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Signs Of A Sick Hamster

February 1 2023
Have you recently adopted a hamster? Perhaps your child has been begging for a pet, and you’ve decided it’s time to get them an adorable furry friend. Hamsters are super cute, and they are also easy to care for. However, like any other animal, they are susceptible to illness and injury. Read on as a local Oshawa, ON vet lists some warning signs of sickness to look for.

Loss of Appetite

It’s almost always a bad sign when an animal isn’t interested in their food. (Hamsters, in fact, are notorious for hiding snacks and then pretending to be really, really hungry.)

Weight Loss

Weight loss is another common red flag among our animal companions. If Hammie seems to have lost weight suddenly, he may be ill.


Hamsters are quite active. Hammie may sleep a lot, but when he’s awake, he should be alert and energetic, and spend a lot of time running on his exercise wheel.

Poor Fur Condition

Hamsters are naturally pretty clean, so your tiny pet’s fur should normally look soft and smooth. Fur that looks dirty, greasy, or unkempt is a signal that something is wrong. Hair loss is also a red flag.

Respiratory Issues

Hammie should breathe smoothly and easily. If your little buddy is gasping, wheezing, or sneezing, something isn’t quite right with him.


The way your pet sits, walks, and sits can als be revealing. Some things to look for here would include a hunched or stiff posture; shaking; and difficulty walking. Hammie may also huddle in a corner if he doesn’t feel well.


Healthy hamsters should have clear eyes and dry noses. You should not see discharge from your pint-sized pal’s eyes, nostrils, or mouth.

General Appearance

Another thing to keep an eye out for would be dull, sunken eyes. Lumps are also a red flag, as is a wet tail. Overgrown incisors are also an indication that something is wrong.


Diarrhea is another sign of trouble. It can cause dehydration, which can kill small animals very quickly.


If you notice any of these warning signs in your hamster, contact your vet right away. Many common hamster illnesses can be treated by medication. Keep in mind that the sooner an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better. Do you have questions about hamster care? Contact us, your Oshawa, ON animal clinic, today!
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