Inspect their eyes and nose for discharge.,
Check their teeth for signs of damage.,
Look for signs of wet tail.,
Feel their fur to check for coat health.,
Watch how the hamster walks.,
Note any injuries.
Yellow discharge can be a sign that the hamster has a cold or another illness. The discharge may be crusted around their eyes or nose; it may also be leaky and running. The nose of the hamster should be clean. The eyes should be clear, shiny, and black in color. Eyes should not be cloudy, bulging, or squinting., Give the hamster a small treat, such as sunflower seed. When they open their mouths, try to see if there are any problems with their teeth. Hamsters must continually gnaw on things to keep their teeth from growing too long. If the teeth are overgrown, it may be a sign that there is something wrong with the hamster., Lift the hamster up so that you have a clear view of their rear end. Check to see if the fur is stained or matted around their butt or belly. Does the fur look wet? You may want to use a finger to feel for any wetness around the belly area. Wet, matted, or stained fur on the underside of the hamster could be a sign of either wet tail or diarrhea, both of which can be fatal to hamsters. Other signs you can look for include:
Loss of appetite (or not accepting a treat you give them), A hamster’s coat should look glossy, thick, and smooth. It should be clean and free of droppings.Matted or patchy fur could be the sign of a disease. Part the fur with a finger. If the hamster has bald patches or if their skin is flaky, they may have a behavioral problem or a disease., Let the hamster run around, and see how they run and walk. There are certain genetic behavioral or psychological disorders that can be identified by the hamster’s walking behavior.
Hamsters should be able to walk in a straight line. If they keep turning in tight circles as they walk, they are demonstrating “waltzing” behavior. This may or may not be treatable by a vet.
Some dwarf hamsters may perform continual back-flips. This can be a compulsive behavior that, while cute, can interfere with the hamster’s well-being.
Some hamsters run along the same path repeatedly. Ask the breeder if the hamsters show this behavior often. Check to see if the shavings are worn thin by the compulsive behavior., Hamsters do fight with one another, leading to injuries. Check for any open wounds on the hamster. Run a finger through their fur to look at their skin. You may notice cuts or scars.
Mothers sometimes gnaw off ears or limbs of their litters.Make sure that the hamster you pick is not limping. Limping may or may not be permanent, but as hamsters are active creatures, it is important that they can run freely without being hindered.
Some injuries are not permanent. If the hamster has healed from their wounds, you may still consider taking them home.