Illnesses and Diseases

Hamsters can suffer from a variety of illnesses if not cared for properly. Here are some to be aware of:

  • Wet Tail – Extreme diarrhea indicated by wet, matted fur around the hindquarters. Requires urgent treatment as it can be fatal.
  • Dental Disease – Overgrown teeth or abscesses causing mouth pain, drooling and weight loss. Signs include not eating and facial swelling.
  • Diabetes – Common in older, obese hamsters. Symptoms include increased thirst, urination and weight loss. Requires management with diet and medication.
  • Respiratory Infections – Caused by bacteria or irritants. Symptoms include discharge from eyes/nose, wheezing, and trouble breathing.
  • Heart Disease – Older hamsters can develop heart conditions. Signs are fatigue, trouble breathing, and loss of appetite.
  • Tumors – Hamsters have a predisposition to certain benign and cancerous tumors. Lumps under the skin may require biopsy.
  • Diarrhea – Loose stools not from wet tail requires diagnosis. Cause is often improper diet, intestinal parasites, or stress.
  • Hibernation Attempts – Cool temperatures can trigger hibernation attempts, causing lethargy, hypothermia and even death.

Get any hamster showing concerning symptoms evaluated promptly by an exotic vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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