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Signs Your Hamster Is Sick

Know the signs of an ill hamster.

By Audrey Pavia
Posted: March 31, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

Syrian hamster lying down
Hamster Peanut/Courtesy Tiffany Ann Deschamps
Knowing the signs of illness in hamsters might give you more time to help if your hamster falls ill.

A healthy hamster eats well, grooms itself, runs and plays normally, and has a full, shiny coat and bright eyes. Hamsters are sturdy little animals, but poor care, an incorrect diet or an unhealthy environment can all cause illnesses. Illness can also result from poor genetics or old age. The following signs indicate that your hamster may be unwell:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Inactivity
  • A dirty or matted coat
  • Red or flaky skin
  • Lumps beneath the skin
  • Excessive itchiness
  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Dull eyes
  • Wheezing or labored breathing
  • Shaking or shivering
  • Wetness in the tail area
  • Diarrhea

 

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Signs Your Hamster Is Sick

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Reader Comments
I came home after a weekend away and my Hamster was wet. I thought the bottle may have leaked on him, but it smelled like urine, so I washed him and dryed him with towel and let him run in hos ball to dry off fully. He keeps giving little squeaks and now the front half of him is all wet and matted. Please help me figure out if my hamster may be ill.
Louise, Birmingham
Posted: 8/18/2014 6:34:46 PM
I came home after a weekend away and my Hamster was wet. I thought the bottle may have leaked on him, but it smelled like urine, so I washed him and dryed him with towel and let him run in hos ball to dry off fully. He keeps giving little squeaks and now the front half of him is all wet and matted. Please help me figure out if my hamster may be ill.
Louise, Birmingham
Posted: 8/18/2014 6:33:31 PM
My hamster slept all morning and it is breathing hard.I am not sure if she ate some food when I got back from somewhere.She is not very active.Is she sick?What can help?If I put her in a ball,would it make her sick?
Joanna, Webster, NY
Posted: 7/6/2014 10:20:35 AM
My teddy bear hamsters stomach has grown to about the size of a baseball, and he poops a lot! He is also really inactive. Any idea what I could do for his stomach problem. I'm thinking it's a digestive issue. Am I wrong?
Colton, Garrettsville, OH
Posted: 4/15/2014 5:46:18 PM
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