Archive for the ‘Hamster Health and Care’ Category
The immune system of hamsters is very fragile and they can easily get affected by foreign elements. The humans do transmit and receive such viruses that causes multiple diseases, you should be very careful as most of them were reported upon getting bitten by a Hamster or the hamsters transmitted them when they were carried by a sick owner; though they shouldn’t be straight away threw outside but should be dealt with care. The common diseases that can be transmitted to humans from Hamster are listed below:
These infections are usually used by Salmonella enteritidis bio typhimurium. If salmonellosis occurs in a child who has a rodent pet, the pet’s feces should be cultured for Salmonella. Negative cultures may occur because shedding may be only intermittent. So the feces of the Hamsters should be carefully put away and avoid any excessive contact with it.
LCM virus is found many rodent species and spreads to humans through contact with infected aerosols, direct animal contact or rodent bites.
The LCM virus (an RNA virus of the arenaviridae family) is transmitted among rodents horizontally through secretions (urine, saliva, feces)
In hamsters LCM virus infection can be detected only by laboratory tests. In humans the course of infection varies from clinically inapparent to a flu-like infection with fever, headache and severe myalgia, occurring 5 to 10 days after infection.
Humans should avoid contact with hamsters upon having cough, cold or suffering from flu, as that can easily be transmitted and vice versa. Hands should be properly washed before and after handling hamster for the health of both hamster and humans. Try to avoid the hamster bite as this can be the primary source of receiving diseases from Hamster.
Hamsters are very flexible and their bones are very fragile, they can sustain injuries very easily. It takes very little force for hamster’s tooth-pick sized bones to break. Accidental falls and drops most of the time can cause severe injuries and often lead to death.
Following are signs of serious injury
Aggression when handle
Curing the injury depends on the nature of injury to determine whether it’s curable or not; if not then it would be more humane to euthanize the injured Hamster. A fall of a Hamster ball from the stair or the Hamster wheel catching the feet of Hamster or accidental drop from few feet can cause sprain, bruise, broken leg and rib fracture.
If injuries are not that severe then they can be treated with supportive care like hand feeding, medication and ice compression.
In pain Hamsters eat and drink but less than usual; in such cases hand feeding and internal fluid injection are necessary to sustain injuries.
A Hamster with minor rib fracture can survive with help of supportive care and medication. Also during injuries handling hamster should be avoided as it helps to reduce stress and discomfort and the cage should be kept clean; at a warm, peaceful and quite location for environment conducive for rest and recovery. Applying ice compressor and reduce pain to injured area but the rest of Hamster’s body should be kept warm even after applying the ice compressor to prevent Hypothermia.
The environment Hamster resides in makes them very much vulnerable to diseases and their immune system can hardly fight back; therefore an evidently minor thing can cause a whole lot of damage and can endanger the vary life of the Hamster. So when ever you see loss of appetite, inactivity, huddling in a corner, ruffled or unkempt coat, sneezing or discharge from the nose or eyes, wheezing, wetness around the tail, diarrhea and hair loss straightaway take the Hamster to the nearest vet.
Some of the common diseases witnessed in Hamsters are discussed below
Abscesses occurs in the skin as a result of cuts or scratches, as a result pus accumulates under the skin and often creates a sizable lump. Abscesses can also occur in the dry cheek pouches if sharp food is hoarded there and can cause scratches In the lining.
• Respiratory Infection
Symptoms for this infection are sneezing, discharge from eyes or nose, wheezing or labored breathing and can often lead to pneumonia; therefore a vet should be consulted.
• Wet Tail
Symptoms include diarrhea (that causes the wetness around the tail), lethargy, loss of appetite and ruffled coat. The reasons maybe stress, crowding and diet changes; bacteria called Campylobacter Jejuni attacks. It is highly contagious disease.
A number of factors can cause diarrhea; which includes over feeding vegetables, fresh foods (let them eat the hoarded food carried in cheek pouch), diet change and intake of antibiotics. To avoid dehydration ensure maximum intake of water.
• Skin Diseases
If Hamster appears itchy or scratch more than usual or if there is flakiness and redness on the skin a vet should be seen. Hamster hair loss is seasonal and occurs mostly in older hamsters. Hamster can get allergies and infection; ring worm fungal infection is very common to occur.
If the temperature goes below the room temperature the Hamster goes into a state where they get still and breath very slowly called Hibernation, which to many might occur that Hamster is sick or maybe dieing but re warming the hamster can get your Hamster back to normal.
A Hamster’s Cage should be preferably cleaned every night. Hamster usually picks a certain place to do the excretion of urine and feces. Where as that urine-soaked bed should be cleaned regularly both for hamsters health and smell. The Cage must be cleaned completely about once a week removing all bedding and replacing it with fresh one. To reduce the urine smell the use of waffles is a good remedy as the chlorophyll in them helps reduce the urine smell; the Cage then smells cleaner for a much longer and so does the resident.
Hamsters when born are hairless but gradually grow quite a lot of hair and the kind of activities they usually get involved in, as a result of that their hair gets a lot of greasier and starts to smell as well but don’t ever think of giving Hamster a bath, Hamster can get seriously ill as they cannot bear extreme temperatures, therefore the options that you are left with are to clean the Hamster softly with a toothbrush or let the Hamster roll in the chinchilla sand or perhaps if the Hamster is literally very dirty then dip a cotton bud in lukewarm water and squeeze it out then dab the Hamster with it.
Hamster’s teeth do not stop growing through out their lives; you don’t have to worry about their teeth as their diet and habits keep their teeth clean without any need for brushing. Hamsters need gnawing surface to keep the incisors to the right length for that purpose wooden blocks and huts made of natural material should be provided in the Cage for Hamster.
Hands should be properly washed before taking Hamster into hands as it affects the health of both.
Hamsters are small cuddly creatures and they are solitary rodents. So providing them with a little world of their own would be the best thing to do and not to mention a Clean One.
They are kept in either a Cage or an Aquarium; if the house you are going to give to your little hamster is a Cage then you should make sure it’s a wire cage with solid tray bottom, solid levels and a coated wire top. The Cage should be a minimum of 2 square feet with no more than half inch of spacing between bars and also make sure that the material it is made of is not chewable as they are very fond of chewing and swallowing such material may cause problems for them.
On the other hand if you go for an Aquarium it should be at least 24 inches long and 12 inches wide. The aquarium must be secure, well ventilated with coated wire and screen lid. It is better to have a long aquarium with more floor space than tall aquarium with unused height.
To ensure that the hamster has adequate supply of water, use a hanging water bottle that has a stainless steel sipper tube with a ball bearing in the spout. The water should be changed in every day or two.
As Hamsters have poor eye sight and mainly rely on their smell and hearing senses. Therefore they should be kept relatively in a “silent” environment. As we should be very careful for choosing a place for the hamster Cage to place, as they sleep in the day and are active at night.
Hamsters are basically omnivores; and like all other creatures to maintain a health life they need notorious and balanced diet. Below is the list of certain items that Hamster is likely to enjoy the most.
Vegetables and Fruit seeds are what they benefit from the most, especially sunflower seeds and peanut seeds. But the ratio of their intake of food needs to be regulated, as these items specially sunflower seeds carries a lot of fat and too much consummation can cause obesity, specially in dwarf hamsters; therefore 3-5 pieces a day is enough.
Since Dwarf Hamsters commonly know as “Russian Hamster” they are mostly kept as pet, it is important to mention that they are prone to diabetes, so avoid giving vegetables and fruits with high level of glucose; such as banana, mangos and carrots etc.
Vegetables are also a favorite of hamster and they love Broccoli; lettuce is what they also like and carrot is what that gives them something to chew at; therefore they are fond of this as well but always wash it before serving it to your hamster.
Some of the common vegetables you should be giving to your hamster are
Don’t freak out if you see hamster eating their own feces; hamsters are hindgut fermenters just like horses, koalas, possums, wombats and pigs. They uses microbes that are washed out because they cannot be digested and therefore high-quality protein is lost therefore they must eat their own feces in this way they are able to extract the necessary nutrition from its food this process is called coprophagy.