How to Treat Your Hamster’s Broken Leg

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Look for signs of a fracture.,
Distinguish between an open and closed fracture.,
Know when to go to the veterinarian.,
Be prepared for surgery.,
Let your hamster get lots of rest.,
Feed a nutritious diet.,
Avoid bandaging the fracture.,
Be patient and look for signs of healing.

You may be able to tell that your hamster is in pain. He might not be as active or won’t want to move at all. Other signs that your hamster has a fracture include:Swelling
A crackling or popping sound (from the broken bone rubbing against itself)
The bone visibly sticking out of the open wound (which is rare);
, Once you suspect your hamster has a broken bone, you need to determine what type of a break he has. If it’s an open fracture, the white of the bone will be visibly poking through the skin. If he has a closed fracture, the bones aren’t visible and there’s no skin wound. Instead, the broken bones remain sealed within the muscles of the leg. If your hamster has a closed fracture, you will notice:Dragging of the leg
The hamster avoids putting weight on the leg
A crunching sensation beneath your fingers when you gently feel the area

, If your hamster has an open fracture, you must visit the vet. You won’t be able to treat this kind of break at home and without medical treatment, your hamster will get infected bone stumps, leading to general tissue infection, blood poisoning, and death. This is slow and painful for your hamster, so get immediate help.You should be prepared for the vet to suggest euthanasia, to prevent the hamster from suffering. If there’s no medical option to treat the leg, euthanasia will save your pet from pain and suffering.

, If your hamster has an open fracture, the veterinarian may suggest that the best course of treatment is amputating the limb, or trying to fix the fracture. Both of these are high risk procedures which need to be done under strict sterile surgical conditions in order to avoid infection. Your hamster will need anesthesia to deal with the pain. Be aware that the procedure is high risk and there is a high likelihood of the hamster passing away

Do not try to replace the bone ends under the skin without anesthesia, since this is incredibly painful for your hamster. It should only be done under trained medical supervision.

Do not give pain relief at home since the small size of the hamster makes it inevitable you will overdose the hamster. Too much pain relief is harmful and could cause gastric ulcers or death.

, Take away the hamster wheel to prevent further damage to the leg. If he lives in a rotastak system with multiple levels and pipes to climb through, remove all of the connections, shelving, or ladders to keep him in one unit. You should also avoid putting him in his exercise ball while his leg is healing. In general, avoid handling him in case he struggles and moves awkwardly on the broken leg.By preventing the hamster from being too active, you will reduce the amount of weight he places on the leg. This lets the fractured ends start knitting together and repairing.
If the hamster is active and uses his wheel, he will disrupt the early scar tissue and delay or prevent healing from taking place.

, Talk with the veterinarian about recommending a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables. Consider offering them dried vegetables and other pellets so that they don’t rot when your hamster tries to hoard them in a corner of his cage. You may also want to offer milk to drink, since the calcium can help heal bones. But, make sure the milk is fresh and replaced at least every two hours to avoid bacterial contamination. Don’t feed your hamster too much, or it may grow overweight, which would put extra weight on its broken leg.Not all hamsters can digest milk, so if his pellets become soft or he develops diarrhea, stop offering milk immediately.

, Since hamsters are so small, it’s impossible to bandage the fracture in any way that will help the healing process. It’s more likely that a bandage would rub and cause skin sores, or distress your hamster. Your hamster would most likely chew off the bandage, possibly swallowing some of it. The pressure of a bandage on the fracture could also cause more pain.Keep in mind that while other animals, like cats or dogs, can have fractures supported in bandages, their bones are first aligned. The tiny size of a hamster makes this impossible to do.

, Typically, a fracture takes at least 4 weeks to heal, but some hamsters could take longer, up to 12 weeks. Once you’ve given him some time, watch for signs of healing, like walking on the leg, or no swelling over the fracture site. When you gently handle the leg, he won’t react with pain and there shouldn’t be any grating if the fracture has healed. If he reacts with pain, stop handling him immediately.

The clearest way to tell if healing is complete is to have your hamster x-rayed. But, this is expensive and you may need to anesthetize your hamster.If your hamster has healed, you can reintroduce his wheel or multiple levels of his cage. There is a chance that your hamster’s leg may heal incorrectly. If it does, don’t panic. Just monitor your hamster and it should be fine.

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