How to tell if your hamster is sick

Hamsters are very cute little creatures to have as a pet. In order for you to enjoy your time with them, though, it's important that they're healthy. If one of your hamsters is sick or injured, there are several symptoms that will help you determine what the problem might be and how you can help it improve.

How to tell if your hamster is sick

1. Lethargy

One of the first signs that your hamster might be sick is lethargy. If your hammy has been energetic and moving around all day, but suddenly decides to lay in its cage or hide behind its house, it's a sure sign that something's wrong. When you see this, check the hamster over for anything that might be causing it discomforts, such as mites and general illness.

The lethargic hamster can quickly become an emergency if it's not seen in time. The longer the hamster is inactive due to illness, the weaker their immune system will become, making them even more susceptible to diseases.

2. Not eating

If you notice that your hamster isn't eating, or is only eating very small amounts, it might be sick. Especially if the food is something that they normally eat a lot of. If they are avoiding their food or are just not interested in it, there's probably some kind of problem with them being ill.

The best thing to do when your hamster suddenly stops eating is to take it to the vet. If you suspect that there's an illness, get it checked out straight away - especially if they were healthy before. A vet will be able to diagnose what's wrong with your little friend and treat him accordingly.

3. Change in behavior

If your hammy is normally very active and is always climbing around, but now it's sitting still all day, there may be a problem. Diseases like wet tails and cancer can make hamsters lethargic and affect their movement/ability to eat.

If you notice that your hamster has changed its normal behavior patterns - i.e., becoming lethargic, not eating, or hiding away - there is most likely something wrong with it that requires treatment. Hamsters are very sensitive creatures, and they're quick to show signs of change when their health is suffering.

4. Absence of droppings

Your hamster produces droppings on a regular basis, so if you see your pet doesn't have any, it's a sign of illness. This could either be because your hamster has stopped eating and there is nothing remaining in its bowels or because the droppings are dry and small (like grains of rice).

If you notice that your hamster has no droppings for over 24 hours, take him to the vet immediately. This symptom can quickly become a life-threatening problem if it isn't dealt with immediately.

5. Change in droppings

If your hamster normally produces large, healthy-looking droppings that are dark and moist, but suddenly has small droppings that look pale or have red streaks in them, there is an issue. This could be a sign of bleeding from the anus (which can be life-threatening if not treated), or it might indicate an infection.

It's important to keep track of your hamster's droppings, as they can vary depending on what he eats and how healthy he is. If you notice anything different about his droppings, take him to the vet right away.

6. Bleeding

If your hamster suddenly starts bleeding from its anus or any other part of its body, it could be a life-threatening issue. Hamsters can bleed anywhere and they will need treatment as soon as possible to prevent them from losing too much blood. If you notice that your hamster has blood on its fur or anywhere else in the cage, it needs to be taken to a vet immediately.

The best way to prevent this from becoming a serious emergency is to check your hamster's cage before and after handling him. Once you see that there's bleeding, take the hamster to the vet right away so he can have his anal glands checked out or whatever else might be causing the issue.

Bleeding usually isn't a symptom that occurs by itself, and it can be caused by several different health problems such as tumors, infections, stress, and more. It's best to take your hamster to the vet if you notice anything strange about his bleeding - especially if he hasn't done it before.

7. Strange noises

Your hamster may make strange or unusual noises that you aren't used to hearing from him. For example, a hamster with a respiratory infection might breathe heavily while sleeping, and could also sound labored when climbing around. A hamster with a tumor might make clicking noises when moving his mouth. Or your little friend may only make the sound when he's running his wheel, which could indicate a respiratory issue.

Hearing strange noises coming from your pet is usually the first sign of an illness, so it's important to take note of them and get him treated right away. If you hear any weird noise coming from your hamster, take him to the vet immediately!

8. Strange smell

A hamster that is constantly producing a foul or strange smell, especially if it's accompanied by any other symptoms, should be checked out by a vet. This could be a sign of an infection, tumor, respiratory problem, or other illness.

Again, keep track of your pet's health, and make sure to get him checked out by a vet if you notice anything strange about his smell!

9. Weight loss or gain

Most of the time, hamsters won't change weight too much without a good reason. If your pet is losing (or gaining) weight at an extremely fast rate and this isn't something that has happened before, it could be a symptom of an illness.

You should keep track of your hamster's weight throughout his life, and make sure to get him checked out by the vet if you notice that he has lost (or gained) more than 10% of his body weight in just 24 hours!

Symptoms like weight gain or loss are easy to spot, and they can be caused by several things such as tumors, infections, and more. It's best to take your hamster to the vet if you notice anything strange about his weight.

10. Open sores

If your hamster is suddenly covered in open sores, this could be a sign of a problem that needs to be taken care of immediately. Open sores can appear anywhere on the body, and if they're yellowish or bloody it's best to get your pet treated as soon as possible.

Sometimes these sores will only appear on parts of the body that aren't very visible, such as under their fur or on their feet. Be sure to check your hamster regularly for anything unusual with his skin.

Open sores can be caused by infections, tumors, and a lot more - no matter what it is, you should take your little guy to the vet so he can have his sores checked out.

Why your hamster might be sick:

When a hamster is sick, it can have several different symptoms that might not seem to have anything in common. In order to tell what the problem is exactly, you need to look for these symptoms and determine which of them your hamster has at a time. Some of the common reasons why a hamster might be sick are the following:

-Your hamster could have a respiratory infection because it's in an enclosed space with no fresh air, or it might have swallowed something that is stuck in its throat.

-If your hamster cage has not been cleaned out in several weeks to months, it might have become infested with fleas.

-Your hamster might have diabetes.


When your hamster is sick, it's important to keep an eye out for any strange symptoms and see if they reappear. If you notice several different ones at once, take your pet to the vet as soon as possible so they can be checked out and treated!

Be sure to check this guide periodically with each new hamster that you bring home. If you see any of the symptoms on this list, take him to the vet immediately!

Thank you for reading our guide on how to tell if your hamster is sick! We hope you learned some new information today that will help keep your pet happy and healthy 

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form