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Category: hamsters


The bond between a pet and its owner is very strong and provides huge rewards. Along with the rewards comes the responsibility of caring for a living creature that depends upon you for all its needs. Caring for your pets needs means providing a good diet and living environment. Register your pet with your local vet even if it is perfectly healthy, you will know where to go in an emergency and your vet will be able to give you advice on routine health care.

The key to recognising illness in your pet is to know what your pet is like when it is well. Often an owner will be able to detect subtle changes in their pet’s behaviour or appetite that indicate illness well before anyone else can. Your partner in caring for your pet should be your veterinary surgeon. Regular visits to a vet for routine health checks and preventative health care such as vaccination or dental care allow you and your pet to build a relationship with your vet. Early detection of clinical diseases will allow your vet to give more effective treatments. Most pets live with us as part of the family – maintaining their health also means there is less risk of them passing on disease. The chance of you catching a disease from an animal is small but there are some diseases that people can get from animals (zoonoses). A healthy pet is unlikely to pass on disease.

Hamsters: Viral And Bacterial Infections

Hamsters are susceptible to numerous infections, here are a few that you should keep an eye out for. What is "wet tail"? The most serious intestinal disease of hamsters is "wet tail". The bacterium suspected of causing this disease is called Lawsonia

Hamsters: Traumatic Injuries

Hamsters are easily injured. They are frequently dropped while being handled (especially by children), or after they bite. Pet hamsters allowed "freedom of the house" (even for very short periods) are often stepped on or kicked and seriously injured or

Hamsters: Routine Health Care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your hamster happy in order to maintain its health. If you know your pet

Hamsters: Parasitic Diseases

Both external and internal parasites are commonly seen in hamsters. A common external parasite problem of hamsters is caused by mites. Hamsters also frequently harbor intestinal tapeworms and, less commonly, pinworms. What are mites? A common external parasite problem of

Hamsters: Miscellaneous Health Problems

Two conditions of hamsters that demand special mentions are their susceptibility to bladder stones and dental problems. Therefore, these are covered in separate factsheets. However, there are other medical conditions that affect hamsters that are briefly covered here. Because hamsters are very small, nocturnal

Hamsters: How To Handle

Hamsters handled frequently from a very young age usually remain docile and rarely bite. Those with docile temperaments and a history of not biting can simply be picked up by using one or both hands, and then held in both

Hamsters: Housing

Proper housing is a major factor in maintaining healthy hamsters. The psychosocial well being of your hamster must be a primary consideration. Hamsters can be housed within enclosures made of wire, stainless steel, durable plastic or glass. The last 3 materials

Hamsters: Feeding A Healthy Diet

You should ensure your hamster has access to good quality food and fresh, clean water at all times. The exact nutritional requirements of the hamster are not known, but in the wild they are 'omnivores' meaning that they eat both vegetarian

Hamsters: Dental Problems

Hamsters' incisor (front, gnawing) teeth grow continuously throughout their life; as is true for all rodents. The incisors receive continuous wear as the uppers and lowers contact each other, preventing overgrowth. How does overgrowth of the incisors occur? Misalignment of

Hamsters: Cancer

Cancer is very common in pet hamsters. The incidence increases with age, as is the case with most animals, and is higher among females than males because of the variety of cancers that involve the female reproductive tract. What tumours

Hamsters: Breeding

The sex of adult hamsters is easy to determine. Males have very large, prominent testicles. In fact, owners unaccustomed to seeing them are often astonished at these anatomic peculiarities. How can I breed my hamsters? Male golden hamsters can breed

Hamsters: Bladder Stones

Hamsters are susceptible to the formation of stones within the urinary tract. The bladder is the only location within the urinary tract in which stones would likely be detected on physical examination by your vet. How do I know if

Hamsters: Antibiotic Sensitivity

Hamsters as a group are unusually sensitive to the potentially lethal effects of certain antibiotics, whether they are given orally or by injection. Potentially harmful antibiotics include ampicillin, penicillin, erythromycin, lincomycin and streptomycin. Why are hamsters so sensitive to antibiotics?

Hamsters: a history

Hamsters are small, virtually tailless, velvet-furred rodents with enormous cheek pouches. They originated in the Middle East and south eastern Europe. The most common and popular breeds, both as pets and laboratory animals, is the golden or Syrian hamster. Color