Photo by cdrussorusso

Can I bathe my hamster?

Some people wonder if it is fine to bathe hamsters. The answer is no. Hamsters do not have to be washed because they clean themselves and do not have any strong body smell. In case you notice the latter, this is usually the cage that smells, so make sure you clean it on a regular basis (at least once a week). If you really think that your hamster has to be cleaned, use a soft toothbrush and some lukewarm water to do it. However, do not wet the rodent too much because it can fall ill.

Do I have to groom my hamster?

No, you do not have to. Self-grooming is hamsters' natural instinct that allows them to get rid of smell and, thus, hide from predators in the wild. However, you have to watch how often your hamster grooms itself. If you notice it is not grooming at all, this may be a sign of a sickness. Take your hamster to a vet in this case.

Do hamsters have a strong health?

With due care, hamsters rarely have health problems. However, their health is relatively frail. For example, they can fall sick because of a slight draught, and they can have stomach disorders easily.

Common hamster diseases and their symptoms

The list of hamster diseases can be rather long, but here are the most common ones with possible reasons and help measures.

Runny nose, sneezing, sore eyes

The most probable reason is an allergy. Did you put some new nestling material in the cage? Do you use a new air freshener? Did you use any new cleaners or spray polishes? Try to remove those irritants. Also, these symptoms are typical for a cold. Keep your rodent in a warm place. If it does not get better the next day, take it to a vet.

Bare patches in the coat

If your hamster does not scratch it, and the bare patches do not seem to bother the rodent at all, the possible reason could be an old age, or the hamster simply rubbed against something and worn the fur away.
If the hamster does scratch the patches, your pet may have ticks. Consult your vet for the best solution of this problem.

Dirty fur around the tail, the tail is wet

It looks like your hamster has a diarrhea. Has he eaten anything that could possible cause that? But note that this can also be a sign of a serious hamster illness called the wet tail, so take your little friend to a vet as soon as possible.

Hamster does not eat, has runny eyes, and a swollen cheek

Apparently, the rodent has something stuck in its cheek pouch. Show it to a vet.
You have handled the hamster much, or dropped it by accident, and now it lies still as if it was dead
The hamster has probably been shocked. Leave it alone in a warm quiet place to recover. If it does not get better in an hour or two, take it to a vet immediately.

The hamster has cut itself against something sharp

Add a drop of some antiseptic to warm water (previously boiled and cooled to a lukewarm state), and bathe the cut carefully. If it becomes red and inflamed later, take your pet to a vet.