Illnesses, Symptoms, and Treatments

If you have a hamster or other small rodent that is not feeling well, check the list of symptoms below for some of the most common illnesses. It is possible that what is causing your pets symptoms is different than the information below. We are simply listing the most common causes. If you don't see any of your pets symptoms here or have any other questions or concerns please give us a call at (765) 662-7226 or send us an email at info@artinmotionpets.com.


SymptomPossible ProblemWhat to do
Wet Tail or DiarrheaWet Tail Disease

This condition can be fatal, so it is important to treat as quickly as possible. Either see your vet or add a medication called DriTail to their water. Completely clean entire cage including toys, water bottles, food dishes, etc. Discard all bedding, chew sticks, etc. Wet Tail is highly contagious to other rodents, separate any other rodents from the infected one and do not add another rodent to your cage. If you put another rodent in a cage that had an animal with wet tail bleach the entire cage and accessories and discard old bedding, food, and chew sticks./td>

Dry Flaky Skin
Loss of Fur
Redness on Skin
or Itching
Parasites (Mites) Clean your cage and everything in it. Put in fresh bedding. Spray a mite spray approved for small animals on your pet and bedding. Make sure you wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap after handling your pet or anything in its cage. To prevent re-infestation keep cage clean and give them a balanced vitamin fortified diet like Higgins Vita Hamster. If problem doesn't get better or you see open sores on your pet be sure to take them into your vet right away.
  Allergies Clean cage and accessories thoroughly. It is possible that your pet is allergic to something new added recently to the cage, bedding, a new food, etc.  Remember you should NEVER use cedar bedding with your small pet. It can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Art in Motion Pets recommends using either Aspen Pine, Cell Sorb, or Care Fresh bedding. Your pet could also be allergic to something in the air. Cigarette smoke, cleaners, perfume, etc.
   

Note: Loss of fur can also be due to old age.

Scratching of Ears Ear Mites Can also cause sores on ears, face, and feet. Ears can be treated with ear mite medication or a drop of mineral oil in ears. Clean cage and accessories thoroughly.
Loss of Balance, Tilted Head Ear Infection You will need to have a vet give your pet antibiotics as soon as possible
Sores From Fighting   Separate fighting animals right away and treat minor wounds with bag baum or Neosporin (available at most drug stores). Major wounds may need to be treated with an antibiotic from your vet.
Lump under skin Abscess Usually from a sore that was overlooked or left untreated. See your vet as soon as possible to stop the spread of infection. Left untreated it can be fatal.
  Cancer/Tumor Usually associated with illness and/or weight loss. Will be a rapidly growing hard lump just under the skin. Must be removed by your vet or it can be fatal.
Lethargic Cold or Flu Humans can transmit colds or flu to hamsters and other small animals. To them colds can quickly turn into pneumonia and death. You will want to get your hamster to a vet as soon as possible for an antibiotic.
  Wet Tail Disease

If you notice your pet has a wet tail or diarrhea it could have wet tail disease. This condition can be fatal so it is important to treat as quickly as possible. Either see your vet or add a medication called DriTail to their water. Completely clean entire cage including toys, water bottles, food dishes, etc. Discard all bedding, chew sticks, etc. Wet Tail is highly contagious to other rodents, separate any other rodents from the infected one and do not add another rodent to your cage. If you put another rodent in a cage that had an animal with wet tail bleach the entire cage and accessories and discard old bedding, food, and chew sticks.

Weight Loss Parasites (Worms) Medication must be given, see your vet.
Keeps eyes closed even when awake Irritated Eyes From a scratch or other injury to the eye. Or, it can be irritated by dust, dirt, wood chips, etc. Clean the matted eye with a warm wet washcloth. Repeat several times until the eye opens. Clean the eye with saline solution (used with contact lens and can be purchased at your local drug store). If the problem seems serious see your vet as soon as possible.
  Eye infection Antibiotic may need to be given. See your vet
Sneezing, Shivering, Wheezing Cold or Flu Humans can transmit colds or flu to hamsters and other small animals. To them colds can quickly turn into pneumonia and death. You will want to get your hamster to a vet as soon as possible for an antibiotic.
  Allergies Clean cage and accessories thoroughly. It is possible that your pet is allergic to something new added recently to the cage, bedding, a new food, etc.  Remember you should NEVER use cedar bedding with your small pet. It can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Art in Motion Pets recommends using either Aspen Pine, Cell Sorb, or Care Fresh bedding. Your pet could also be allergic to something in the air. Cigarette smoke, cleaners, perfume, etc.
Swollen Cheeks Impacted Cheek Pouches

Hamsters packing their cheek pouches full of food or bedding is normal. However if the cheeks seem to be swollen or sore it is possible that  food or bedding is stuck in there. If possible, look in the hamsters mouth and pull out anything that looks caught. You may need to talk to a vet.

 

 


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