Caring for hamsters in your home should be an excellent experience. These animals are great little companions that can bring happiness to your life.
Typically, people like buying hamsters because they’re low-maintenance pets. They aren’t too hard to care for and make sense as pets for many different types of people.
Of course, caring for hamsters is still a responsibility. You need to do your best to care for them, or else they won’t stay healthy.
Can hamsters get sick, or is this relatively uncommon? Read on to learn more about the topic of hamster sickness.
Hamsters Can Get Sick
Yes, hamsters can get sick under the right circumstances. It’s actually very common for these little pets to get respiratory infections.
When a hamster has a respiratory infection, it’ll sometimes lead to a more serious issue, such as pneumonia. Sadly, this has the potential to kill your hamster, and that means you must take signs of sickness seriously.
If you treat an infection right away, you can cure the hamster. So pay attention and do your best to protect your little pet from harm.
Can Hamsters Sneeze?
Sneezing is something that you might see your hamster doing when it’s sick. So if you notice the hamster sneezing, you should pay close attention.
When hamsters have respiratory infections, they’re going to sneeze. This is a common sign that shows that something is wrong.
You want to take action as soon as you see signs like this. Taking action fast makes it much more likely that the hamster will get better and start acting normal again.
Ignoring the sneeze is only going to make things worse. If you let things go and don’t pay attention, the hamster could get pneumonia and might even wind up perishing.
How to Tell if Your Hamster Is Sick
There are many signs that you can look out for to tell if your hamster is sick. Sneezing is one of those signs, and you’ve already learned about that.
You’ll want to keep a close eye on many other signs of respiratory infections. Hamsters that are experiencing respiratory issues will often have crusty eyes.
You might see the eyes are runny one day and then crusted over the next. The eyes can seal shut when this occurs, which can be problematic.
Sick hamsters are also known to act very lethargic. Your hamster might not move around as much as it usually does, and it’ll stop eating as much, too.
Nasal drainage is an issue to be aware of. This problem is closely related to sneezing.
Whenever you notice these signs, it’s likely that the hamster is experiencing a respiratory infection. You need to treat the issue as soon as you can.
How to Treat Respiratory Infections
Treating respiratory infections in hamsters typically involves giving the little pets antibiotics. Antibiotics can help to clear up the infection and get the hamster back to normal.
There are problems that can pop up as a result of the hamster being sick. For example, the hamster can become dehydrated.
So it’s important to look after the hamster and try to get it to drink water and eat food. If it can start eating and drinking normally, that will help with the recovery process.
If you keep hamsters together in a cage, it’s best to isolate the sick hamster. You want to treat the hamster in isolation for its own safety as well as for the safety of the other hamster.
Note that it’s always wise to ask for advice from a veterinarian. A veterinarian can recommend the best antibiotic medications and tell you how to approach helping your hamster recover from a respiratory infection.
Why is My Hamster’s Poop Green?
There are a few different things that can cause hamsters to have green poop. The most common cause of green poop is that the hamster is eating too many leafy greens.
If hamsters eat an abundance of leafy greens, it’ll cause them to have green poop. It’s also worth noting that some commercial hamster foods contain food coloring.
So the green poop could be coming from what the hamster is eating. If the poop is solid and doesn’t smell bad, it’s likely that nothing is wrong.
You don’t necessarily have to worry when you see green poop. It’s definitely a good idea to keep an eye on the stool, though.
If you notice mucus in the stool or if the stool smells foul, it’s likely that the hamster is sick. Sometimes hamsters will experience diarrhea, and this will lead to an issue known as wet tail.
Wet tail is extremely problematic for hamsters, and it involves issues with bacteria. You want to solve problems with diarrhea fast because hamsters can easily die from it.
You might wish to involve a veterinarian if you can’t determine what’s wrong. Know that hamsters sometimes experience diarrhea issues due to stress from being transported or being forced to live in an overcrowded environment.
Sometimes hamsters can become constipated as well. This is another problem that you want to watch out for since it can be very bad for the hamster.
Commonly, hamsters will experience constipation when dealing with internal parasites. For example, it’s not too unusual for hamsters to get tapeworms.
There are other causes of constipation to be aware of, though. Sometimes hamsters will eat their own bedding, and this will cause a blockage.
A hamster might even become constipated due to a condition known as intussusception. This is a condition where the intestine folds in on itself, and it can be rather bad for your pet.
Many issues can cause this to occur, such as poor diet, not giving the hamster enough drinking water, and even inflammation. Sadly, intussusception will require surgery to get things back to normal.
Other constipation causes can be fixed with medication or lifestyle changes. Watch out for your hamster, and don’t hesitate to contact the vet if you need assistance.
Keeping Your Hamster Healthy
Keeping your hamster healthy is about handling the basics really well. You want to be careful to meet all of the care needs of the animal.
Feed your hamster high-quality food, and do your best not to feed it too much. Encourage the hamster to exercise by giving it access to toys such as a hamster wheel.
Avoid stressing the animal as much as you can. These pets hate loud noises, and they also don’t like living in environments that are too cramped.
Sometimes it isn’t good to keep hamsters in cages with other hamsters. Hamsters are known to fight each other, and not all hamsters are good at living with other hamsters.
Clean the cage often enough to keep the hamster safe. It’s wise to do a bit of cleaning daily to ensure that the cage stays in good shape.
Make sure that your hamster is warm enough and that it has sufficient bedding. It should be less likely to get sick if you’re giving it everything it needs and keeping it in an appropriate environment.
Learning more about hamsters and how they can get sick will help you in the long run. Hamsters can be a joy to own, but they need you to look out for them.
If your hamster shows signs of sickness, it’s imperative to take action fast. Hamsters can easily die of pneumonia or diarrhea.
You can turn things around by making necessary changes and giving the hamster medication when it needs it. It might be wise to consult with a veterinarian about how to proceed.
Focus on cleaning the hamster cage and giving the hamster the best environment. You should be able to do a good job of preventing the hamster from getting sick if it’s eating well, has enough to drink, and is in a low-stress environment.
As long as you keep all of this in mind, everything should go okay. Just remember to monitor the hamster regularly so you can recognize the signs of sickness before it’s too late.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.