How to Keep Your Hamster Comfortable When It is Sick or Dying



Move your hamster to a separate habitat.,
Clean the original habitat.,
Warm your hamster.,
Hold your hamster for warmth and comfort.,
Replace your hamster’s food and water.,
Put food and water dishes close to your hamster.,
Increase your hamster’s protein intake.,
Provide sufficient liquids.,
Feed your hamster by hand or syringe.,
Avoid allowing your hamster to eat too much at one time.,
Watch for mild signs of illness.,
Look out for signs of severe illness or death.,
Observe behavioral signs of illness or death.,
See your vet.

If you have a habitat that houses multiple hamsters, provide your sick or dying hamster a separate space to rest. Using an isolation habitat can keep your hamster comfortable, prevent stress from other animals and activity, and minimize the risk of disease transmission to cage mates.Place the isolation habitat in a location away from other pets, family members, bright light, and noise.
Make sure the new tank into which you move your hamster is large enough to keep it comfortable. Although the hamster might not move much, it should still have room to move.
Move cleaned food and water dishes to the isolation habitat. You can use diluted soapy, water to clean the dishes.Avoid placing an exercise wheel in the new habitat. Hamsters are known to exercise when they’re sick, which can cause injury or dehydration.Remove any tunnels or plug them so that the cage is simple and homey. This can keep your hamster’s movement to a minimum.;
, No matter if you have multiple hamsters or a single Syrian hamster, which prefers solitude, it’s important to clean the cage thoroughly. This can minimize the transmission of disease to cage mates or give a single hamster a clean and comfortable environment.Wear protective gloves or wash your hands thoroughly when finished. If you are pregnant, ask someone to clean the cage for you to minimize your risk of rodent meningitis or fungal infections.
Use diluted, soapy water or a bleach solution of ¼ cup bleach to 2¼ cups water to sanitize the entire habitat. Clean all of the surfaces in the cage and make sure to rinse them thoroughly, especially if you’re using a bleach solution. Bleach vapors can be toxic to a hamster in an enclosed space.

, Hamsters that are ill often won’t eat or drink, which can cause them to become chilled.They may even go into hibernation, which can be dangerous for domestic hamsters.Making sure that your hamster is warm, but not hot, will keep it comfortable and minimize any stress it has.Put plenty of plain, unscented toilet paper in the habitat. Tear the toilet paper into strips, which your hamster will use to make a nest that in which it can curl up and get warm.Use a heating pad or heat lamp to warm the habitat to 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit (21-29 degrees Celsius). If you’re using a heat lamp, place a small hamster house inside the habitat so your pet can escape the bright light. Make sure to not overheat the habitat, as it can cause heat stress or heat stroke., If your hamster is comfortable and not fighting you, wrap it in a small towel and hold it close to your body. Your hamster may curl up and sleep on you while the towel and your body heat warm it up.Stroke your hamster if it allows you. You can also talk or sing to it. This can further soothe and comfort your hamster.

, If you haven’t done so already, wash your hamster’s food and water dishes in hot and diluted, soapy water. Dry them thoroughly and then add fresh new food and water. This can minimize the risk of your hamster becoming more sick and may stimulate its desire to eat.Avoid using a bleach solution to wash your hamster’s food and water dishes. Leftover bleach could be toxic to your hamster.

, Many hamsters feel lethargic and stop eating when they don’t feel well. It’s important that they eat and drink regularly to fight off illness and recover.Placing your hamster’s food and water dishes closer to it gives access to sustenance while keeping movement to a minimum.Place the dishes close to your hamster’s nest. This allows your hamster to easily move between its warm spot and the food and water it needs.

, Protein can help your hamster build strength. Adding some tasty, protein-rich foods to your hamster’s diet may help it fight illness and recover. Remember to wash the dish as necessary with certain high-protein foods such as eggs or milk. The following are good sources of protein for an ailing hamster:Plain scrambled eggs
Milk-soaked bread
Yogurt with probiotics in small amounts
Baby food free of garlic, onion, and lemon juice
Hard-boiled eggsCooked chicken in small bits

, For an ailing hamster, getting enough liquids is an even bigger priority than food. Making sure it has a fresh source of water and providing foods high in water content can keep your hamster hydrated. This may help it feel better.Recognize that the best source of liquid for your hamster is water. You can also give it a weakened solution of unflavored electrolyte. Do this by mixing one part electrolyte solution to one part water.
Add fruits like pears and apples to increase your hamster’s liquids. Even a piece of milk-soaked bread will provide extra liquid to its diet.

, If your hamster doesn’t seem to be eating or drinking from its dishes, you can feed it by hand or by syringe. This may be easier for your hamster than moving to its dish. It can also provide vital nutrients and liquids.Place bits of food in your hands and see if your hamster takes it. You may want to do this sitting in a comfortable spot so you can give your hamster time to eat. Stroke your hamster and talk to it so it feels comfortable and soothed.
Try a 1cc syringe to give baby food and liquids if your hamster won’t eat out of your hand. Place the syringe in the corner of the mouth behind the front teeth. Then depress the plunger. Your hamster may even grab the syringe and feed itself.

, If your hamster seems very hungry, let it eat for a few minutes. Then take a break and try feeding or giving it more food. Letting your hamster eat without a break can make its illness worse and may also make it feel worse., Hamsters that are ill or dying will usually exhibit one or many mild physical signs. Paying attention to your hamster(s) on a daily basis can help you identify potential problems, give it comfort, and seek veterinary help if they symptoms don’t go away within a couple of days. Some physical signs of illness or dying in a hamster are:Coughing
Hair loss
Head tilt
Nasal discharge
Excessive urination
Damp, dried out, or ruffled fur, Some hamsters may exhibit more concerning symptoms of illness or death. Seek immediate veterinary treatment if your hamster has any of the following signs:Enlarged or swollen abdomen that is not from eating
Difficult, labored or rapid breathing
Collapse or coma
Discharge from the genitals or anus
Bulging, cloudy, crusted, or squinting eyes
Sores or scabs
Swelling beneath the skin
Wet tail, In addition to watching your hamster’s physical appearance, it’s important to pay attention to its behavior. It may not have physical symptoms of illness, but a hamster’s behavior can also cue you into potential illness or death.Some behavioral signs of illness in a hamster include:

Changes in interaction with other hamsters
Change in interaction with you
Exercise intoleranceLoss of appetite
Excessive drinking
Head tilting

, If your hamster doesn’t respond to any of your attempts to make it comfortable and keep it fed and hydrated, take it to your vet. Getting the appropriate treatment in a timely manner could be key to helping your hamster recover.Remember that food and water are vital to hamsters, in part because they are so small. Seek the vet if your hamster hasn’t had any food or liquid in 2 or 3 days.
Let the vet know what signs and symptoms of illness you’ve observed as well as how much your hamster has been eating and drinking. If you’ve given your hamster any medications, provide the vet that information, too.
Follow any treatment plans or medications your vet suggests and prescribes. If your hamster is too ill, your vet may suggest euthanization to relieve it from further suffering. Although this may be difficult for you, it may be the most humane thing to do for your hamster.

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