Hamsters are probably one of the most charming domestic rodents.
There are many kinds of hamsters in the world, however, only some are kept as pets. For example, the Golden hamster, Roborovski dwarf hamster, Winter white dwarf hamster, Campbell’s dwarf hamster. They differ in size, color, and behavior. Thanks to their funny behavior and cheerful character, they manage to win the true love of their owners. But loving owners often do not realize that hamster diseases are quite common.
Hamsters, like other rodents, are extremely sensitive to infectious diseases. Contact with sick animals, unfavorable external environment, improper care put the health of the hamster in danger. Rapid metabolism in rodents contributes to the rapid development of the disease, and this creates additional difficulties in treatment.
Diseases of the hamsters – the main symptoms
Any disease in rodents necessarily affects their appearance and behavior. A healthy hamster is mobile, curious, has a good appetite, he has a well-groomed coat, calm breathing, and clean eyes.
Frequently occurring symptoms include:
- decreased activity
- feed abandonment
- loss of weight
- sniffing, sneezing
- eye and nose discharge
- diarrhea, soaking wool around the tail
- hair loss and combs on the skin
If you have noticed one of these symptoms of hamster disease, you need a veterinary surgeon. Visit the doctor as quickly as possible.
Often hamsters get respiratory infections, which can lead to severe pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs). In the beginning, the owner may notice that the hamster is hiding in the house, sneezing, there are excreta from the eyes and nose. In the absence of treatment, breathing becomes harder, the hamster may breathe with its mouth open and make wheezing noises. Pneumonia can lead to death. Early treatment to the veterinarian may save the hamster’s life.
The wet tail at the hamster
“Wet Tail” or proliferative ileitis is an infectious disease of hamsters. It is characterized by a heavy current, a high degree of infestation between rodents, and the possibility of death. The main symptoms are wet wool in the back of the hamster body around the tail, severe diarrhea with an unpleasant smell, reduced or no appetite. If there is a suspicion of illness, it is necessary to immediately isolate the sick hamster from the rest, disinfect the cell, and it is better to get rid of its contents. This disease does not tolerate postponing a visit to the veterinarian to provide professional assistance. Dehydration is a serious threat to the hamster’s life. Prevention of “wet tail” is reduced to the observance of hygiene, conditions, and balanced nutrition of hamsters.
Diarrhea may be caused not only by the causative agent proliferative ileitis. Errors in feeding, other infections, or the use of antibiotics lead to similar symptoms: abdominal bloating, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and lethargy. For an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to examine the hamster in the veterinary clinic.
Eye disease at the hamster
Conjunctivitis is a fairly common eye disease in hamsters. The development of the disease in hamsters can provoke particles of sawdust or hay that have fallen on the mucous eyes of the animal, the lack of hygiene conditions. Characteristic signs of conjunctivitis – excretion from the eyes, sticking eyelids. The animal feels a lot of discomforts and, brushing the eyes with its feet, only aggravates the situation.
Treatment consists of washing the eyes with a physiological solution or lotion and using specialized drops prescribed by a doctor.
Wool loss and other hamster diseases
Dandruff, combs, and baldness in hamsters can be caused by ectoparasites, pathogenic fungi dermatophytes, endocrine system disease, and sometimes tumors. The severity and duration of skin diseases in hamsters depends on the cause.
Many of these diseases, such as dermatophytosis or lichen in hamsters are contagious and can be transmitted to humans. So if you notice any suspicious symptoms, go straight to the hamster doctor.
Often, Demodex ticks cause concern to the hamsters, which can be transmitted from one hamster to another. Only a veterinarian can identify the cause and prescribe the correct treatment.
Abscesses are an accumulation of pus in a confined cavity. Pus accumulates under the skin, sometimes forming large painful swelling on the hamster’s body surface. Abscesses can be formed by cuts and scratches on the skin. If sharp food particles hurt the wall of the cheek pouch, a cheek pouch abscess may develop, and the cheek will seem filled all the time. The abscesses require treatment by a veterinarian.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis – a disease of viral etiology, may be asymptomatic in hamsters, but there is a risk of human infection. Buying a hamster to the child, remember the possible risk, carry out a preventive examination of the animal from the veterinarian.
Medicines for diseases of hamsters
Remember that several drugs are dangerous to hamsters, and their use can lead to death.
Never use the antibiotic without a doctor’s recommendation.
To prevent any disease of the hamsters observe hygienic rules, such as regular cleaning and disinfection of the cage, prevention of contact with disease sources, as well as complete feeding and optimization of the hamster conditions.