Hamster with Worms

Causes of Worms

Hamsters can become infested with tapeworms (Hymnenolepis nana) or pinworms (Syphacia obvelata) in their small intestines as well as certain protozoa parasites. Worms can be introduced into the hamster habitat by worm-infested insects, fleas, new hamsters, or in contaminated water. These worms can be transmitted to humans and other hamsters when worm-infested feces is intentionally or unintentionally eaten. When it’s intentional, this is called coprophagy. In reality, it’s not ideal to attempt to stop your hamsters from eating their own feces. Hamsters need to eat their feces in an attempt to get the vitamin and nutrients that failed to be absorbed the first time around. If a hamster can’t do this ritual, it can become deficient in essential vitamins and minerals.

Signs and Symptoms

It’s hard to detect tapeworms and pinworms in most cases. Often you might not know your hamster is infested with worms at all. On close inspection of the hamster’s feces, you might be able to see tiny worm eggs. The physical signs that are more obvious though are include:

  • weight loss or Anorexia
  • mild diarrhea
  • constipation
  • impaction in severe cases
  • death due to complications

Treat Your Hamsters

To avoid getting worms in your hamsters in the first place, it’s important to keep all wild rodents and insects out and  be careful where your hamster food and water come from. If a you fear your hamster is infested with worms, it’s necessary to isolate them from all other pets while you treat it. Always wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly to avoid transmission while cleaning your hamster cages or treating a sick hamster with worms.

To treat tapeworms you can give your infested hamsters the drug niclosamide once and then again one week later. Dog dewormer at smaller doses can also be used.  For pinworms the drug piperazine can be used once a day for a week. For protozoa the drug metronidazole can be added into hamster food. However, a trip the local vet will likely be needed to get the proper hamster care and appropriate dosages of medications.

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.

12 thoughts on “Hamster with Worms”

  1. My hamster has these weird black looking worms/bugs in her cage. They’re really small but I can definitely see them. Shes been scratching a lot with her hind legs too. I’m not sure if they’re mites or some other bug but I need help!

    • I saw weird symptoms like running a lot and eat a ton then i decided to take a test to see what was going on when 15 minutes pasts trying to get her to pee and i see a little black insect I screamed and threw it out I had thought that it was just something got in their but a week later she died your hamster might have worms please please either take her/him to the vet wash your hands and be careful

  2. I have a hammy and my girlfriend was cleaning her cage when we found a small worm in her cage as well what would the necessary actions be to take to help her out

  3. I think my hamster might have worms, or my dog, because I have developed them from nowhere , I don’t really eat meat and I’m very hygienic but I do play with my pets a lot, could I of got worms off them? And how do I check if they have worms, do I have to get someone to look for eggs or can I see them myself

    • You should constantly check the cage for any black things like worms and of constant scratching or eating a lot or running a lot these were the symptoms of my hamster who died of them because i had no knowledge

  4. Honestly she may be on her period, and my hamster has the black/brown spot on his hip also. this is normal!!! 🙂 i was so scared at first but i looked it up and was so much happier. And I think you should try to examine the blood. Is it coming from her privates or her butt? If It comes from her butt, theres a good chances she has white strings which are worms. I am still looking for a way to treat my hamster’s worms, and i think he gave them to me ;-; it’s gross…..

  5. I have a hamster. Her name is sonny. She is balding and has a black spot on her hip where she is balding. I am really worried. She doesn’t chew on the cage anymore and sleeps a lot. She is a few months over 1 yrs old. Her bottom is bloody and she got some on my hand. HELP!


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