When milk supplies are limited due to a large litter, baby hamsters can become more aggressive or work harder at getting milk.
Before the scenario described above occurs, take care of a hamster with mastitis by getting it to the vet to be given antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. If the infection is not treated soon, the bacteria can enter the blood stream and lead to more serious illnesses. You can try to have another female hamster feed the sick mothers pups or you can hand feed them using a tiny eye dropper.
Reviewed By: Tim Winter
Tim Winter has a strong affection for pets and wildlife. His years of experience caring for various types of pets has led him to share his knowledge with others on the best practices in pet care. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications.