June 27, 2013

Three Common Hamster Health Issues for a Veterinarian

Hamsters are a generally healthy pet, but sometimes a bad environment or unhealthy eating habits can trigger health concerns. In this case, you’ll want to find a local veterinarian in Dallas.

General symptoms of poor hamster health include dirty or missing fur, sneezing, runny nose and eyes, and overall inactivity. These symptoms may be a result of any of the following three common hamster health conditions.

1. Skin Issues

One of the more common health issues in hamsters is skin issues like mite infestations and ringworm. A vet will diagnose the exact nature of your hamster’s problem by analyzing skin scrapings and fungal cultures.
Hamster skin issues are commonly caused by allergens in hamster cage beddings like cedar. Cedar can irritate hamster skin and exacerbate any small cuts or other injuries.

2. Digestive Problems

Digestive issues like diarrhea and wet tail are caused by bacterial infections in hamsters. These issues are highly contagious and common in young hamsters that have just been weaned. Longhaired teddy bear hamsters are also prone to digestive problems.
Symptoms include inactivity, poor appetite, missing hair, and diarrhea. If your hamster displays these symptoms, call your veterinarian and stop feeding your hamster fresh food in the meantime.

3. Diabetes

Some hamsters develop diabetes over time. This is common in dwarf hamsters and obese hamsters. To prevent hamster diabetes, don’t over-feed your hamster. If your hamster appears to be gaining weight, stick to fresh food low in sugar and fat. Specifically, avoid sunflower seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
In hamster diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and cannot use it properly. Symptoms include extreme thirst and frequent urination. However, kidney disease and bladder infection frequently produce the same symptoms, so it’s important to talk to a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis.

Finding a Veterinarian

To find a quality veterinarian in Dallas, ask for recommendations from friends and other pet owners. You should also call ahead and verify rates and experience. Some veterinarians don’t deal with hamsters, so it’s important to be sure you’re not wasting your time.

If you do the necessary research, you’ll be able to identify a qualified veterinarian and get your hamster feeling better in no time.

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