I know! You hate when you have a cold that keeps you in the bed, away from all the fun. The hamster feels the same way! As a responsible hamster owner, you have to pay attention to your hamster health and take action at the slightest sign of  illness. In this moments, a first aid kit for your hamster is very useful.

hamster colds

Hamster colds causes:

hammyYou! Avoid handling your hamster if you have a cold. Take your medicines and you will be able to play with your hamster after you get rid of the pesky cold!

hammyIf they have the cage in a cold or draft room. Avoid putting the cage near windows, doors.

hammyIf they aren’t dried immediately after you gave the hamster a bath. Remember: bathing your hamster isn’t necessary. He does a good job grooming himself.

hammyIf their favorite sleeping place is under the water bottle.Or if you don’t use a water bottle and the hamster drinks water from a bowl. Being so active, there’s a big chance that the hamster might spill the water. This is messy for you as you need to clean the cage, but is dangerous for the hamster too as he can easily catch a cold.

Hamster colds symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, sniffling, half closed watery eyes, warm bodies, thirst, ears laid back, lack of activity, fatigue, noticeable discharge both from the eyes and the nose( this is why the nose may appear swollen). The fur might also have a fluffy, ungroomed look. Feeling not so great, the hamster would spend almost all the time curled up in a corner of his cage.

Severe hamster colds symptoms: lethargy, obvious and noisy sneezing and sniffling, refuse to drink and eat, weight loss, bad looking coat.

What to do if your hamster caught a cold:

hammyPlace the hamster’s cage into a warm, draft free area, if possible close to a radiator.

hammyClean and disinfect the cage, the water bottles, food dishes and all the toys there are in the hamster’s cage.

hammyAdd fresh and dry bedding, even more than usual because now more then ever your hamster needs to feel comfy and warm.

hammyHe needs strength to overcome the illness, so you can help  him by preparing a mixture of lukewarm milk, water and a bit of honey. If the hamster refuse to drink, feed him with the syringe or the eye dropper. Give him this home made treatment for a couple of days or so and watch how your hamster reacts to it. If the hamster get’s better, it’s time to celebrate with a snack. If, unfortunately, your hamster feels the same or even worse, take him to a vet check and antibiotics treatment.

You have to take action from the first cold symptoms you see. A cold without treatment will most likely develop into pneumonia or bronchitis. And these are not so easy to treat as the common cold!
To make sure your hamster gets the warmth he needs, put a heating pad (buy one that is specially for rodents to make sure it’s chew proof).

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If we humans have them, why shouldn’t the hamster have them as well? Symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, irritated stomach, wheezing,  red feet, hair loss, skin irritation, persistent and frequent itching or dry skin are all  signs that your hamster developed an allergy.

hamster allergies

Hamsters might develop allergies to food, bedding products or some household items.

1. Food allergy 

Hamsters are very sensible to diet changes. Every new type of food should be introduced into the hamster’s diet step by step. It’s not safe or neither healthy to stuff your hamster with packs of new vegetables and fruits every day.

The hamster must get used to the food and be able to digest it properly. In case not, he will most likely have an allergy or even worse, could be suffering from wet tail. If your hamster was allergy free before you started to feed him with a specific food item, remove that food from his diet because he doesn’t tolerate it.

You have no idea at what food your hamster is allergic? In this case put your hamster on dry food only until you figure at what food is he allergic. You do that by giving him one vegetable or fruit at a time and see how he reacts. If he starts the sneezing and other symptoms again, than that food must go.

2. Bedding Allergy

Are very common and due to the hamster’s respiratory sensibility. I  would be sneezing and have runny nose if I was kept in a cage full of dust (I imagine you would feel the same). If you have a hunch that the bedding is the one causing the allergy replace it with tissue or toilet paper and see what happens. If your hamster gets rid of the allergy, you have to get rid of something too…the bedding product.

When you buy your hamster supplies, make sure you avoid cedar and pine shavings. Some studies show that  they have a great impact both in hamsters allergies and respiratory diseases. Great alternatives to cedar and pine shavings are wood pulp fiber, aspen, eco-straw pellets, recycled newspapers and much more.

3. Household items allergy

Sometimes hamsters develop allergy to products we use, like aerosols, spray furniture polish, cigarette smoke, perfumes, air fresheners or any products we use for our hygiene or for home decoration. The only solution to this is the quickly removal of the allergen.

hammySevere allergies

In some cases, hamsters develop severe allergies from various reasons: the allergen was to strong, you found about the problem when it was already too late, the hamster was too small and he couldn’t fight it etc. If your hamsters has problems breathing or has severe allergy, you have to take it to vet as soon as you can to avoid any future complications.

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