Hamsters are tough animals, but they are small, so they can be injured or get diseases easily. The main symptoms to look for are a loss of fur, wet areas around a tail, swollen eyes, and sneezing. Loss of appetite and hiding in the corner are also common issues which will require veterinarian assistance. Here we have a few, most common illnesses among hamsters.
This is one of the most common and the most dangerous illnesses a hamster can get. It is also called the proliferative ileitis and it is believed that a certain bacteria, known as Campylobacter jejuni causes the illness. Additionally, this issue may be caused by stress, diet change, and crowding. Infected hamsters will die from this illness. It is extremely contagious, so if one hamster in a cage has it, others will. Diarrhea and wet tail are the obvious causes. Keep in mind that not all hamsters with diarrhea have a wet tail illness.
Swollen eyes are another, common illness among our small friends. Obviously, it is presented as swollen, partially or completely closed eyes, even when a hamster is awake. The main causes are Conjunctivitis or respiratory problems. This illness occurs if you use pine or cedar bedding, so start from there. Treatment includes the use of Bausch eye wash solution. Pour two drops of it directly to the hamster’s eyes and let him rub it. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times per day as long as needed.
This issue is usually caused by bedding, like cedar. Make sure you eliminated it from the cage. However, old age, infections, and bacteria can cause the same issue easily. Make sure that your hamster doesn’t have any of these, by taking him to a veterinarian. You can help him recover the lost fur, which is usually damaged due to excessive scratching. Use cod-liver oil and gel which can be obtained from the pharmacy to help get the fur recovered. In most cases, this issue isn’t dangerous and it will disappear after a short period of time.
Diarrhea is most common when an owner feeds a hamster with fresh fruit and vegetable. But, it may occur due to wet tail infection as well. Not all cases of diarrhea are associated with wet tail. Overfeeding has been known as the main cause of diarrhea at all times. In addition, taking him to a vet may help you resolve the problems as soon as possible. If diarrhea was caused by excess amount of fresh food, stop feeding your hamster with it. Wait until he recovers and slowly introduces the fresh food again. Keep in mind that hamsters must drink plenty of water when they have diarrhea in order to prevent dehydration.
Abscesses occur when a small crack in the skin occurs. However, they are also known to be present in the cheek pouches. These issues will be filled with fluids and can be diagnosed if your hamster looks that his cheek pouches are always full. The solution is to go to a veterinarian and allow him to drain the fluid. Don’t forget that abscesses may occur in other parts of a body as well. In any case, a vet assistance is mandatory. Luckily, this isn’t a severe threat for a hamster.
All of these illnesses are common among hamsters. The best thing to do is to prevent them, by providing superb cage environment. Hamsters require clean and dry bedding and avoidance of pine and cedar beddings. If you are not certain about an illness your hamster may have, take him to a vet immediately. Due to a fast metabolism, all illnesses spread quickly.