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Common ailments
No, this guy is not winking at you. He has an eye injury, probably resulting from a fight with another hamster or an accident.

Hamsters are usually quite hardy though at times, this could be because hamster illness is difficult to spot. Inspect your hamster regularly, for any wounds, especially those from fighting if she is staying with others. Also inspect teeth, eyes, ears and feet. If you find that your hamster is

  • not eating
  • drinking too much
  • listless
  • having diarrhea

you might have a sick hamster on your hands. Always visit your vet when your hamster is sick.

Also see the poisons section of the site.
This robo was in a fight with her cagemate. Robos who get along for a while may suddenly attack. Keep watch and observe them carefully.
Check your hamster regularly.

 Some common ailments:

  1. flu
  2. fight wounds
  3. diarrhoea/wet tail
  4. eye proptosis - eye pops out
  5. eye irritation/problems
  6. fractures/broken limbs
  7. skin problems
  8. hair loss
  9. absesses on skin
  10. cancers

 Some useful links

This site is very useful in listing and briefly describing some common hamster ailments including Teeth Problems, Trauma, Bladder Stones, Cancer, Lack of Food and Water, Abscesses, Wet Tail (Proliferative Ileitis), Salmonellosis, Rabies, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, Demodectic Mange, Intestinal Parasites, Sensitivity of Hamsters to Certain Antibiotics

 Wet tail: 

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and the following is correct only to my knowledge. If you should know of any other information, please mail me.

I decided to write this portion after seeing all the questions that people had about wet-tail. I hope it helps you and your hamsters.

What is wet tail?

According to my vet, wet tail is a collection of bacteria but the exact details of the disease is still unknown. The treatment is also not 100% effective. In fact, even with early treatment, hamsters may have best a 50% chance of survival. Thus, it is important to take your hamster to the vet if you see signs of wet-tail as you would not be a moment too soon.

Where does it come from?

Wet-tail seems to be a very common disease in hamsters - many owners see their hamsters come down with this disease. Some have speculated that it could be stress-induced  and that some hamsters may be more susceptible than others (due to their genetic makeup).

However, more obvious is the fact that wet-tail is transmitted from hamster to hamster. This makes it very important to quarantine new pets for up to three weeks. Handling all your pets at the same time is also discouraged. Wet-tail is highly infectious from hamster to hamster and you must be careful or you may lose all your hamsters to this disease at one go.

Check all hamsters you are purchasing carefully and also its cage mates. If one is affected, all may very well be.


When my hamsters came down with wet-tail, they refused to eat, had severe diarrhea ( the whole portion of the tail area was wet with brown fluid = wet-tail) and slept both day and night.

Some hamsters may also develop problems breathing if its condition is already very severe.

The cure :

Your vet will in all likelihood prescribe a wide spectrum antibiotic and something to help with the diarrhea.  

If you have any doubts, please do ask your vet.


An article by Jane Landis on Max, her diabetic hamster and the condition itself at the California Hamster Association

 Animal Connections at A & M University
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