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Signs Your Hamster Is Sick

Know the signs of an ill hamster.

By Audrey Pavia
Posted: March 31, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

Syrian hamster lying down
Hamster Peanut/Courtesy Tiffany Ann Deschamps
Knowing the signs of illness in hamsters might give you more time to help if your hamster falls ill.

A healthy hamster eats well, grooms itself, runs and plays normally, and has a full, shiny coat and bright eyes. Hamsters are sturdy little animals, but poor care, an incorrect diet or an unhealthy environment can all cause illnesses. Illness can also result from poor genetics or old age. The following signs indicate that your hamster may be unwell:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Inactivity
  • A dirty or matted coat
  • Red or flaky skin
  • Lumps beneath the skin
  • Excessive itchiness
  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Dull eyes
  • Wheezing or labored breathing
  • Shaking or shivering
  • Wetness in the tail area
  • Diarrhea


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Signs Your Hamster Is Sick

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Reader Comments
Hi I just recently got a hamster ,Russian hamster and near his tail it's all wet I want to know if that's wet tail. My other question, is that near his eye and a little bit in the eye, there is some skin of and the eney looked likes there is white. Don't know how to explain that part. What can I do please help me ???????????? I love my hamster....
Shealy, International
Posted: 6/4/2016 7:48:37 PM
Our dwarf hamster today was making fun noise and not running around we couldn't take it to the Vet it was closed, when I checked after few minutes it was dead was a family for the last two years my daughter cried to much and it was so sad to lose our hamster
Tsitsi, International
Posted: 8/23/2015 3:23:53 PM
Hi my hamster is snezzing really bad and sound like he has a stuffy nose im so worried. Anything that i can do?
Dianne, International
Posted: 7/11/2015 12:34:02 AM
Hi my hamster is shaking but he's moving a bit but I don't know if he's ill or he's dieing of old age I really need to know x
Melissa hill, International
Posted: 6/9/2015 3:47:13 AM
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