How to know if your hamster is dying

Given that the average lifespan of a hamster is only 2-2.5 years, hamster owners are familiar with the pain of saying goodbye to their dearly beloved pet. As a matter of fact, if you own a Siberian dwarf hamster, your pet will depart the world within 12 months.

But don’t automatically assume what you see are telltale signs of a hamster dying just because it has started to act strangely.

Being able to know the difference between an ill hamster and a hamster with one foot already in the grave is a little tricky.

How to know if your hamster is dyingSyrian Hamster House

Common Causes of Death

The two primary causes of death in hamsters are unexpected illness caused by any health issue or just usual issues being old. Genetics, stress, and diet can do their part too.

Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons why hamsters pass away, in detail.

The first thing to be aware of is a hamster’s physical state at the time of purchasing it. It is entirely possible that your hamster already had a genetic defect or other health problem that wasn’t disclosed by your breeder, knowingly or unknowingly.

For your own sake, take some time to do proper research about pets before buying them; even if you have to travel far to meet the breeder or inspect the holding area. Avoid buying hamsters from pet stores near you.

Diet can play an important role in hastening your pet to an early grave. Contamination of its food source, spoilage of food, and lack of essential nutrients are all concerns in terms of daily food consumption activities.

The food bowl should always be removed at the end of the day and refilled with a supply of fresh food. Uneaten portions need to be removed, even if they’re just dry grains. If not, they can contaminate the remaining food in the bowl and create a breeding ground for bacteria.

Hamsters need a balanced diet in order to survive. Their primary meal should consist of grains and seeds, with fruits and vegetables added around 4 times per week. Additional sources of protein will do a hamster well, so feel free to include mealworms or small insects as an occasional snack.

Don’t reuse old food; always make sure that it’s fresh or the hammy could fall victim to gastrointestinal diseases.

Some substances such as cedar and pinewood have been found to be harmful to rodents. Make sure that your hamster’s food bowl, water bottle, and cages are thoroughly cleaned and rinsed with bleach at least once a week.

Don’t use harsh chemicals when cleaning – a good mixture of diluted bleach and white vinegar should suffice.

An additional environmental concern that can lead to a hamster’s demise is if its cage is situated in the wrong place. Make sure that it’s not too close to sources of heat or cold, or downwind from any toxic fumes coming from a boiler, stove, or oven. Hamsters are very sensitive to smell and temperature due to having a heightened olfactory function.

And finally, the most common cause of them all: old age. How do old hamsters die?

Time will undoubtedly eventually be the ultimate factor in the loss of our favorite pets. However, there are telltale signs of a hamster dying of old age, so at least you’ll know what to watch out for and when to really start appreciating every moment you spend with your pet.

How to know if your hamster is dyingSyrian Hamster Extreme

Symptoms of Death

Knowing how to spot the symptoms indicating that a hamster is near-death is an important skill for an owner. Mostly, as you gain more experience with hamsters, you’ll begin to notice the patterns in their life cycle.

If you observe your hamster carefully every day, you’ll begin to notice the small changes in its personality and behavior as it grows. Young hamsters will exhibit hyperactive behavior, running on the exercise wheel like there’s no tomorrow, bang on the cage, and destroy their furniture.

Once they reach adulthood, that crazy energy will have burned off and they’ll have developed a calmer and rounded-out personality.

Once they reach the seniority at around 2 years of age, which is about 60 years by human standards, they will have slowed down considerably. They will no longer be grooming themselves as carefully and will lose weight.

They may develop cataracts on their eyes. They’ll hardly touch the food bowl, perhaps coming out of hiding only a few times a day to grab food.

Other respiratory problems that can indicate old age are labored breathing, wheezing and huffing, and noisy or heavy breathing. Gastrointestinal anomalies may present themselves in the form of diarrhea and loss of appetite.

You may take your ham to a vet to have it checked but consider if it’s worth the trip. Your pet will be uncomfortable, scared even, in a new environment with new people, and it might be better to simply just care for it at home until it passes away from its old age.

Your ham can contract illnesses that, if not treated immediately, can result in death. Some of the symptoms to look out for are blood discharges from the ears, mouth, eyes, nose, or anus. Cysts and tumors are common in rodents and they may be cancerous and active.

The safest way to avoid death by sickness is to visit a veterinarian as soon as you notice odd behavior or if the hamster has deviated from its usual daily activities.

How to know if your hamster is dying

Undoubtedly, hamsters are one of cutest pets ever, and they have incredibly soft fur that makes many people have them as a pet. However, these little creatures have a sensitive digestive system, and if they don’t get healthy food, then they can easily get sick. That’s why if you have hamsters then you need to be very careful about your pet diet. If you suspect that your hamster is dying, then you must contact your vet for immediate treatment.

Although it is hard to determine if a hamster is sick or dying, there are some symptoms that can aid you to know whether your hamster is dying or not.

Table of Contents

What Are Signs Your Hamster Is Dying?

As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to take care of your pet so that your pet stays fit and healthy. Hamsters pet live for 2 to 3 years. When your hamster reaches his old age, nothing will able to save him. But, hamsters can suffer from various serious illnesses that can be treated with proper care and love. Here, we are going to mentioned symptoms that will indicate your hamster is dying and you need to visit your veterinarian for his treatment.

1. Gastrointestinal Abnormalities

If you ever suspect your hamster is dying then must observe in your hamster for any gastrointestinal abnormalities. Hamsters are highly prone to have an illness called the wet tail. There are many signs that show your hamster can die from this illness, which include loss of appetite and excessive diarrhea. If this illness is not treated at the right time, then your hamster can die.

2. Behavioral Abnormalities

Spend some time with your hamster every day, and if you suspect any changes in your pet behavior, then it means your hamster is sick. Moreover, in this situation, your hamster might refuse to eat as he may be suffering from life-threatening illness.

3. Change in Appearance

If there is a change in your hamster appearance, then it also indicates that your hamster is suffering from severe illness. In this case, look for symptoms of infection, such as swelling, abscesses, and redness. Also, look at your hamster’s fur. Generally, hamsters fur look shiny and full. As hamsters reach his old age, their fur becomes thin, and that is very normal. But, if your pet begins to lose his fur in a massive amount at once, then it shows he is sick.

4. Difficulty in Breathing

Hamster suffering from a serious health problem might face tremendous difficulty while breathing. If you see signs of labored breathing, like huffing and wheezing in your hamster, then it means your pet is dying. Other symptoms your hamster is suffering for life-threatening illness are heavy and noisy breathing.

5. Bloody Discharge

Blood is coming from your hamster’s nose, eyes, mouths, ears or anus shows that your hamster is badly sick and he is going to die.

Hence, these are five common signs that show your hamster is dying and you need to take immediate action for his treatment.

What are Tips to Keep Your Hamster Comfortable when he is Dying?

There is no doubt that it is an alarming situation when your pet is very sick, and he may die. However, there are some tips you can use to keep your pet comfortable when you suspect he is dying.

1. Give Conformable Housing to your Hamster

Do you have more than one hamster? If your answer is yes, then give separate space to your sick hamster or dying hamster so that he can rest. It will help to keep your pet comfortable and prevent disturbance from other pets.

2. Clean your Hamster Cage

Clean your hamster cage every day so that your hamster can have a healthy environment. Thus, clean all parts of the cage and also wear gloves while cleaning for your own protection from any infection.

3. Warm your Hamster

Try to warm your hamster, especially when you see your pet is hibernating. You can use a heat lamp or heating pad to warm your pet. However, you need to make sure that your hamster doesn’t get overheated. Otherwise, it can further cause heatstroke.

4. Enhance Protein in your Hamster Diet

Protein can aid your pet to build more power and strength to fight against illness. You can add protein to your pet diet that helps him in recovering from illness faster. You can give Tofu, Hard-boiled eggs, cooked chicken (Small Bits), Baby food that is free of onion, garlic and lemon juice.

5. Give Liquids to your Hamster

Make sure that your hamster gets fresh water, and that is more important than food. Provide food that has water content in high amount as it will help in keeping your pet hydrated. It will definitely aid him to feel better. You can give fruits such as apple or pear as they are a good source of liquids.

My Story

I am also one of the hamster owners. I have a hamster that is just 9 months old. My hamster also got sick a few months ago, and he was not eating and drinking anything. At that time, I got so worried, and it seems like my hamster was going to die. It is indeed unfortunate when our pets get sick. However, I immediately took my hamster to the vet, and the vet gave me some tips to make him comfortable. At that time, I gave the all love and care to my little one, and I followed all the suggestions that I have mentioned in this article. With time, my hamster seems to again fine. Now, he is eating and drinking happily.


As a pet owner, you should never ignore any symptoms of sickness in your pet. You should contact your vet immediately for the treatment if your hamster is suffering from an illness. Undeniably, it’s miserable to lose our pets. Unfortunately, hamsters have a very short lifespan and thus, show love and care to your little one as much as you can.

It’s one of the saddest parts of owning a pet: We know that someday we’ll have to say goodbye. Our pets never live long enough for us, and preparing for the end can be painful yet important. Your pet hamster will be with you for between two and three years of happy life — full of spinning wheels and treats. Once he’s getting close to the end, though, you’ll want to help ease his passing by keeping him warm and comfortable. By paying close attention to the signs of a hamster dying, you can be ready to step in as a pet parent and help him finish the end of his life well. Watch out for any of these symptoms, which should be accompanied by a visit to the vet since they could have a few different causes.

How to know if your hamster is dyingPixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Loss of appetite

Since you feed your hamster daily, you should notice quickly if he’s cut back on eating. Pay particular attention if he turns his little nose up at treats that normally get gobbled down. While skipping snacks can certainly indicate that your hamster is nearing his last days, there are lots of other reasons he might miss meals, so don’t take this as an immediate indicator that he’ll soon be gone.

Slowing down

Most hamsters will play a lot — they’re known for riding that wheel all night. If you begin to see a precipitous decline in his activity level, it might mean old age has set in. Additionally, sometimes hamsters accidentally slip into hibernation if it gets too cold. While wild ones may need to do this yearly, your pet isn’t equipped to sleep for that long. Start by warming up his area to about 70 degrees and contact his doctor if he doesn’t wake up.

Health issues

You’ll want to monitor his hamster health every day and note anything concerning. A fever indicates that he might have an infection or other sickness. Rodents can also become dehydrated, which might show up as tightness or bunchiness in the skin. You can also usually tell when your hamster is coming down with something because he’ll become weak, tired, or sluggish.

Bathroom troubles

More specifically, diarrhea in hamsters can indicate a serious issue. Check when you clean his cage to ensure that his digestion flows well. Sometimes your pet will experience vomiting or drooling, both of which mean you need to take action. Beware of wet tail, a deadly infection you can spot by checking the underside of his tail when handling him. If he has it, he’ll need to get to the vet right away to clear it up.

How to know if your hamster is dyingDr David Sing/Shutterstock

Skin problems

Your hamster will scratch occasionally, just like most mammals, but excessive picking can show you that something else is wrong. Look closely for spots, redness, or flaky skin when you examine him. A healthy animal will have a nice shiny coat. Take note if it goes dull or he loses patches of fur. In many cases, this could go away, but you’ll need to look into the underlying problem and soothe his skin with creams.

Cold symptoms

These pets often come down with the sniffles, and some of the signs look very familiar since they’re a lot like what you might experience when sick. A runny nose, watery eyes, and mucus are all indicators. A young hamster might easily recover from a cold, but an elderly pet may not recover.

Hiding too much

Most species of hamsters prefer to come out at night, so you don’t need to worry if he frequently hides during the day. However, a sudden change in behavior like hiding all the time could be a sign of a much larger issue such as acute stress, which can be deadly to your little guy.

Generally, you can trust your instincts when it comes to your pet. Anything out of the ordinary might warrant a trip to the vet to figure out what’s wrong. In some cases, a little medicine or a change in environment will take care of it. But if he’s ready for the happy hamster grounds, you should focus on keeping him pain-free with medicine, warm with blankets, and comfortable with your presence.

What are some common signs that a hamster may be dying?

Hamster is probably curled up trying to sleep and breathing hard. That marble sized lump is either a tumor or an abscess. A tumor grows very slowly and an abscess grows very fast. I am betting tumor. It is probably benign but your little girl will not be able to feed herself and the growing tumor.

What should I do with my dead hamster?

Let him sleep as much as he wants to. If your hamster is already dead, you can get a small box and fill it will bedding. Decorate the box with pictures or stickers however you like. You can then bury your hamster in your backyard. Make sure it is buried about 3 feet deep into the ground so predators cannot get to him.

Is it possible to remove a tumor from a hamster?

There are vets that will remove a tumor like that, but the hamster is skinny, the tumor will likely recurr, and it is hard to find a qualified vet for small animals and the cost can be prohibitive. I am so sorry your little pet is sick. It can be very stressful, I know you want to do everything you can to help your little winter white.

How to tell if a hamster has less than 48 hours on its life clock?

Number one sign that your hamster has less than 48 hours on the ol’ life clock. Labored or noisy breathing: it might sound like a little squeak or sigh. Hamster is probably curled up trying to sleep and breathing hard.

What to do if your hamster is sick or dying?

Hamsters that are ill or dying will usually exhibit one or many mild physical signs. Paying attention to your hamster (s) on a daily basis can help you identify potential problems, give it comfort, and seek veterinary help if they symptoms don’t go away within a couple of days. Some physical signs of illness or dying in a hamster are:

How to tell if your dwarf hamster is dying?

Symptoms that your hamster could die from this disease include excessive diarrhea and loss of appetite. Note any behavioral abnormalities or changes of appearance in your hamster. Those that are seriously affected by wet tail can experience lethargy and a ruffled coat.

What happens when a hamster is in pain?

Alterations in behavior: a hamster’s state of pain and vulnerability can produce behavioral alterations in hamsters, which can cause them to be more fearful, aggressive and/or nervous than usual. Alteration in vital signs: if a hamster is dying, there will be an alteration in its vital signs.

What causes a hamster to die in the wild?

As we’ve already mentioned, hamsters are incredibly sensitive animals that are easily affected by pathogenic microorganisms, sudden changes in their routine and within their environment, among others. Therefore, the causes of a hamster dying may vary.

How to know if your hamster is dying

Paying shut attention to your hamster’s health is a very important a part of being an accountable pet owner. they live for 2 to 3 years. Sometimes, once your rodent is recent, there’ll be nothing you’ll do to save lots of him. However, they are liable to variety of different serious sicknesses which will be cured. You ought to continually take your rodent to the MD if you think your rodent is sick. The MD is able to tell you obviously what’s happening along with your hamster’s health.

It’s necessary to pay time along with your gnawing animal on a daily basis so you recognize her traditional behavior. A modification in your hamster’s behavior is a crucial indicator that she is sick. If you don’t pay time along with your gnawing animal frequently, you may not acknowledge necessary changes in your hamster’s behavior.

• Get into a routine, so you pay identical a part of the day along with your gnawing animal. This may assist you get familiar with however the gnawing animal is acting throughout identical amount of your time on a daily basis.

2. Observe your hamster’s consumption habits.

A healthy gnawing animal can eat frequently throughout the day. Though hamsters can sleep throughout the day, they’re going to come to life oftentimes to eat.

• Be careful to notice if your gnawing animal is consumption and the way abundant he’s consumption.

• If your gnawing animal is consumption less, however still consumption, keep terribly shut sass out his consumption over succeeding day or 2.

• If your gnawing animal stops consumption altogether, you must take your gnawing animal to the doctor quickly.

3. Observe your hamster’s activity.

Hamster’s area unit ordinarily terribly active, particularly throughout the night. Your gnawing animal can seemingly sleep throughout abundant of the day, thus don’t worry if your gnawing animal sleeps heaps once the sun is out. If your gnawing animal seems lethargic all the time and doesn’t wish to play, then she could be sick.

• If your gnawing animal begins to act abundant less active and puckish than within the past, pay shut attention over succeeding few days.

• If the hamster’s activity levels don’t come back to traditional, take you’re gnawing animal to the doctor.

• Hamsters can naturally hibernate once the temperature stays cold for a protracted time. If you think that your gnawing animal is asleep, indicated by what seems to be a awfully deep sleep and very shallow breath, heat up the realm and confirm there’s food and water accessible for once the gnawing animal awakens.

4. Check for diarrhea.

A standard sickness in hamsters is named “wet tail” and is in the course of diarrhea. It will be proof of a awfully serious infection.

• Check the bottom of your hamster’s tail for a wet, mucus-like substance.

• If your gnawing animal has diarrhea, in the course of changes to consumption and activity levels, it should be wet tail. Wet tail will be fatal at intervals forty eight hours. Therefore, you wish to require action now and see the doctor.

• If the doctor finds a case of wet tail, he would possibly dictate antibiotics, anti-diarrheal, or provide fluids.

Look at the hamster’s skin.,
Look at the hamster’s fur.,
Look at the hamster’s face, mouth and eyes.

Changes to your hamster’s skin can be indicative of health problems. In particular, look for signs of infection, like redness, swelling, and abscesses.

Red, flakey skin can be a sign of an infection or of other skin diseases.
Check for dehydration by lifting the loose skin (the scruff) over the hamster’s shoulders. Let go and it should snap straight back into place — this is normal. If the hamster is dehydrated the skin “tents” or stays in a peak. This is a serious sign and you should get the hamster checked by a vet.
Your hamster may scratch more when she has a skin problem. This can help tip you off to the fact that one exists. However, it can also cause infection if the hamster is picking at her skin. , Normally, a hamster’s fur should be be full and shiny. As hamsters age, their fur will thin. This is normal. However, if your hamster starts to lose fur all at once, he might be sick.

Wet, matted fur around the hamster’s belly and tail can be signs of an infection., In particular, look for a runny nose, red or inflamed eyes, and puffy cheeks.

Hamsters often get a runny nose when sick, and are particularly vulnerable to catching colds. These are often not the most deadly of sicknesses, but if they persist, see a veterinarian.
Your hamster has pouches in his cheeks to carry food around. If you notice that these pouches look full for a long time, it may be that they are infected.

hello everyone, my hamster is lying really still and breathing really slowly and he just dosn’t seem well at all. i had him out for a bit but he just lay there curled up in a ball so i tried feeding him some water and crushed banana, he licked a little but thats about it.

I put him back in his cage now with a blanket placed over the cage and made sure he was warm enough, moved his water bottle nearer to him just in case he perks up a little.

He was perfectly fine yesterday as far as i could tell, he was climbing and running around as normal :/ I have had him for just over a year but i am unsure of how old he was when i had him since i got him from an adoption center, so this could just be old age. The vets are not open and i dont know what else todo.

Thank you everyone <3

#2 PumpkinSpiceLatte

#3 Starfait

In this situation, you should probably take him to a vet as soon as possible. But if they aren’t open, the choices are very limited. Make sure your hamster is very comfortable. Good luck.

#4 Vixykins

I’m sorry to say but I think it you’re hamsters time 🙁 I think the best you could do is make him comfortable and remember the times you had together. I would suggest vet but as you said none are open. When you go to bed (if he is still alive) make him very comfy and if his is alive in the morning take him to the vet

Yeah its almost 10pm here, thank you for replying, its my first time experiencing the death of a hamster so i was really unsure of what todo, bless his little heart

#5 Vixykins

In this situation, you should probably take him to a vet as soon as possible. But if they aren’t open, the choices are very limited. Make sure your hamster is very comfortable. Good luck.

Thank you, if he is still alive by morning, i will take him to the vet <3 x

#6 PumpkinSpiceLatte

Yeah its almost 10pm here, thank you for replying, its my first time experiencing the death of a hamster so i was really unsure of what todo, bless his little heart

#7 Vixykins

It 10pm here too. I was in this situation with one of my hams a couple of months a go. My ham had maggots and no vets were open as it was 11pm. Some how the ham survived the night and did get to see a vet where she was put down. Anyways what I’m saying is if your ham is a fighter he might just make it till morning. Losing a hamster is difficult I was lucky with my first ham a she lived until 4 years old. Now when I lost biscuit (hamster with maggots) my coping strategy was actually to get another hamster. I felt another hamster would distract me. I still cry now about it so you can images what it would be like if I didn’t get another ham. Now that my coping strategy and it may not be for everyone so you just need to find your own

wow 4 years is a very good age, i bet that made it harder in a way as you spent so long with the little one <3 im so sorry for your losses <3 can i ask you what you did with the hamsters body as im not really sure what todo, thank you <3 x

Healthy hamsters normally eat well, groom themselves, run and play. They also have full, shiny coats and bright eyes.

Hamsters are sturdy little animals, but poor care, an incorrect diet and an unhealthy environment can cause illnesses and even lead to death. If you don’t know what to look for, you might miss important signs of a sick hamster.

Even if you’re on top of your hamster health knowledge and well aware of sick hamster symptoms, you may not realize you hamster feels unwell.

“Hamsters hide signs of sickness for as long as they can,” says Kristin Valdes, DVM, an exotic vet at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital in Skokie, Ill.

Therefore, it’s critical that pet parents observe their hamster’s normal appearance and behavior so they quickly notice even subtle changes that might indicate illness. It’s also essential to know the signs of a sick hamster so you know what to look for.

Signs of a Sick Hamster

The following symptoms may indicate that your hamster feels unwell.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Inactivity
  • Weight loss
  • A dirty or matted coat
  • Hair loss
  • Lumps beneath the skin
  • Hunched posture
  • Excessive itchiness
  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Dull eyes
  • Wheezing or labored breathing
  • Shaking or shivering
  • Abnormal walk
  • Wetness in the tail area
  • Diarrhea
  • Discharge from the eyes, ears or nose

Common Hamster Ailments

These are the most common problems hamsters experience, according to Dr. Valdes.

Hair Loss

If you notice your hamster’s hair thinning, consider seeing a vet.

“It could be caused by skin parasites, bacterial infections, fungal disease and allergic reactions to bedding,” Dr. Valdes says.


One of the most frequent causes of diarrhea is introducing a new hamster food , including vegetables. In this case, Dr. Valdes recommends that you “stop feeding the new diet item immediately to see if the problem clears up.”

Whether the diarrhea is caused by diet or by something else, if it lasts longer than a day, contact your veterinarian.

“Diarrhea is a very serious problem,” Dr. Valdes says. “It can dehydrate and kill a small animal very quickly.”

Wet Tail

Most common in longhaired and teddy bear hamsters, wet tail is a bacterial infection that causes watery diarrhea and dehydration. Additional signs include matted tail fur, a hunched stance and irritability.

Wounds from Fighting

These territorial rodents may fight among themselves resulting in bite wounds. After separating the fighting hamsters, Dr. Valdes recommends cleaning any wounds with dilute Betadine (antiseptic solution) and contacting your veterinarian.


To the casual observer, your hamster’s filled cheek pouches might look like abnormal growths, but this is normal behavior for these scavengers. If you find lumps and bumps in other areas of your hamster’s body, however, these swellings might be associated with abscesses or tumors, Dr. Valdes says. Consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Long Incisors

Like all rodents, your hamster’s front teeth (incisors) grow throughout their lives. If they are not worn down properly, they can overgrow and cause severe problems.

“The teeth can be trimmed or filed to the appropriate length under anesthesia at the veterinarian’s office,” Dr. Valdes says. “This must be done every 21-30 days when malocclusion [misalignment of the teeth] is present. Do not attempt this on your own.”

Other Causes of Hamster Ailments

In addition to improper care contributing to illness in hamsters, poor genetics and old age can factor in. Thankfully most genetic problems are bred out of hamsters naturally, Dr. Valdes says.

“Most congenital problems are self-limiting in that you will see a hamster do poorly with a genetic problem and not be able to breed or continue on their line,” she explains. “These problems are infrequently seen, although some hamsters can be genetically predisposed to diabetes.”

For aging hamsters, cancers are common, Dr. Valdes says, adding that because hamsters have a very short lifespan of about 3 years, they qualify as middle-aged at around 1-1.5 years old.

When is it Time for the Vet?

“If you notice your hamster is sick, you will want to visit the vet in the next day or so,” Dr. Valdes says. “A good rule of thumb is that a hamster that is laying on his or her side and unable to move is an emergency situation, as is a hamster that is gasping to breathe. If you are not sure, call your veterinarian, and they will let you know if you need to come in right away.”

Hamsters are stealth at hiding their illnesses for as long as possible. So, any time you are concerned that you are seeing signs of a sick hamster, such as a change in your pet’s appearance or behavior, schedule an appointment with your vet.

If you are concerned that one of your pet hamsters is sick or injured, let us help you diagnose the problem. By closely observing your pet’s behavior and physical appearance we can begin to narrow down the issue(s) of your sick hamster.

How to know if your hamster is dying

Signs and Symptoms

How to know if your hamster is dying

How to know if your hamster is dying

Once you spot all the behaviors and symptoms that are out of the norm, go to the next section below to help determine the ailment that most closely resembles your hamster’s problem.

Within the following articles we provide additional information on specific problems including signs, causes and treatment approaches of the given ailment. Some of the treatment solutions we provide might include things you can do yourself or medications you can get from the pet store.

If you ever have to ask yourself the question, “is my hamster dying?” or if your hamster looks sick to the point that it needs immediate attention, we always recommend consulting a professional vet. A vet can conduct medical procedures and or prescribe medications and antibiotics.

External Resources

For diagnoses and treatment of specific illnesses & injuries, see:

What’s Wrong?

You can narrow it down by counting the symptoms listed next to each illness. It’s important to make a correct diagnosis so you can treat appropriately. If a treatment calls for a medication, you should be certain your hamster is suffering from said issue. If you have any strong doubts, consult a vet.

    : lumps and bumps, possible redness or matted hair : loss or unkempt hair, scaly or dry skin : loss of hair : underweight, unable or not to eating : visible cuts, redness and bleeding : runny waste, wet bottom : possible redness or patchy hair loss, constant rubbing : red, swollen, watery, gooey or unable to see eyes : unable to use back legs. drags hind legs : swollen cheeks, unable to eat : hunched over, trouble with or not going to the bathroom : possible constant urination, blood in urine, swollen abdomen : physical lumps and bumps, redness, swelling, possible hair loss : overgrown teeth, drooling, unable to eat, swelling : swollen or bluish mammary glands, possible blood discharge : overweight, lazy : long toenails curling inward, difficulty walking, possible redness or swelling : (it’s rare) excitable, aggression, convulsions : sneezing, runny nose, issues breathing, lethargy, dull coat, shivering, hunched over : patchy hair loss, dry, flaky, yellowish skin : itchy, scabby, crusty patchy skin : raw, red, open wounds with possible bleeding : runny stools and a wet bottom : anorexia, diarrhea, constipation, tiny worms in feces

504 thoughts on “Injured or Sick Hamster: Signs & Symptoms”

Hi, my hamster was over 2 years old tonight when I came home from work he didn’t look himself he was still alive breathing sleeping away. He was moving and breathing i did see him doing so.
I had my dinner checked on him again maybe 10 mins later and he was dead flat skinny thats the only way I could describe him it was like a balloon deflated.. hes now in a box with with towel and will be buried tomorrow. My question is why would he die so quickly like that.

Hi, I got my hamster a about a month ago and she had pups, but she doesn’t look too good. She’s been laying on her side or her back in a corner and she doesn’t want to eat, I put the nozzle to her mouth and she only drank a little. Her coat looks a bit dull a wet. She doesn’t want to eat food or treats. Her pups keep laying on her or next to her and she just lays on the opposite side of the cage. This happened once but my friend said that her blood sugar may have been low, so I did what he told w to do last time but she looks worse than she did that day.

My hamster keeps climbing to the top of her wire cage and dropping down. She hits her head on the way down. She does this multiple times in a row. Why does she do this??

hi i have had 6 hamsters only 2 were are female,my little one is 6 mnths old and she has been stuffing her cheek pouches the past 2 nights. any idea of what is wrong all the boys never did this in the 2yrs i had each of them.

Can you help me

This is totally normal, some hamsters do it and others don’t, I find Syrians do it more then the smaller species.

My sons hamster was chewing on the bars of the cage, when I startled her, she got her teeth stuck, she was squeaking in pain. I saw some blood. It stopped . She is calmed down now, but I’m worried, will she be alright

My sons hamster was chewing on the bars of the cage, when I startled her, she got her teeth stuck, she was squeaking in pain. I saw some blood. It stopped . She is calmed down now, but I’m worried, will she be alright

Hi, could I get some advice for my Hamster Lemon…
I adopted him about 5 months ago so I’m not sure about his age but he was really friendly and active. 2 days ago my dog (who sleeps over every other week since I’ve moved for Uni) Managed to pull off the blanket covering his enclosure and break through the top ( it’s a huge old fish tank with the lid on top when the dogs are here), I found my dog digging in the enclosure and when I got to Lemon he had smartly burrowed to the bottom of the deep tank and gotten away, but he emerged with a bloody eye and damp fur (I think this was from the water bowl being upturned since if my dog did grab him he probably wouldn’t have gotten away?)

Ran to vets *hysterically*, and he’s now on painkillers, antibiotics and eye drops, however, there are some other things I want to ask about – He seems to have lost his balance and is stumbling and falling when he does rarely come out now. His eye looks clear and clean now so I no longer think it is just from not using one of his eyes.

> I truly did not think the dog could ever get into the enclosure, and I completely understand how this is on me and should not have happened, but I want to help him as much as I can.

my hamster looks weird her eye is loosing coluer i dont no what it is and she is very smelly pls help me

I just got my hamster about 4 days ago, she is a Syrian hamster if that helps, we don’t know how she got hurt but it was in her cage either on her wheel or from her water bottle, her left hand got hurt and it has spots of a darker shade then what color her paw is, I have done my research and this is my last resort because I could not find anything anywhere, she does not have a limp at all and uses her hand on an average basis to pick up her food I am very worried for her, also, she does not seem to be in pain, she lets me pet her but not pick her up and she seems happy.