Quick Reference for Injuries

Topics: Hamster, Teeth, Gerbil Pages: 14 (4835 words) Published: January 9, 2002
(This section has been reviewed by Dr. Taylor Douglas, DVM, Sunriver Veterinary Clinic, Sunriver, Oregon) In general, hamsters (especially those in the wild) are robust little animals and aren't affected by many natural diseases. But, they are very susceptible to the infectious diseases of other animals, including humans. Many of the problems and ailments now associated with hamsters are a direct result of captivity. Because they are small, a minor illness can rapidly become major if immediate treatment isn't pursued. Since they are nocturnal many of the early signs of illness are not noticed. To insure good health, hamsters should be checked regularly: to include eating habits, exercise habits, teeth, limbs, body check for lumps, cuts and abrasions, etc. etc. A sick hamster generally becomes irritable and "bitey." They frequently become lethargic or walk almost stiff-legged if forced to move or may sit in a "hunched" position. The eyes are usually dull, sunken and sometimes watery. And, they don't eat much, which results in weight loss. SYMPTOMPOSSIBLE CAUSE

Blood in UrineBladder & Kidney Infection

Bloody DiarrheaIntussusception

Breathing HeavyShock - Colds & Influenza

Broken LimbBroken Limb

Bulging AnusConstipation - Intussusception - Rectal Prolapse

Closed Eye(s)Impacted Pouch - Irritated Eyes


Crusty Lesions in ears, face, feetEar Mites

Cuts & BitesAbscesses - Cuts & Bites

Dragging Hind QuartersBroken Limb - Cage Paralysis - Hind Limb Paralysis

Dry Scaly SkinDemodicosis - Mange - Mites - Ringworm - Sarcoptic Mange

Eating BabiesCannibalism

Eggs in FecesEndoparasites

Excessive DrinkingBladder & Kidney Infection - Diabetes

Extreme DiarrheaTyzzer's Disease - Wet Tail

Eye RuptureEye Prolapse

Facial SwellingDental Caries - Impacted Pouch

Hair LossHair Loss - Mange - Mites - Ringworm

Head TiltEar Infection - Strokes


LethargyColds & Influenza - Tyzzer's Disease - Wet Tail

LifelessHeat Stroke - Hibernation - Shock - Strokes

Long NailsOvergrown Nails

Loose DroppingsAntibiotic Induced Diarrhea - Diarrhea

Loss of BalanceEar Infection - Strokes

LumpAbscesses - Cancer & Tumors - Impacted Cheek Pouch - Testicular tumors

Overgrown TeethOvergrown Teeth

ParalysisCage Paralysis - Strokes

Runny NoseColds & Influenza

SalivationDental Caries

ScratchingAllergies - Fleas - Mange - Mites

Shaking/TremblingDiabetes - Heat Stroke - Hibernation - Stroke

SneezingAllergies - Colds & Influenza

Swollen AbdomenConstipation

Swollen Eye Glaucoma

Tires EasilyStrokes

Unable to have BabiesDystocia

Watery EyesAllergies - Colds & Influenza - Irritated Eyes

White Film on EyeCataracts

Weight LossDiabetes - Endoparasites - Tyzzer's Disease

Wet "Bottom"Antibiotic Induced Diarrhea - Diarrhea - Wet Tail

WheezingAllergies - Colds & Influenza

Vaginal BleedingDystocia - Ovarian Cysts

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Common Problems and Ailments
ALLERGIES - Hamsters can become allergic to bedding (particularly cedar shavings), some foods, cigarette smoke, perfumes, furniture polish, etc. It is also thought that some allergies are hereditary. Increased scratching, sneezing, runny eyes, swollen feet, wheezing or white flakes around the eyes and ears after the introduction of something new are a sign of a possible allergic reaction. Remove whatever has been added to the cage or food and watch for signs of improvement. If there is no improvement within a couple of days, it might be the result of an infection and veterinarian advice should be sought. ANTIBIOTIC INDUCED DIARRHEA - Antibiotics with a narrow spectrum against gram-positive organisms, especially erythromycin, penicillin, lincomycin, cephalosporin and streptomycin can cause diarrhea. Symptoms and treatment are...
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