13 Typical hamster diseases and how to recognize them

Both diseases are very different from each other. Conjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis have different causes, show different symptoms and should be treated differently.

Conjunctivitis results from a bacterial infection, often due to an abscess in the upper jaw. Most of the time this abscess is caused by an inflammation of the tooth root or a caries disease.

But also a bite wound can be the reason for the conjunctivitis in the hamster.

Conjunctivitis is a swelling of your hamster's eyelids. Sometimes there is even a swelling of one side of the face.

To treat conjunctivitis, you give your hamster eye drops or. Eye ointments.

Keratoconjunctivitis is more common than conjunctivitis. The main reason for keratoconjunctivitis is dirt. Dust in the litter which causes a corneal injury in the hamster.

In most cases only one eye is affected.

In case of keratoconjunctivitis your hamster secretes a lot of tear fluid at first. Later the eye dries out. The eyelid may protrude, stick together or collapse.

How to treat the keratoconjunctivitis should always be decided by a veterinarian. In some cases, surgery is required.

Jaw pocket obstruction/injury

The reason why your hamster gets a cheek pouch blockage is almost always because your hamster has eaten chocolate, gummy bears or other sweets.

If your hamster suffers from a cheek pouch blockage or adhesion you should take him to the vet as soon as possible, who will clear out the cheek pouches for your hamster again.

A cheek pouch injury usually occurs when your hamster has stuffed something sharp or pointed into his cheek pouches.

Even with a cheek pouch injury, your hamster should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will turn over the cheek pouches. Takes care of your hamster's wounds.

Cheek pocket blockage as well as cheek pocket injuries lead untreated to the inflammation of the cheek pockets of your hamster.

bite wounds

When two hamsters meet, bites are not unlikely because hamsters are loners and do not tolerate other hamsters next to them.

Bite wounds are often found on the head, flank or anus of hamsters.

If your hamster has bite wounds, you should bring him quickly to the vet, who can treat the bite wounds.

Diabetes in hamsters

Hamsters can also get diabetes, especially if they consume too much sugar.

Indications that your hamster has diabetes:

– increased body weight – cloudy eyes – increased urination

To diabetes with hamsters it comes mostly if the hamster is wrongly nourished. If your hamster eats too much sugar. Too much fat can cause diabetes.

If you detect signs of diabetes in your hamster you should go to the vet. The vet can safely diagnose diabetes.

Diarrhea in hamsters

Diarrhea is the most common disease in hamsters.

Possible causes of diarrhea can be

– improper diet – a bacterial infection – poisoning

If your hamster suffers from diarrhea you should take him to the vet because only the vet can find out what disease your hamster is suffering from when he has diarrhea.

Hamster cold

A cold in your hamster should not be underestimated, because a small cold can quickly become a full-blown pneumonia.

If your hamster has caught a cold, he is probably suffering from the following symptoms:

– sneezing – weight loss – watery eyes – whistling sound when breathing

The causes of conjunctivitis can be:

– draught – bad hygiene – stress – strong temperature changes

Joint inflammation

The most common cause of joint inflammation is vitamin E deficiency.

Like other musculoskeletal conditions, joint inflammation in hamsters can be caused by vitamin E deficiency.

It is important to correct your hamster's vitamin E levels by offering him food that is rich in vitamin E. Is your hamster too long too strong sun exposure. Exposure to heat can lead to heat shock. If your hamster is suffering from heat exhaustion, his metabolism will break down.

You can recognize a heat shock in a hamster by two signs:

1. your hamster becomes apathetic 2. your hamster breathes strongly accelerated

If your hamster suffers from heat shock, you should move him to a cool place and cover the cage with a wet cloth.

To avoid a heat shock in your hamster you should make sure that the room temperature does not exceed 25 degrees Celsius.


Lice leave eggs in your hamster's fur. You can see the eggs with the naked eye. The eggs look like small scales.

In addition, you can recognize a louse infestation of your hamster by the fact that your hamster suffers from strong itching. Lice are on other animals. Also transferable to humans!


If your hamster is infested with mites, in most cases it is a case of mange mites.

A mite infestation is likely if:

– your hamster scratches frequently – your hamster is very irritable

Mites can affect the whole body or only certain parts of the body.

Certain body sites may differ in regional infestations in males and females.

MaleFemale – nose – cheeks – tail – external genitalia and extremities- mostly just ears

Mouth mites are a serious disease that must be treated by a veterinarian, otherwise it can lead to death.

Wet tail disease

Wet tail disease leads to death within a few days if left untreated.

Therefore you should look for the following symptoms in your hamster:

– Wet spots in the tail area – fever – flatulence – diarrhea

Only young hamsters that are under 8 weeks old can get infected with wet tail disease.

Since wet tail disease is caused by E-coli bacteria, the following factors can lead to the disease:

– Stress – too early separation from the mother – sudden change of food – intestinal stresses

Fungal infestation

Fungi and fungal spores can be found almost everywhere and they do not harm a healthy hamster.

However, if your hamster's immune system is weakened, it can become "infected" with fungus.

If your hamster has fungus it will show the following symptoms:

– constant scratching – crusts on the skin – hair loss – bald patches – reddened skin – blisters on the skin


For tumor prevention you should regularly scan your hamster for hard spots or bumps.

If you notice anything unusual during palpation, it is best to consult a veterinarian for advice.

Another symptom of a tumor can be blood in the urine. If you notice blood in the urine of your hamster, you should in any case go with your hamster to the vet.

Prevent diseases of the hamster

The best way to prevent most diseases in your hamster is to keep your hamster in a species-appropriate way. This means above all a healthy diet, exciting occupation and a cage that invites to explore with a large run to run and explore.

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