What are the main diseases of hamsters?

Hamsters are small rodents that are among the NACs, known new pets. They are pleasant to live with and easy to train, they are the perfect little companions for both young and old. On the other hand, the hamster is a sensitive animal with fragile health. By accepting it, its owner undertakes to preserve its health and well-being by offering it the care it deserves. Let’s recap the main diseases that can affect a hamster.

Diseases of the digestive tract of the hamster

Rodents tend to be very sensitive on a digestive level, and the hamster is no exception.


The hamster is easily constipated. With his small body, the slightest lack of water can trigger it. Therefore, it is very important that he is always provided with fresh water and in good quantity.

In addition, long-haired species tend to ingest more wool, which causes constipation or even intestinal obstruction requiring surgery.


Diarrhea is also common in these small rodents, as it can be caused by parasites present in their food. Tapeworm in particular is an internal parasite present in certain foods such as pork. If ingested, it causes diarrhea, which can only be cured by the use of antiparasitic treatment.

As for fresh vegetables, they can pass salmonella to him if they are not cleaned properly. This condition causes severe diarrhea and can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Cysts of the liver and bile ducts

After one year of age, the hamster is susceptible to the development of hepatic and bile cysts. They form naturally and are often benign. However, they can present serious forms leading to the death of the rodent in a short time.

Parasitic diseases of hamsters

External parasites

External parasites such as lice, mites or mites cause various diseases in hamsters. Scabies is a parasitic disease that can infect humans and requires considerable precautions in handling and prompt treatment of the hamster. A sick hamster itches until it bleeds and pulls out its hair.

Ringworm causes skin conditions on the head and neck and then spreads to the rest of the body. This is athlete’s foot caused by a small fungus that can be treated with antifungal treatments.

proliferative ileitis

This common pathology is due to the development of bacteria against the background of poor hygiene and nutritional conditions of the rodent. The sick hamster suffers from profuse diarrhea and remains lethargic. Preventive treatment of hamsters at the age of 4 to 6 weeks is carried out, otherwise the animal dies from sepsis (blood poisoning) within 48 hours.

Hamster mouth problems

All rodents are sensitive in the mouth. The slightest problem or imbalance can disrupt a hamster’s teething and cause malnutrition. Infections are then frequent and the animal can die quickly due to lack of proper care. If you notice bumps in your mouth or bumps on your cheeks, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Respiratory disorders: hamster pneumonia

A hamster is an animal that is very sensitive to temperature extremes and drafts. He can catch a cold very easily. Then his nose starts to run, he sneezes, and his eyes may water. Consult your veterinarian to prescribe the appropriate care, because without treatment, colds in these small animals turn into pneumonia. It is also the second leading cause of death in rodents.

tumors in hamsters

Hamsters have a reduced lifespan. It does not exceed two years for dwarf breeds and three years for golden hamsters. After two years, half of the rodents are carried away by tumors. They form anywhere and cause rapid death without the possibility of treatment. Indeed, a hamster can develop tumors in the skin, digestive tract, blood cells, liver, spleen, adrenal glands, central nervous system, ganglia, or even urinary tract.

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