As painful as this might sound, hamsters may suffer from broken limbs. It’s very hard for both hamster and hamster owner, so it should be avoid, taking all the precaution methods. In this moments, a first aid kit for your hamster is very useful.
How to prevent a broken leg:
Carefully handle your hamster. Make sure that, in case he intends to jump or escape from your “powerful” grip, he won’t hurt himself. Try handling him by sitting in the bed, couch, on the floor or however you consider that is comfy. Remember that hamsters have very poor eyesight so they do not know if there are 0.5 meters (1.64 feet) or 5 meters (16.4 feet)! They just jump…
Be careful when the hamster is handled by children.We all know how children are…And we know how hamsters are too… So we have to watch these pesky kids (yep, I am talking about hamsters, too). Hamsters are very quick and they tend to escape very quickly when handled by little kids.
Tell everyone in the house that the hamster is running in his ball. Sometimes, people aren’t aware that a hamster is in it and they kick it. Check to see that your hamster doesn’t have any access to stairs, steps, basements, pool (it sounds silly but it wiser to prevent).
Buy a plastic wheel for your hamster. Avoid wire ones because those are vey dangerous because the tiny hamster can get his foot stuck between the bars!
Try not to let him wonder around in the house.You can accidentally hit him with the door, step on him, or he can just be unlucky and something may fall on him, causing a very bad injury. Hamsters are smart rodents and if they run in the house they will easily find their way out. I am sure you don’t want that so NEVER let your hamster run in the house without supervising him.
Symptoms of a broken bone: limping, not using one leg (or more), laying on one side, slow moving or unable to move, bone poking the skin (severe cases), dragging one foot, totally or partially paralyzed.
What to do if your hamster has a broken limb(or you suspect so):
Examine your hamster carefully. Did the bone penetrate the skin?
If so, take your hamster to the vet IMMEDIATELY as he will need antibiotics treatment to prevent any further infections. Meloxicam and Carprofen are some pain medication that are prescribed in such cases. A splint would be applied to allow the bone to heal properly..* if you don’t see the bone poking the skin, your hamster is very lucky! He will need home treatment (yep, you will be his nurse and guiding angel), because no vet can treat a hamster broken limb.With proper care and devotion from you, he will recover all by himself and the broken limb will be just a bad nightmare.
Remove the wheel from he hamster’s cage, along with all his toys, ladders etc. If you have a cage with multiple levels, remove them as well. Don’t put your hamster in his play ball for at least 2 weeks! All these precaution measures will help your hamster to recover the broken limb, by reducing all activities that require effort.
Lower the water bottle to make it easier for your hamster to reach it.
Was the hamster living in with other hamsters? It is better if you let him alone in a cage, to recover in peace.
If possible, move the hamster to an aquarium or a bin. This will stop him from climbing on the bars as usual.
Provide plenty of fresh bedding for your hamster to help him feel comfortable.
Feed your hamster small amounts of bread soaked in a bit of milk or dog biscuits. These two are very high in Calcium and they will help your hamster to heal the wounded bone easier and quicker.
Spoil him. Give your hamster treats, chew food, or any food he enjoys. Also, supply him with fresh water and food.
Your hamster’s leg should be up and running in about 2 weeks. Sometimes, depending on the severity of the affection, the hamster might end with a small limp. But the little one doesn’t seem to be bother by this and he keeps his habits of running and digging.
Choose your vet wisely! Ask him if he has treated hamsters before. If he says a few, avoid going to him. Hamsters are tiny creatures and require special attention and care!
Photo credits: 1