Like any animal, hamsters can suffer from parasitic organisms that require treatment. Here are some to look out for:

  • Mites – Microscopic mites cause intense itching, hair loss and scabbing. Indicated by excess scratching. Treated with anti-parasitic medication.
  • Lice – Visible to the naked eye, these insect parasites feed on hamster blood causing itching, hair loss and anemia if severe. Removed with lice treatment shampoos.
  • Pinworms – Tiny intestinal worms transmitted by ingesting eggs through soiled bedding or food. Cause itching around rear. Treated with oral dewormers.
  • Giardia – Single-celled protozoa that infect the gut and cause severe diarrhea. Verify through fecal testing. Treated with antibiotics.
  • Coccidia – Another single-celled intestinal parasite leading to diarrhea. Young hamsters at most risk. Also requires prescription medicine.
  • Tapeworms – Rare segmented worms that inhabit the intestines and shed segments around the anus. Requires oral deworming medication.

Prevent parasites by keeping the habitat extremely clean, washing hands before handling, and avoiding exposure to wild rodents. Get veterinary help for suspected parasites before they worsen.

Learn More About Hamster Parasites