4 ways hamsters show you they are sick
Because they are such a different species from ours, it is not always possible to detect symptoms of a sick hamster. They hide pain and distress well, but if you know what to look for, you’ll be able to tell when something is off. Some symptoms are more visible, especially if they appear suddenly, while others may be nearly invisible. You might have to listen or even smell carefully to pick up on what your hamster is trying to tell you, but you’ll be glad you did.
- Wheezing, heavy breathing, and respiratory distress can all be symptoms of illness
It’s not uncommon for hamsters to have respiratory problems, especially under certain conditions. While some sneezing is normal (as it is in humans), persistent sneezing is a sign of a respiratory infection, which can lead to pneumonia in severe cases. Other warning signs include wheezing, heavy breathing, and discharge from the eyes or nose.
Because hamsters are particularly sensitive to their surroundings, drafts or even temperature changes can make them vulnerable to respiratory infections. As a result, it’s critical to plan the location of your hamster’s cage in your home. Another highly specific cause of labored breathing and respiratory distress is the use of the incorrect type of bedding in their enclosure. Cedar chips and pine bedding have a strong aroma that can irritate the eyes, nose, mouth, lungs, and even the skin. Fortunately, these modifications are simple, and your hamster will be as happy as a clam in no time.
- Diarrhea and tail wetness can be signs of something more serious
Wet tail is both a symptom and the name of a potentially fatal disease in hamsters. Diarrhea is the most common symptom of this condition, though not all diarrhea is caused by wet tail. A bacteria infects the small intestine and causes frequent, unusual bowel movements in this disease. In severe cases, your pet may appear lethargic, have a ruffled coat, and even lose weight despite eating a healthy hamster diet, which is why this illness is so deadly.
Some veterinarians have discovered a link between wet tail and stress in hamsters, including environmental changes like crowding or dietary changes. If you notice wetness on your pet’s tail or if he isn’t moving away from the area where he relieves himself, take him to the vet right away. Wet tail medication is available online, but this is a serious condition that requires veterinary care.
- A dull, wet, or ruffled coat on your hamster is not normal
Paying attention to your hamster’s coat is an excellent way to keep track of his health. Because each animal is unique, it is critical to understand what is normal for your pet. Most hamsters, for example, have a silky coat, but a few have the Rex mutation. This gene causes their coat to be frizzy, wavy, and even curly. Rex hamsters have crinkled whiskers, which adds to their otherwise healthy and normal scruffiness.
Hair loss in aging hamsters is normal, but it is not cause for concern. However, if a young hamster begins to lose hair, whether gradually or in patches, you should consult with your veterinarian. Adrenal tumors, kidney disease, or thyroid problems, as well as parasites such as mites, can all be the cause of bald spots in your pet’s coat. All of these issues are best left to a reputable veterinarian who understands which medications are toxic to hamsters and which are effective.
- Any noticeable change in behavior is worth noting
It is critical to observe your hamster in a variety of moods and situations so that you can recognize when something is wrong. Sometimes a small behavioral change is the only visible symptom of a larger issue. For example, increased urination is the most obvious sign of chronic kidney disease. Alternatively, if your hamster is drinking a lot of water, he could be suffering from a urinary tract infection.
A vet should be involved in both of these situations because they are your hamster’s best bet for a complete and speedy recovery, regardless of the issue. They are extremely knowledgeable and can administer medications and treatments to your pet that you cannot do at home.
If you spend time with your hamster on a regular basis and get to know his quirks, you’ll be able to spot a problem before it becomes a major one. With prompt action and a few precautions, your hamster will live a long and happy life with his best friend – you!
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
Waiting for our next post here.