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Do Hamsters Have Diseases?

Last Updated: 27.02.20


If you have a little hamster, then you know that they are very active pets and they like to play and often use hamster hideouts to sleep or spend time in. You may love to see your pet enjoying his or her time like this. What if he or she got sick? Do you know the signs or what to do? Here is some information that will be good for you.

Before knowing about the most common disease your hamster can suffer from, we will list a few signs and symptoms so you can know when to start worrying.


Signs that should tell you that something is wrong

If your hamster is showing these symptoms, you should probably think about getting professional advice from a vet.

You should worry if you notice:

  •       hair loss
  •       diarrhea
  •       weight changes
  •       your hamster huddling into a corner
  •       skin lesions
  •       hibernation
  •       blood
  •       walking changes
  •       trouble breathing
  •       changes in eating and drinking behavior

If you have noticed some of these symptoms in your little friend, you should go to a vet clinic as soon as possible in order to prevent some diseases.

Also, you should know a little something about the most common diseases that hamsters can have.

The most common problems and diseases that your hamster can get are the following:



Wet Tail

This is probably one of the fatal diseases that a hamster can suffer. In order to save your pet’s life, you should know which are the signs and recognize them in case something similar will happen. Wet tail can cause the death of your pet in a few days (two or three).

The first sign is the wet tail area with a lot of fecal matter around it; in many cases, the hamster sits in a weird position. Diarrhea and loss of appetite are other signs.

A thing that you should know is the fact that this disease can spread fast so if you have more hamsters, you should separate them. Make sure that you wash your hands before and after taking your pet out of the cage.

If you recognize some of these signs in your hamster, contact your vet immediately. Before taking him or her in for a checkup, the one thing you can do for your pet is to encourage him or her to eat something and drink water.

Your vet will get you some antibiotics that will help your pet. This disease is caused by an infection.



Even hamsters can suffer from this kind of infection. You know that abscesses are bags of infection accumulated in the skin or under it. They look like the food packed in their cheek pouches. If your hamster continues to look like this even after he or she eats, you should take a look.

This problem can be solved by the vet. The treatment consists of administering antibiotics to your pet.


Respiratory Problems

Your hamster can get a respiratory infection. If you notice a discharge in the eyes or nose, sneezing, labored breathing followed by a change of appetite or moods, then you should take this into consideration. Respiratory infections can lead to some big diseases like pneumonia.

What is causing this kind of problems? The temperature changes and also some types of bedding can cause irritation like this.



Like every other creature, hamsters need a certain balanced diet. Make sure that you don’t include too much sugar into his or her diet. Also, in order to have a healthy little pet, make sure that your hamster has options to exercise, like a spinning wheel.


Urinary problems

Most of the signs about diseases are discovered in the hamster’s bedding. There you can find blood or traces of diarrhea. Also, you can watch for your hamster’s urine to see if the color of it is somehow different.

If you see some major changes, you should take your hamster in for a vet’s checkup.



Another part of the body that can be affected are the teeth. Hamsters are known for their appetite and their capacity to store their food in this way. Also, their diet is diversified, they eat a lot, and they eat all kinds of food.

Some signs that can make you aware are blood traces around your hamster’s mouth, appetite changes, broken teeth, or a missing tooth.

There are two extreme dental problems in hamsters. One can be the loss of their teeth and the other one can be excessive growth. In both cases, you should ask for medical advice.


Bar Rub

Maybe it sounds weird, but if the cage has bars, your hamster might try to chew them. This is not a healthy habit because it can cause hair loss, bleeding, teeth loss, but there are several causes for this behavior. One is that your hamster needs to chew in order to keep a good size of his or her teeth. You have the option to buy your pet some special chews that you can find at every pet store.

Also, another reason for this bad habit of your pet can be his lack of activity. This could be a sign that you should spend more time with your little friend. Also, you can buy your hammy new toys in order to keep him/her busy and active. 



There are a lot of parasites that can infect your hamster. They can be either external or internal. Internal parasites are the ones that affect the intestine. The first signs of these kinds of parasites are weight loss and intestinal blockage.

The most known external parasites are mites. They can affect the hamster’s face or ears. You can notice hair loss or dry skin.

If any of these signs or diseases are present in your hamster’s case, you should consult your vet for professional advice or treatment.

Also, here are some tips so you can prevent risks. You don’t want a sick little furry friend.



How can you prevent hamster diseases?

  •       Healthy Diet

One of the greatest ways of preventing hamster diseases is a healthy diet. Make sure that your hamster has a balanced diet. Also, you can offer your little buddy vitamins, but only with medical prescription.

Furthermore, make sure that your hamster is well hydrated. Many diseases are caused by dehydration. Provide your hamster with fresh water and veggies with a high level of water.

Another tip to ensure your hamster a healthy lifestyle is to make sure that he or she is having an active life. Make sure that he has toys to play with and some other exercise stuff.

  •       Habitat

Another cause of diseases is a dirty habitat or cage. Make sure that the cage suits your hamster’s necessities. That means that it is big enough for him or her and has the right accessories for his/her activities: food and a water bowl, proper bedding, a spinning wheel.

Clean the bedding daily. This way you can prevent germs like bacteria.

Buy your hamster quality toys. Make sure that it doesn’t hurt the body of your little pet. Now, after knowing all these facts, you can offer your hamster a proper environment in order to live a healthy life and to prevent diseases.




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Irina Ionescu

As a long-term learner and animal lover, Irina helps her readers find the best products and accessories for their pets, as well as the latest training techniques, tips & tricks on how to handle animals.

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