8. What can you do if your hamster is ill?
Once you have a bought a pet then it’s your responsibility to make sure that they’re looked after; especially when they are sick. Obviously you don’t want this to happen, but there is always the likelihood that your hamster will become ill at some point.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if something is wrong with your hamster. In the wild hamsters are prey for larger animals, so they try not to show if they are hurt or feeling unwell, as it makes them vulnerable.
If you get to know your pet well then you will probably have a feeling if something is not as it should be. There are some signs that are worth looking out for.
- Loss of appetite
- Smaller poop pellets, or none at all
- Sitting still with no movement at all
- Eyes not bright and alert when awake
- Unknown discharge around the nose or eyes
- Aggression when not normally aggressive
- Bald patches
- Change in movements
- Damp tail area
- Change in posture such as hunching
- Change in breathing
- Limb chewing
- Change to drinking habits
If you notice any of these changes in your hamster then you should seek advice from a vet.
One final thing with regard to health: If your home is very cold for some reason, and your hamster appears to be unconscious, then it’s worth placing the cage somewhere warm to see if the change has any effect. Hamsters can go into hibernation if it’s cold and you may find that’s what has happened. If that is the case then your hamster should awaken once they are in a warm environment.
To a long and happy life!
Hamsters make marvellous and fun pets, but never be fooled into thinking they are an easy option. You need to be willing to spend time with your pet, socialising and getting to know them. This usually means at least half an hour each day giving your furry friend your undivided attention. Of course it’s also important to know when to back off. You wouldn’t like it if someone was trying to play with you while you were sleeping, and neither does your hamster!
If you are thinking of bringing a hamster into your home then carefully study all of the advice we have provided here, and think about whether you are able to invest the time and attention that your new pet will need to live a long and happy life.
If you get to know your hamster, respect their space, provide them with enough food, exercise and toys, keep their home clean and make sure their health is looked after, then you should have a very happy time together!