Why Hamsters Die (Main Reasons, Some Of Them Preventable)

Hamsters can die, and it’s never pleasant news to hear your little friend passed away. But why did that happen ? Was it old age ? Was the hamster suffering from an illness or an injury ? Let’s see what the most common causes are.

Why hamsters die (2)

So why do hamsters die ?

Hamsters can die for a number of reasons, and it’s usually a medical condition. Even old hamsters, very old ones, pass away because their bodies simply don’t function as well as they used to, and some critical part of their body no longer works.

Sometimes, hamsters can die of diseases or injuries, most of them preventable. Not all are noticeable. Or, if you do notice, you don’t figure out what the problem is until it’s too late.

Knowing the usual health problems hamsters can get, and what old age looks like for hamsters will help you know when and if there is anything left to do.

When is a hamster considered old ?

Usually a hamster is old by the time he reaches 2 years of age. In Chinese hamsters this threshold is lower, since their average lifespan is 2 years. So they can be considered old by the time they reach their first birthday.

Most hamsters live 2-3 years, and as such you’ll notice the changes happening to then when they get old fairly quickly.

Sparse fur, weak legs, cataracts, a withered look about them, a distinct neck – these are all clear signs your hamster is a senior in his right.

Along with old age come a host of health problems, mostly because it’s easier for them to come along. Like wet-tail for example, which can be brought on either by stress or an infection. An infection happens easier if the hamster is not clean, and a very old hamster will stop grooming himself as much.

So, an old hamster who develops wet-tail has very little chances of survival, and his death could be attributed to both the disease and the old age.

Old age also makes the immune system weaker, and the body weaker overall. Bones don’t mend as easily, sores don’t go away. Any injury to an old hamster is harder to heal than one to a young hamster.

Health problems hamsters can commonly get

Most health problems can be avoided, like infections, overgrown teeth, cuts and scrapes, injuries from falling and so on. They can also be easily treated with the help of a competent veterinarian. You will need to look for an ”exotics” vet, who will have experience with rodents, reptiles, and birds as well.

Antibiotics will take care of infections. Tumors can be removed most of the time. bones can be mended, But there are some diseases or problems that can be… well, deadly. Especially so if not noticed in time and treated. Let’s go over a few of them.

Wet-tail is the first to spring into mind. It’s a sort of digestive problem, with symptoms like diarrhea, excessive water drinking, loss of appetite, a sweaty/wet look, a soiled wet hamster bottom, possibly smelly cage. Can be lethal in less than a week if left untreated.

If treated within 24h of developing, it can be survived. Longer than that. and the chances are lower. Even after treatment some hamsters still pass away, because they were too drained from the illness itself. It took a huge toll on their bodies and they withered away.

Any sort of infection, if it’s not treated right away. By this I mean the infections filled with pus, whether it’s an infected tooth, eye, or ear. All of them can spread to the brain, and inside the body. If the hamster swallows the pus (in the case of an infected tooth or cheek) this can lead to sepsis, which too can be fatal.

Lumps and tumors can be deadly as well, mostly because they can be very hard to operate on. The hamster, being so very small, has little chance of surviving anaethesia, although there have been cases.

In some cases the tumor is inside the body, and removing it is sentencing the hamster to certain death, with blood loss as the main cause. The surgery would be too big of a risk, again. Chemotherapy is hard to survive even for humans, let alone for hamsters.

Injuries, like a broken spine because of a nasty fall, can be deadly too. While a fall from the height of an ordinary table isn’t much for a human, it can be deadly for a hamster. Keep in mind that they’re so very small, and have a fragile frame.

This means that falls from heights like your table, dresser, even just your hands while you stand up, can all lead to serious injuries and sometimes even death.

Those falls can be deadly either on impact, like a fractured skull, or serious internal organ injuries, and they can also be deadly by result. Like internal bleeding, ruptured organs, and so on. It’s a terrible thought to write about, so please handle your hamster very carefully.

When it comes to bedding, and textiles introduced to your hamster, be careful. The extra fluffy, puffy kind of textile sometimes found on or in hamster toys (the ones with very long fibers, like the stuffing inside teddy bears). That is dangerous for hamsters, since they will find it and stuff it in their cheeks, and use it as nesting material.

While it does keep them warm, it’s also too easy for them to tangle that material in their teeth or cheeks, or get a foot stuck inside, or in some cases pretty much wrap it around their necks and suffocate.

I’m sorry to paint pictures like these, but this has happened before to other hamster owners. Please keep plush and overly fluffy things far away from hamsters.

As a sidenote, I have a blanket with a plush side. When I let Teddy onto the bed one day and the blanket was there, he immediately started putting it in his cheeks. They’re very fast, and you need to spot them right away to stop them.

Finally, there is another reason for hamsters seeming to suddenly die. Some people have reported their hamsters being happy and healthy yesterday, only to find them lifeless this morning.

Those cases, while unfortunate and traumatic, always have an explanation. Most of the time, it’s a circulatory problem. Like a blood clot forming in the brain, or a form of heart attack brought on by a scare in the middle of the night.

Hamsters are very sensitive, and scaring them too hard is … well, easier than necessary. This is one reason you should not scare your hamster, or let it get too stressed.

Being barked at, handled too often, dangled upside down, continuously poked and prodded and so on. These are very stressful things for a hamster, and can be the final straw in some cases.

(If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.)

Why hamsters die (1)

Do not confuse hibernation with hypothermia

I’ve set this one aside because it’s a common problem. Hamsters do hibernate, but only in the wild. In the wild, they have a weeks and months in advance to prepare for the cold. Gather food, get fat and have energy stored up, dig a big warm nest, get safe.

They go to sleep once winter comes and they only wake up from time to time (like once a week !) to nibble on something they’ve stored up. When they wake up, the earth is thawing, they’re hungry and dehydrated.

At home, in your warm house, the cold doesn’t gradually creep in over the span of a few months. It never does, because you keep your home warm.

So why do some hamsters end up ‘hibernating’ ? Well, they’ve sometimes been left out in the garage for a few hours, or another such space that’s used for storage and is usually cold. Or they were maybe forgotten next to an opened window. Really, it could be any occasion with cold temperatures.

The point is that the hamster will go into a sort of hibernation, but in truth it’s actually hypothermia. He did not have time to build an extra warm nest, build a protective layer of fat on his body, but he did store some food. The problem is that this is not true hibernation, and he will likely die if not woken up fast.

You might think he is dead, be might be cold. He might not move at all. But a dead hamster will be rigid, like a statue. He will be cold. A hibernating hamster will be cold-ish, but his whiskers or ears might twitch if you touch them. He will be limp, that’s the first major sign he is alright.

For more info on waking up a hamster from such a situation, check this article. Always, always attempt to warm him up or wake him before deciding he has passed away.

There have been accounts of hamsters thrown away in the trash bin, only to be found by the garbage disposal service later, alive and kicking.

Making sure you keep your hamster safe

There are ways your can make sure your hamster lives a happy, healthy life. Now, although what I explained above might make you want to keep him under a glass dome, don’t do that.

Instead, be a responsible hamster owner and keep him out of trouble. Let’s see what that means:

  • Keep the hamster away from overly curious pets who might disturb him, like a cat or a puppy or even parrots or other rodents. Basically any pet that can move through the house on its own.
  • Always supervise kids playing with the hamster. Accidents can happen, and it’s your responsibility to both teach the child and keep the hamster safe.
  • Only handle the hamster close to his cage, and not allow more than double his height as a falling height.
  • If you’re letting the hamster onto the floor, make sure there are no places for him to get inside or under or between pieces of furniture and be impossible to get out safely.
  • Keep any fluffy textile or materials away from your hamster. Some are sold as nesting material. Stay away from them.
  • Never overfeed your hamster, else he might grow obese and develop diabetes and joint problems.
  • Be careful which foods from your fridge or pantry you feed you hamster. Some are safe, some not.
  • Always clean his cage, once a week, a full cleaning complete with a cage wipe-down or actual rinsing on the shower.
  • Make sure you bring your hamster to the vet, even if it might be nothing. Better to have him checked and find out he’s okay, than leave it to chance and figure out there is a problem when it’s too late.

Thees are the absolute basics of keeping your hamster healthy and safe, more info can be found in the related articles below. Until then, read Teddy’s thoughts on the matter.

A word from Teddy

I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Us hammies are cute and cuddly, but we do pass away. That means we’re sometimes too sick, or we grow too old to fight an injury or sickness. We rely on you to spot the problem and help us out.

If you want to know more about us hamsters you should check out the related articles below. You’ll learn how to keep us safe and happy, and what we need for a good life.

Related blog post
Hamster Reproduction – From Birth To First Litter
Hamster Reproduction – From Birth To First LitterIf you’ve got a pair of hamsters you’d like to let reproduce, then this guide will help you with knowing how the babies develop, how the mating happens, and how to make sure the babies survive. We’re going to follow the life of the hamster from the moment he’s born, to the moment the first litter is delivered. Table of Contents ToggleWhen the hamster is bornWeaning and separating the baby hamstersComing of age – when the hamster is an adultWhen it’s best to let the hamsters mateStarting the reproductive process and introducing the pairThe gestation period in hamstersThe birth of the baby hamstersCaring for the young hamsters and their motherA word from Teddy When the hamster is born Hamster babies (also known as pups) are born hairless, blind, and with their ears folded. They rely completely on their mother’s help and milk. They will grow up remarkably fast, being able to consume solid food by about 10 days of age. Hamster pups are born with their front teeth in place, so they will begin chewing fairly young. However for the first 3-4 weeks they will rely on their mother’s milk. In that time their mother will clean them, and they will learn everything there is to know about being a hamster. How to clean themselves, how to eat, how to walk, what is good food and what is not, and so on. Hamsters can have litters of any size, as small as 3 and as large as 15 in some cases. Whichever case, there will always be smaller pups, who haven’t developed very well. The runt of the litter, so to speak. They will need a bit more time with their mother, or extra nutrition after they’ve been separated. Weaning and separating the baby hamsters Once the hamster pups reach 3-4 weeks of age, their mother will begin weaning them. By this time they are able to eat solid food, but the comfort of their mother’s milk will make them try to nurse still. However the mother will start physically pushing them away once she decides they’ve been weaned, and in a few days the pups will be alright. They might still try to nurse, but they will fail. This is also the time when the pups will be able to start reproducing. A very dangerous period, since female pups can become pregnant at 4 weeks of age. This is not advised, since they will not survive the pregnancy, being so young. So, you must separate the pups. For more exact into on how to do this you can check this article, on finding the hamster’s gender. But in short, here are the difference between male and female hamsters: Male hamsters have their genital and anal opening quite far apart, and there is fur between the two openings. There are also no teats present on their abdomen. The will be a third spot on their abdomen, the one for the scent gland. For Syrians, the scent glands ale located on their hips, not the abdomen Female hamsters have their genital and anal openings very close together, they’ll look like they’re the same opening. The opening will be a bit hairless. You’ll be able to find 2 rows of teas, running down the female hamster’s abdomen. Separating the hamster pups into male and female enclosures will make sure there are no unwanted pregnancies. Sometimes breeders or pet shop employees mistakenly tag a male as female, and put him in the female cage. This can lead to baby hamsters in about 2-3 weeks, so you must be very careful when selecting your first hamster to bring home. More on picking out your first hamster here. Coming of age – when the hamster is an adult Once the hamsters have been weaned and separated into groups, they can now be given up for adoption. They are alright with being away from their mother. Most hamsters are adopted before they become adults, though some exceptions do exist. A hamster is a full adult when he’s 12 weeks of age. This means that once the hamster is 3 months old, he will start to show his personality more, be energetic (even more than a baby), and his fur marking will become very clear. For example my Teddy was about 5 weeks when I go him. He’s a Syrian male, golden pattern. At first he was just creamy/orange, with some white. But as he came close to his 3rd month, he started to show a bit of faint grey markings over his other colors, and the orange became more vibrant. This will happen to all hamsters, regardless of species. Their final coat color will become apparent only when they’ve become adults. Djungarian Dwarfs will change their color in winter though, but only in the wild. Djungarians (also known as Siberian or Winter White) are famous for turning nearly white once winter comes, to better blend in. But, pet Djungarians do not need that camouflage, and also do not sense winter from inside their cozy, warm cage. When it’s best to let the hamsters mate Now you might wonder when it’s okay to let the hamsters mate, if they’re not allowed to mate as young as 4 weeks. The best time to let the hamsters mate is between the ages of 3 months and 15 months. This is when the hamsters will be at their peak, and will be able to withstand both the courting ritual, the mating process, and the ensuing pregnancy. Hamsters bred younger than 12 weeks can still carry a pregnancy, but the survival rates are lower. You’ll notice with females that they come into heat (estrus) every 4 days. They might start to develop a smell, a musky kind of smell, and will be willing to receive a male. You can test this by trying to pet the female, and she will flatten herself on her belly, and expose her rear-end. Any attempt at trying to reproduce the hamsters should be observed, since there can be complications. The female, while willing to mate, will become a bit irritable and aggressive. Starting the reproductive process and introducing the pair Once you’ve noticed the female is in heat, and is responsive to being stroked, you can begin the reproductive process. In a separate, clean cage, place both the male and the female. This should be done at dusk, when the natural light is fading, to mimic the natural habitat in which the two would meet. Once the two have met, the female will decide of the wants to mate with the male, or  simply fight him. Females in heat become very aggressive, especially towards the males. This is why the mating should be observed, so you can intervene and remove the male if the female is just itching for a fight and nothing else. Trying again, with a more aggressive male who can hold his own against her would be an idea. However the two need to be balanced, the male becoming too aggressive with the female isn’t good either. Normal signs of tussling and mate-fighting include scruffing (where the male is biting the female’s beck of the neck, holding her in place), rolling, a bit of squealing, occasional biting. Blood should not be drawn, and the fighting should subside after a while. The female will be fairly aggressive, but mating should indeed happen. If the pair manages to mate, then it can be safe to leave them alone in the cage overnight. You will need to reintroduce them for the next 3 nights (so 4 in total) to make sure that the female has become pregnant. However you should make sure that the male has where to hide, if he needs to. This is because one the female decides she is done, she’ll perceive the male’s advances as a threat, and fight him. Even after they’ve just mated. The gestation period in hamsters Once the female has become pregnant, she will start the gestation period. Usually this lasts between 16 to 22 days. The Dwarf types have a gestation period on the longer side, while the Syrian has the shortest period. During this period the female should be kept separate from all the other hamsters. This means she will need a separate, clean cage, where she will start building her nest. She will eat increasingly more food, and will exercise less. The cage she will live in during the gestation period, as well as the first few weeks after giving birth should be simple, with a hideout, food bowl, water bottle, lots of places to hide, and a generous amount of bedding and nesting material. As she gets closer to her due date, she will become even more irritable and restless. Her abdomen will be larger, and she will look much bigger and fluffier. She will move more slowly, and will spend more time building her nest. Give her much more nesting material – like paper towels, toilet paper squares, toilet paper cardboard (the rolls) and she will use all of that to make a very large and warm nest for her and her babies. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) The birth of the baby hamsters Once the birthing starts, the mother will stand up right, and deliver the babies every few minutes. You won’t know she’s done until a few hours later. This is because between each baby she will clean the nest, or take a short nap, and continue to deliver until every baby is born. The mother will clean and tend to the babies on her own, with no help from you. This is crucial, because it means that you should not disturb the mother and her pups in any way for the first 2 weeks after the birth. Once the babies are born, you should keep away from the mother. Don’t try to peek at them or prod the mother. Provide her with lots of food, daily, and make sure her water bottle is full so you don’t have to change it every day. Hamster mothers, especially the young ones or the ones who have their first litter, are very skittish. If they perceive something as a possibly threat (which could be anything, in their position) they will resort to eating their young or abandoning them. Even if the stressed mother doesn’t eat the babies, she might still stuff them in her pouches, as a way of hiding them. Unfortunately sometimes she keeps them there for too much, and the pups end up suffocating. This also means that the cage the mother and her babies are in needs to be in a calm, quiet, warm room, away from the other hamsters. Be careful, because the mother can become pregnant again immediately after finishing birthing her babies. While this pregnancy can happen, it’s unsafe and is very stressful for the mother to be both gestating and rearing her new babies. This is one of the reasons the male needs to be kept away from the mother immediately after mating has ended. Another one of the fact that the male will try to get the female’s attention, and will hurt or kill the babies to have no competition. Caring for the young hamsters and their mother If the mother has given birth successfully, and the pups survived their first 2 weeks, you will only need to assist here and there. After their first 2 weeks the babies will be able to eat some solid foods, and soon will be weaned (at 1 month old). You’ll be able to see and hear the babies, but handling them is not recommended just yet. Once the babies are weaned and need to be separated into gender-specific groups, you can handle them and from there on can be given for adoption. Any extra caring or steps aren’t necessary, because the mother will take care of all of that. As long as you do not disturb them too much and let the mother rest after she’s done giving birth, everyone should be fine. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Us hammies can make babies  very fast, and very often. It’s important to know how to handle us if you want to let us have babies, and make sure everyone if fine in the end. If you want to know more about us hamsters you can read the related articles below, and see how to care for us and keep us happy. [...] Read more...
How To Know When Your Hamster’s Fully Grown – All Breeds
How To Know When Your Hamster’s Fully Grown – All BreedsWhen I first got my Teddy I knew he would grow up to be a big hamster – he’s a Syrian male. But I didn’t know exactly how big, and when he’d stop growing. So I’m helping you figure out how big your hamster can get, based on its breed. And this will help you know how large a cage he will need, and what to expect from your hamster friend. Table of Contents ToggleSo when is a hamster fully grown ?When is a Syrian hamster fully grown ?When is a Roborovski Dwarf fully grown ?When is a Campbell Dwarf fully grown ?When is a Chinese Dwarf fully grown ?When is a Siberian/Winter white fully grown ?When to separate baby hamstersThe right cage for a fully grown hamsterA word from Teddy So when is a hamster fully grown ? Generally a hamster is fully grown around 3 months of age. This means that the hamster is both sexually mature, and also has reached, or is very close to, its full length. Of all hamster types, Syrian hamsters grow the largest, and you will notice severe size differences between the baby hamster you brought from the pet shop, and the adult hamster in your cage. The Dwarf types do grow, but the difference between them as babes and as adults is not nearly as big. For reference, a baby Syrian around 4 weeks old – when he can be adopted – is about as large as an adult Siberian or Campbell. But let’s see the differences between each hamster type, since they can grow to different sizes and become mature at slightly different ages. When is a Syrian hamster fully grown ? A Syrian hamster is fully grown when he is around 12 weeks of age (3 months). Both males and females are capable of breeding around 4 weeks, so they must be separated to prevent any more litters from producing. As for size, a Syrian hamster grows to its full size around the 3 month mark. That is when the Syrians become adults, and can reach their full size. They can reach between 5-8 inches in length, which is 13-20 cm. Some hamsters may grow even larger than that, by a couple of inches/cm, but those cases are rare. A few traits of adult Syrian hamsters: Their markings become clear just before they reach maturity. If they’ve got any darker fur, it will start to show around that time The males’ rear ends will become very large, bulging almost. That is where their testicles are, and you will see them often. The females will come into regular heat – about every 4 days. You’ll notice them smelling a bit muskier, and they will squeak and hiss if they sense a male hamster. The average lifespan of a Syrian hamster is 2-3 years, in captivity. They are close to old age when they reach their second birthday, and will start to become slower and have trouble eating and moving around as they reach that age. When is a Roborovski Dwarf fully grown ? A Roborovski hamster is a Russian Type, and he will be fully grown around the 3 month mark as well. The Robos can breed as early as 4-5 weeks old, so again they must be separated very early in male and female groups. Roborovski hamsters reach their full size at around the 3 month mark, reaching up to 2 inches/5 cm. They are the tiniest of the Dwarf types, and are very hard to handle. since they are so hast and agile. Their fur coloration becomes clear as they reach the 3 month mark. They don’t develop a stripe down their backs, like the Chinese or Campbell for example. The average lifespan of a Roborovski hamster is about 3-4 years in captivity, but rarely lives past 2 in the wild. When is a Campbell Dwarf fully grown ? A Campbell Dwarf is fully grown around the 3 month mark, as the other hamsters. They can breed early, around the time they’re weaned – which is bout 4 weeks old. Their sizes are about 3-4 inches/ 8-11 cm, and are again hard to handle given their small size and agility. They usually live around 2 years in captivity, but can live a few months past 2 years in the right conditions. A Campbell’s Dwarf can be recognized by the white belly, and grey-brown fur on their backs, with a much darker stripe going down their backs. When is a Chinese Dwarf fully grown ? Chinese hamsters, while not truly Dwarf types, are still much smaller than the Syrian type. A Chinese hamster will become fully grown when he is about 2-3 months old. The hamster can breed before he reaches that point, though. As for size, the Chinese is larger than most Dwarf types, but smaller than the Syrian. So a fully grown Chinese hamster will be around 3-5 inches/8-13 cm, plus their longer tails. Chinese hamsters have a much longer tail compared to any other hamster types, which can grow to be about an inch long/2-3 cm. The long tail, and the more slender, long-ish figure of the hamster can make it look a lot like mouse to many people. Given their natural coloring – a sort of brown with a dark stripe down their back – this can be forgiven. Average lifespan for the Chinese hamster is around 2 years in captivity, but it’s not very well documented in the wild. When is a Siberian/Winter white fully grown ? A Siberian, or Winter White, is a type of hamster that does belong to the Dwarf type. They are fully grown at about 3 months of age, and can breed about 4-5 weeks of age. The Siberian hamster can grow up to 3-4 inches/8-11 cm, and are actually among the easiest to tame hamsters. Their fur can change, depending on temperature and season. A Winter white is called such because in the wild, its color changes to mostly white. During the summer or warmer season, the color can be a very dark grey, with a stripe going down the hamster’s back. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) When to separate baby hamsters Separating your hamsters when they’re babies will spare you a lot of troubles, starting with surprise litters and ending with vicious fights between siblings. So generally, the best time to separate the hamsters into all male and all female groups is when their mother finishes weaning them. This is usually around 4 weeks after the babies are born, and you’ll notice the mother starting to push the babies away if they want to nurse. You can find much more info now how to properly separate the baby hamsters into gender-specific groups here, as well as how to handle them. Do take care when the mother has just given birth, since she is easy to startle. A startled, or scared, or stressed out mother can abandon or even eat her babies. Here’s how to make sure your baby hamsters survive, as well as how to make sure the mother is safe and calm during the birth and raising the babies. The right cage for a fully grown hamster Your hamster might see so very small when you first get him. That’s the small size they will not keep, as you’ve just found out. Baby hamsters need adult-sized cages. This is partly because they grow very quickly, and once they do grow they will feel cramped in a cage that is too small for them. These 5 hamster cages are great picks, depending on what kind of hamster you have. A cage that is too small for your hamster can lead him to a lot of stress, and feeling irritable most of the time. This can lead to a lot of unwanted behaviors, like chewing the bar cages, and even fighting with their cage mates. The minimum cage size for an adult Syrian hamster is 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. I’d recommend this to be the size cage you get for your Dwarf type as well, since all hamsters will feel better in a bigger cage, if they have one available. Always get your hamster a bigger cage, even if they look so small they need a large amount of floor space. Best to read this article on what to know before getting a cage for your hamster, and how to properly care for it. For the Dwarf types I recommend a glass tank, since they can easily escape through the bars of a wire cage. You’ll find info on the glass tank as well in that article. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for here, and can figure out when your hammy is fully grown. For example when I was a baby I was orange all over, with a bit of faded white on my belly. When I got older I started showing my darker grey markings, and my owners thought I was dirty at first ! So if you want to know more about your hammy, you can read the articles below. You can find out how much water we need, and why we’re sometimes scared of you, and even what food is safe for us. [...] Read more...
What Do Hamsters Eat In The Wild? Don’t Feed Your Pet The Same
What Do Hamsters Eat In The Wild? Don’t Feed Your Pet The SameAs a hamster owner, I always had this question in the back of my head, what do hamsters eat in the wild? Yes, my furball has food delivered to his house daily, which is not so bad, but it is not like this in the wild. There isn’t only one type of hamster, and they come from different parts of the world, so talking about what hamsters eat in the wild might be too general if you don’t talk about each species but the thing is that they have similar behaviors and diets in the wild no matter where they came from. There are a few differences between Syrian hamsters and the smaller ones, but we will talk about that a bit later. I decided to write this article because I wanted to make sure we don’t miss anything when we feed our hamsters, and for that, I had to do my research to see what they eat in the wild. But it is important to know that a wild hamster’s diet is not a perfect one, they might eat something they don’t like, or it is very healthy for them, but it might be the only thing they have. Table of Contents ToggleWhat do hamsters eat in the wild?When do hamsters eat in the wild?How does a wild hamster find water?Diet differences between pet hamsters and wild hamstersChallenges for a wild hamster to obtain food in the wild1. Avoiding predators while looking for food.2. Knowing what food is safe to eat.3. Storing food for later4. They compete with other animals for the same food.Do pet hamsters live more than wild hamsters?Conclusion What do hamsters eat in the wild? A wild hamster’s diet has a lot of seeds, grains(like wheat, oat, barley, and more), and all kinds of nuts, since those are the ones easier to find and they are pretty nutritious for a hamster, but they also might look for fruits and vegetables if possible. Last but not least, they can also eat insects if needed. The last ones are not their primary target since a hamster can live pretty well without the trouble of hunting for those, but they will not refuse them if they come in their way. Keep in mind that hamsters are prey animals, and they are not the most courageous hunters out there. They might prefer to eat the safer food they can find. When do hamsters eat in the wild? Most wild hamsters are crepuscular, which means that they are active at sunset and sunrise since the visibility for their predators is not so great, but the hamsters can see what they are doing. They usually don’t go outside during the day because they fear predators like snakes, eagles, and other wild animals, who are mostly active during the day. Most people think that hamsters are nocturnal, and they associate this with having good eyesight in the dark, which is not true, hamsters have pretty weak eyesight all the time, and it doesn’t get better in the dark. But they do have a very good sense of smell and hearing. So a hamster will procure food during those hours and store the food for later. They can carry a good amount of food in their cheek pouches but they have to store it in their burrows since they can’t keep it on them for too long. If you want to know more about hamsters’ cheek pouches, I have an entire article about how cheek pouches work and common problems. For them, the cheek pouches are similar to a shopping cart for us. How does a wild hamster find water? Wild hamsters will get most of their water requirements from their food, especially vegetables, seeds, and fruits. They might also drink water from puddles and streams but this might not be accessible for all wild hamsters, and as you can imagine, it can be quite dangerous to make noises while they drink, and storing water for later is not an option. Rainwater is also an option, but as we all know, it is not reliable, and they usually avoid the rain directly since they can get sick very fast if they get wet, check my article to see more on why you should never wash a hamster. They can drink rainwater only if they capture some water in their burrows, but they will not get outside when it rains to drink water. Diet differences between pet hamsters and wild hamsters I will not get into many details about what a pet hamster should eat since that would be an entire article and I already wrote a big article hamster’s diet. Most hamster owners feed their small friends with specially-formulated food pellets that usually have all the vitamins and minerals a hamster needs. You can also feed a pet hamster whatever a wild hamster can eat, but those mixes are more than enough and they usually cover all they need. So my advice is to feed your hamster with a pre-made mix, and if you want to give it some extra food, nuts, seeds, and even some cooked meat, if you respect what I’ve said in the article about what hamsters can eat, your hamster should be fine. Make sure you check the article since there are some exceptions, especially when you feed a dwarf hamster that has a predisposition to diabetes. While a Syrian hamster can eat small amounts of banana, a dwarf hamster should avoid it completely. A wild hamster on the other hand will not focus as much on a healthy and nutritious diet because his focus is surviving and not a balanced diet. So saying that you should feed a hamster what they actually eat in the wild instead of a pre-made mix might not be the best idea. The pre-made mix is the ideal version of what a wild hamster would need in the first place.  Challenges for a wild hamster to obtain food in the wild As you can imagine, a wild hamster faces many challenges when trying to find food. I will list here a few of them: 1. Avoiding predators while looking for food. This one is the biggest challenge a wild hamster will face when finding food. They have predators everywhere, it might be a snake that comes from the ground or from the water, it might be other wild animals from the ground or burrows, an eagle or owl from the air, or even other hamsters. A hamster looking for food in the wild is in for a wild ride, with a high chance of the hamster actually becoming the food, which is pretty sad. 2. Knowing what food is safe to eat. They have a pretty good instinct for that, but they don’t know all the time which type of insect, plant or seed is poisonous and which one is not. Or if that food is safe in the long term, we as humans know what is safe for us and what is not.  We know that if we eat only chocolate for a few months, we will end up with some serious health issues but a hamster might not realize that eating only fruits for a month might get them in trouble. But, the wild hamster will eat whatever it can get its paws on since it doesn’t have many options.  3. Storing food for later Hamsters have cheek pouches that are more like a shopping cart for them but they can’t store food in their cheeks for too long, so they have to come back to their burrows. This limits their ability to go too far for food, especially because they don’t have the best eyesight.  4. They compete with other animals for the same food. In the wild there are a lot of animals that will eat the same thing, so for the wild hamster it’s not only important to find food, but it is also important to find it first. Also, places with more food will be more crowded by animals and the stronger ones will get the most food. As you might imagine, hamsters are not the strongest animals in the wild since they are pretty small. They are pretty strong for their size and bite quite hard, but it is not enough to kill a snake or other predators. I remember when my hamster was hanging from the cage ceiling, and actually moving using only two paws which is quite incredible, I have to admit that I envy his power. Do pet hamsters live more than wild hamsters? Not having predators makes pet hamsters live longer than wild hamsters. Also, they don’t face all the challenges that a wild hamster would face when it comes to finding food or water. Hamsters are not social animals, and they are quite happy if they have food and water, so this might make them good pets but not perfect one. A hamster is not a puppy or a kitten is a bad pet for a young child (under 9 years old).  Read my article on 10+ reasons why you should not get a hamster. Conclusion A wild hamster will eat way more things than a regular pet hamster but don’t confuse more things with a more diversified diet. They eat more things because this is what helps them survive, they don’t get to choose what they want to eat to complete their diet. So the life of a wild hamster is just that – “wild” when it comes to finding food or water. And this is without talking about finding a partner to reproduce with, which is a big challenge on its own. Check my article about hamster reproduction, it is way more interesting and complex than you might think. I hope this article helped you understand the differences between the life of a pet and a wild hamster. Please make sure you take good care of your little furball and you make its life as good as possible. [...] Read more...
Why Hamsters Die (Main Reasons, Some Of Them Preventable)
Why Hamsters Die (Main Reasons, Some Of Them Preventable)Hamsters can die, and it’s never pleasant news to hear your little friend passed away. But why did that happen ? Was it old age ? Was the hamster suffering from an illness or an injury ? Let’s see what the most common causes are. Table of Contents ToggleSo why do hamsters die ?When is a hamster considered old ?Health problems hamsters can commonly getDo not confuse hibernation with hypothermiaMaking sure you keep your hamster safeA word from Teddy So why do hamsters die ? Hamsters can die for a number of reasons, and it’s usually a medical condition. Even old hamsters, very old ones, pass away because their bodies simply don’t function as well as they used to, and some critical part of their body no longer works. Sometimes, hamsters can die of diseases or injuries, most of them preventable. Not all are noticeable. Or, if you do notice, you don’t figure out what the problem is until it’s too late. Knowing the usual health problems hamsters can get, and what old age looks like for hamsters will help you know when and if there is anything left to do. When is a hamster considered old ? Usually a hamster is old by the time he reaches 2 years of age. In Chinese hamsters this threshold is lower, since their average lifespan is 2 years. So they can be considered old by the time they reach their first birthday. Most hamsters live 2-3 years, and as such you’ll notice the changes happening to then when they get old fairly quickly. Sparse fur, weak legs, cataracts, a withered look about them, a distinct neck – these are all clear signs your hamster is a senior in his right. Along with old age come a host of health problems, mostly because it’s easier for them to come along. Like wet-tail for example, which can be brought on either by stress or an infection. An infection happens easier if the hamster is not clean, and a very old hamster will stop grooming himself as much. So, an old hamster who develops wet-tail has very little chances of survival, and his death could be attributed to both the disease and the old age. Old age also makes the immune system weaker, and the body weaker overall. Bones don’t mend as easily, sores don’t go away. Any injury to an old hamster is harder to heal than one to a young hamster. Health problems hamsters can commonly get Most health problems can be avoided, like infections, overgrown teeth, cuts and scrapes, injuries from falling and so on. They can also be easily treated with the help of a competent veterinarian. You will need to look for an ”exotics” vet, who will have experience with rodents, reptiles, and birds as well. Antibiotics will take care of infections. Tumors can be removed most of the time. bones can be mended, But there are some diseases or problems that can be… well, deadly. Especially so if not noticed in time and treated. Let’s go over a few of them. Wet-tail is the first to spring into mind. It’s a sort of digestive problem, with symptoms like diarrhea, excessive water drinking, loss of appetite, a sweaty/wet look, a soiled wet hamster bottom, possibly smelly cage. Can be lethal in less than a week if left untreated. If treated within 24h of developing, it can be survived. Longer than that. and the chances are lower. Even after treatment some hamsters still pass away, because they were too drained from the illness itself. It took a huge toll on their bodies and they withered away. Any sort of infection, if it’s not treated right away. By this I mean the infections filled with pus, whether it’s an infected tooth, eye, or ear. All of them can spread to the brain, and inside the body. If the hamster swallows the pus (in the case of an infected tooth or cheek) this can lead to sepsis, which too can be fatal. Lumps and tumors can be deadly as well, mostly because they can be very hard to operate on. The hamster, being so very small, has little chance of surviving anaethesia, although there have been cases. In some cases the tumor is inside the body, and removing it is sentencing the hamster to certain death, with blood loss as the main cause. The surgery would be too big of a risk, again. Chemotherapy is hard to survive even for humans, let alone for hamsters. Injuries, like a broken spine because of a nasty fall, can be deadly too. While a fall from the height of an ordinary table isn’t much for a human, it can be deadly for a hamster. Keep in mind that they’re so very small, and have a fragile frame. This means that falls from heights like your table, dresser, even just your hands while you stand up, can all lead to serious injuries and sometimes even death. Those falls can be deadly either on impact, like a fractured skull, or serious internal organ injuries, and they can also be deadly by result. Like internal bleeding, ruptured organs, and so on. It’s a terrible thought to write about, so please handle your hamster very carefully. When it comes to bedding, and textiles introduced to your hamster, be careful. The extra fluffy, puffy kind of textile sometimes found on or in hamster toys (the ones with very long fibers, like the stuffing inside teddy bears). That is dangerous for hamsters, since they will find it and stuff it in their cheeks, and use it as nesting material. While it does keep them warm, it’s also too easy for them to tangle that material in their teeth or cheeks, or get a foot stuck inside, or in some cases pretty much wrap it around their necks and suffocate. I’m sorry to paint pictures like these, but this has happened before to other hamster owners. Please keep plush and overly fluffy things far away from hamsters. As a sidenote, I have a blanket with a plush side. When I let Teddy onto the bed one day and the blanket was there, he immediately started putting it in his cheeks. They’re very fast, and you need to spot them right away to stop them. Finally, there is another reason for hamsters seeming to suddenly die. Some people have reported their hamsters being happy and healthy yesterday, only to find them lifeless this morning. Those cases, while unfortunate and traumatic, always have an explanation. Most of the time, it’s a circulatory problem. Like a blood clot forming in the brain, or a form of heart attack brought on by a scare in the middle of the night. Hamsters are very sensitive, and scaring them too hard is … well, easier than necessary. This is one reason you should not scare your hamster, or let it get too stressed. Being barked at, handled too often, dangled upside down, continuously poked and prodded and so on. These are very stressful things for a hamster, and can be the final straw in some cases. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Do not confuse hibernation with hypothermia I’ve set this one aside because it’s a common problem. Hamsters do hibernate, but only in the wild. In the wild, they have a weeks and months in advance to prepare for the cold. Gather food, get fat and have energy stored up, dig a big warm nest, get safe. They go to sleep once winter comes and they only wake up from time to time (like once a week !) to nibble on something they’ve stored up. When they wake up, the earth is thawing, they’re hungry and dehydrated. At home, in your warm house, the cold doesn’t gradually creep in over the span of a few months. It never does, because you keep your home warm. So why do some hamsters end up ‘hibernating’ ? Well, they’ve sometimes been left out in the garage for a few hours, or another such space that’s used for storage and is usually cold. Or they were maybe forgotten next to an opened window. Really, it could be any occasion with cold temperatures. The point is that the hamster will go into a sort of hibernation, but in truth it’s actually hypothermia. He did not have time to build an extra warm nest, build a protective layer of fat on his body, but he did store some food. The problem is that this is not true hibernation, and he will likely die if not woken up fast. You might think he is dead, be might be cold. He might not move at all. But a dead hamster will be rigid, like a statue. He will be cold. A hibernating hamster will be cold-ish, but his whiskers or ears might twitch if you touch them. He will be limp, that’s the first major sign he is alright. For more info on waking up a hamster from such a situation, check this article. Always, always attempt to warm him up or wake him before deciding he has passed away. There have been accounts of hamsters thrown away in the trash bin, only to be found by the garbage disposal service later, alive and kicking. Making sure you keep your hamster safe There are ways your can make sure your hamster lives a happy, healthy life. Now, although what I explained above might make you want to keep him under a glass dome, don’t do that. Instead, be a responsible hamster owner and keep him out of trouble. Let’s see what that means: Keep the hamster away from overly curious pets who might disturb him, like a cat or a puppy or even parrots or other rodents. Basically any pet that can move through the house on its own. Always supervise kids playing with the hamster. Accidents can happen, and it’s your responsibility to both teach the child and keep the hamster safe. Only handle the hamster close to his cage, and not allow more than double his height as a falling height. If you’re letting the hamster onto the floor, make sure there are no places for him to get inside or under or between pieces of furniture and be impossible to get out safely. Keep any fluffy textile or materials away from your hamster. Some are sold as nesting material. Stay away from them. Never overfeed your hamster, else he might grow obese and develop diabetes and joint problems. Be careful which foods from your fridge or pantry you feed you hamster. Some are safe, some not. Always clean his cage, once a week, a full cleaning complete with a cage wipe-down or actual rinsing on the shower. Make sure you bring your hamster to the vet, even if it might be nothing. Better to have him checked and find out he’s okay, than leave it to chance and figure out there is a problem when it’s too late. Thees are the absolute basics of keeping your hamster healthy and safe, more info can be found in the related articles below. Until then, read Teddy’s thoughts on the matter. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Us hammies are cute and cuddly, but we do pass away. That means we’re sometimes too sick, or we grow too old to fight an injury or sickness. We rely on you to spot the problem and help us out. If you want to know more about us hamsters you should check out the related articles below. You’ll learn how to keep us safe and happy, and what we need for a good life. [...] Read more...
Can Hamsters Get Hiccups? And More Interesting Facts
Can Hamsters Get Hiccups? And More Interesting FactsHamsters getting hiccups seems like a funny thing to think about, but is it true? Do they get hiccups? Are they as funny as we are when we get hiccups? Hamsters are very quiet animals, they don’t make a lot of noise; this is another great reason to have a pet hamster. They are quiet, clean, and easy to take care of, what a dream pet ! But hamsters can make some weird noises from time to time and it is quite important to know them in order to know for sure if your hamster is in pain or not. In this article, we will discuss about hiccups and other weird noises a hamster can make and more so stick with me. Table of Contents ToggleCan hamsters get hiccups?Are hamsters noisy?5 Main reasons for hamsters making noises1. Cold2. Respiratory infections3. Stress4. An accident5. Teeth clickingDo hamsters make noises when they sleep?Conclusion Can hamsters get hiccups? Hamsters can get hiccups for the same reason why humans do, they are caused by a spasm of the diaphragm, and they are uncontrollable. Hamster hiccups are not often and they should not pose a serious threat to your hamster’s health. So, if you are not sure whether your hamster has hiccups or other respiratory problems, you can give it a few minutes to see if it goes away. If you notice that the noises continue, you have to get your little friend to a specialized vet as soon as possible. Note that not all vets work with hamsters, you might need to find a vet specialized in small pets, rodents, or exotic animals. Hamsters can also sneeze and if you don’t pay close attention to the difference between those two noises, you can confuse them, but we will get to this later in the article. Are hamsters noisy? Hamsters are quiet animals, they don’t make any sound without reason.  Being so quiet helps them stay under the radar when it comes to all the natural predators they have in the wild. Most of the time, when they are making noises, they have a health problem. I had a lot of pets until now, especially when I was a kid. I had a cat, a dog, guinea pigs, parrots, rabbits, and now a hamster. So I can tell you from experience that hamsters are the most quiet pet by far, which is pretty important when you want to sleep or when you work from home and don’t want to get distracted. That being said, this doesn’t mean that you can sleep in the same room where you keep your hamster. They might not make any sound themselves but they are continuously chewing on something, drinking water and running in their wheel, or playing with their chewing toys. You will hear all of that. Oh the wheel, this one is usually the loudest noise you will hear from your hamster cage, it is quite hard to make it completely silent. Even if you have a good plastic hamster wheel, the hamster paws touching the wheel will still make a little noise. 5 Main reasons for hamsters making noises Here are the five reasons a hamster would make any noise, other than the hiccups which we already discussed. 1. Cold If your pet hamster suddenly starts wheezing and sneezing, it may have the sniffles, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. Take it to the vet for a checkup and in the meantime, isolate it from other pets, keep it warm and hydrated, and care for it as best you can. Disinfect the cage regularly, and if the hamster is in another temporary cage, remember to scrub and rinse the original one with a bleach-water solution. A hamster might sneeze once in a while without actually being sick so you should check other factors like the presence of mucus near their eyes, lose of appetite, a weird behavior, trying to move all the bedding into the hideout and so on. If you want to know more about hamsters getting cold, check my article on this topic here. 2. Respiratory infections Hamsters can easily develop respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. These illnesses may present through signs such as coughing, wheezing, clicking noises and heavy breathing, especially when exposed to drafts.  If your hamster starts exhibiting these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary help as soon as possible in order to prevent lung disease or further complications. 3. Stress This is not as common but a hamster might make some noises like squeaking if it is too stressed. Hamsters have lots of reason to be stressed, they are quite anxious animals, too small of a cage, being scared all of a sudden, mites, a health problem, and many other factors can stress a hamster.  However, that doesn’t mean that they will make any noise, they are used to staying quiet even in dangerous situations, this is a defense mechanism that helps them avoid predators. So unfortunately, most of the time, your hamster will not let you know that it has a problem or that something bothers it, at least not by making noises. 4. An accident Like any other animal or humans, if they have an accident, they will make some noises, especially squeaking.  If they fall from heights or they hurt themselves on something in the cage, you might hear an alarming squeak which is quite heartbreaking, especially since those little furballs are so quiet. It is important to make sure they don’t have the chance to get hurt in the cage, so a multi-story cage is not recommended without taking all the safety measures you can. You have to make sure that the hamster can fall from too high of a distance, especially on something solid. If it falls into the bedding, it might be safer but even then, they might move away all the bedding that you put there to make sure they fall on something soft. They don’t have a good eyesight and can’t estimate the distance they will fall if they jump. I noticed this with my first hamster and from that moment, I took the second level out of the cage. My silly hamster jumped a few times from that level like he wanted to fly, luckily it wasn’t too high up and he fell on the bedding, but he could hurt himself if he was to fall into the food bowl or something solid that was close. 5. Teeth clicking Hamsters may click their teeth as a sign of agitation or annoyance. It is best to stay away from hamsters when they are clicking their teeth, as they may be too jittery to be handled safely. In these cases, it is best to give them some space and come back when they are calm. My first hamster did this quite often and I could never touch him in those moments. This might be a common behavior for rodents since my guinea pigs did the same thing when they were nervous or angry. I had two guinea pigs that didn’t get along when they grew up. While they are way more friendly than a hamster, they can be territorial in some situations and don’t want to share the cage with other guinea pigs. So I had two cages, close to each other and when I tried to put them closer, they would start clicking their teeth continuously and making angry noises. I had a guinea pig for eight years when I was a kid, and those are the opposite of a hamster when it comes to how vocal they are. Do hamsters make noises when they sleep? My first hamster was making some weird noises when he was sleeping, it was a funny squeak and some twitching, like he had a bad dream. So I did my research and I found out that hamsters can dream and make noises while they are dreaming, especially if they have an engaging dream. So it is much like us. I’m really curious to know what those little furballs are dreaming and what nightmares they have, a big snake coming to eat them or an eagle or something like that, I guess. But the good dreams, what are they all about? I guess we will never know. Conclusion The conclusion is that a hamster can get hiccups, but it is not very often and should not be a concern. Make sure you check all the other signs to ensure your hamster has hiccups, not other health issues, and he is making noises because he is in pain. But if the noises do not persist, it should be fine. I hope this article was helpful for your and for your little hamster, now you can understand your hamster behaviors better and why it might make some noises from time to time. [...] Read more...
Do Hamsters Need A Vet ? Keeping Your Hamster Healthy
Do Hamsters Need A Vet ? Keeping Your Hamster HealthyFinding and holding onto a good vet is no joke. But do hamsters need veterinarians ? And how often do they need one ? Can hamsters be treated at home ? As a responsible hamster owner, you’ll need to know this. Table of Contents ToggleSo do hamsters need to visit the vet ?How to know your hamster is sick, or in need of medical attentionPicking out a good vet for your hamsterHow much a trip to the vet costs for a hamsterA word from Teddy So do hamsters need to visit the vet ? No, hamsters do not need mandatory veterinarian check-ups. Hamsters are hardy enough, and they’re usually shielded from most diseases by being safe in your home. There is also the fact that hamsters become very stressed when taken on a trip, and more than a couple of hours in a travel cage is disturbing for them. Keeping their time outside the house (traveling) to an absolute minimum is very important. However if the hamster is injured or sick, you will need to take him to a vet. Injuries can occur at any time, for many reasons. Diseases can still come into your home and reach your hamster – like the common cold for example. Let’s see how you will know if your hamster does need to see a vet though, and how to find a good vet for your hamster. How to know your hamster is sick, or in need of medical attention There are a few symptoms you’ll notice when your hamster is sick, or injured. Let’s go through them. Any discharge at all, from the nose, ears, eyes, anal or genital openings. Hamsters are meant to be dry, clean animals, and any discharge is a sign of severe infection. Meaning he will need a round of antibiotics for his treatment, and plenty of rest. Bleeding of any sort. The obvious kind, like an ingrown tooth that’s cut the hamster’s lip or a cut paw. But also anal/genital bleeding, since this is not normal for hamsters and is a sign of a terrible health problem. If you’ve got a female hamster and you notice her genitals bleeding, rush her to the vet. This is not normal for female hamsters, since they do not have bleeding periods like humans. Any broken paw, or limp in the hamster’s walk. If the hamster is overly hunched – hamsters rarely stand up straight, their backbone is different than ours – or very very slow. Basically anything that would show you that the hamster’s mobility is impacted. It could be ingrown/overgrown nails, or a cut toe or the result of a nasty fight with his cage mate. Any suspicious lumps or growths, even warts. This can be checked by handling your hamster, and you’ll notice through his very soft fur if there is anything hard or lumpy under the fur. Tumors can sometimes be noticed in time and the hamster can be saved. Remember that females have a row of teats down both side of the abdomen, and if you’re not careful you might mistake a teat for a wart. Signs of blood in the hamster’s nest, or on the bedding. Even if the hamster looks okay now, but you find blood in his cage, you should take him to the vet. Whatever the cause of that bleeding, it might not have healed well, or gotten infected. This can lead to a series of health problems. A bulging eye, looking like it’s about to pop out of its socket. Sometimes the tissue behind the eye can get inflamed and the hamster’s eye will be pushed outside. Any problem at all with the eye actually, even white spots (cataracts) on the hamster’s eyes. If you notice symptoms of diabetes in your hamster (usually the Dwarf types). Excessive drinking, peeing, dramatic weight change (up or down), dramatic change in appetite, weariness, no exercise. Wet-tail, usually the Syrian hamsters. This is a severe problem, and often lethal. You’ll notice the hamster’s rear is soiled, wet, smelly, and he might have a matted, sweaty look about him. He might drink a whole lot of water and still not feel better. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Picking out a good vet for your hamster Knowing when to bring your hamster to the vet is one thing, but knowing who to bring him to is another. Finding a good veterinarian for your hamster isn’t exactly easy, so I recommend following recommendations from your friends at first. Ask the friends who own small animals like mice, gerbils, guinea pigs, lizards, parakeets, sugar-gliders, anything that would be small and not usually encountered as a pet. Not all veterinarians can treat hamsters. You should be looking for a vet labeled as ”exotic”. They’re usually the ones who have experience with this kind of small creatures. Although if you find a vet you’re comfortable with and he knows how to treat a hamster, even if he’s not an exotics vet, give him a chance. What should you look for in a vet ? Well, for the most part competence, yes. He should know what he’s doing and why things are happening or how he can help. But he should also be patient, both with you and your hamster. Hamsters are notorious for being skittish, and not staying put in one place. The vet should know this and move slowly to not spook the hamster who does not know him. Whatever questions you have, they should be answered thoroughly. Even if they might sound like silly questions at first, if you need to know he needs to tell you the answer. Having a good relationship with your vet will ensure your hamster gets treated fast, and very well for whatever problem he has. If you encounter a vet who seems to rush you and not have much patience either for the treatment or the questions, feel free to look for another veterinarian. If at all possible, try looking for a veterinarian who lives as close to you as possible. Travel upsets hamsters, so the shorter the distance, the better. But if the vet you find close to your home turns out to be not to your liking, look for another one, even if he’s a bit farther away. You will not need to see the vet often. But when you do, he needs to be a good, patient person, and able to competently help your hamster back on his feet. How much a trip to the vet costs for a hamster This I can’t say. It really depends on where you live, the vet himself, the treatment the hamster needs, for how long, and so on. Usually checkups should be cheap, seeing as they’re just checks to see if the hamster is in good condition. Lab tests, long-term treatments and some medications can be expensive. Most of the time though, the hamster will not have a health problem bad enough to need those. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hammies look so small and fragile, but we’re fairly hardy. We’re sensitive too, but we usually don’t get sick. If you want to know more about us hamsters you should check out the related articles below. You’ll learn how to keep us safe and happy, and what we need for a good life. [...] Read more...