A hamster is one of the cutest pets out there. They are small and fast, look foolish, and they act foolishly. They are not rats. These are very popular among children. They belong to the rodent family. Some are fluffy, and some are fat. Some are neat, and some are hairy. They are available in different breeds and different colors.
Types of Hamster and their health issues
These can live as long as three years. They live in a pair or in a family. They are very small but very fast. When it comes to health, they are strong. Roborovski hamsters are nocturnal so they usually wake at dusk and are active at night. They are generally gentle and rarely nip but they are very fast and agile which makes handling them difficult.
The most famous hamsters. Very cute and small. Can grow up to four to five inches. They can live up to three and half years. Chinese hamsters are lively and agile and they enjoy activities such as climbing, running, and jumping. Wash your hands before you pick up your hamster and use cupped hands to do it.
Syrian hamsters are large. They are husky and cute. They can grow up to seven inches. They like to live a lonely life. It will spend the majority of its time alone and sleeping underground in its burrow or even scrambling from one living chamber to the next through its network of subterranean tunnels.
It is a Siberian hamster. Small in size but white in color with grayish marks. Can live up to three years. They can grow up to four inches. You can only get a Winter White Hamster from an accredited breeder that can provide you with a pedigree certificate and a history of the hamster’s lineage.
Also famous as dwarf hamsters. These are very cute and can grow up to five inches. Lifespan up to three years. Campbell’s Hamsters have an average life span of 18 – 24 months in captivity. They become sexually mature at only five weeks and their litters usually contain around four to six pups, which are born after a gestation period of two to three weeks.
Ways to keep your hamster healthy and fit
Important thing is to have a proper cage. Then find a perfect spot to keep the hamster in it. The cage should be out of reach of drafts. As these are tiny animals in the cage make sure you look after them. Change their position according to the climate. Know your hamster because hamsters behave differently in a different climate. So move them if the temperature is too cold or hot. Give them proper bedding and proper nesting material. If the hamster is inactive, then consider it is moving to new place. If the condition continues then take it for the checkup.
Hamsters have good appetite so allow them to eat. Feed them with good food. Overfeeding is not recommended because they generally stay in the cage. Sunflower seeds are their favorite. That does not mean they only eat sunflower seeds. Give them a balanced diet.
Hamster’s teeth grow as fingernails. It’s important to keep an eye on its behavior. They take care of their teeth themselves by chewing on hard materials. Most foods like the one above contain abrasive grains to help with their dental hygiene. If your pet is not eating then, this could be a problem. Take it to a veterinary clinic.
Exercise is very important to the hamsters because they are in a cage. Because of this, they might face health problems like digestion and laziness, make them run on a wheel. Make them hang onto a stick. Make them jump to catch food. Do any possible things to make the hamster work for it. No free loading allowed.
Some hamsters are said to be allergic to chlorinated tap water. Make sure that your hamster is not one of them. Even if it does not still give them filtered water. By this way, they will be free from stomach diseases and throat problem as well.
Wet Tail (most common disease)
The most common disease among hamster family is Wet Tail. Campylobacter jejuni is the virus responsible for the disease. Here hamsters suffer from wetness around their tail. This also effects to diarrhea, weakness, and loss of appetite. In such cases, take the hamster to the veterinarian. Even there are instances of sudden death. So keep a regular check on their tail. Even though wet tail can be cured by antibiotics. Hamsters are allergic to some of them because of toxicity. So be careful before giving any antibiotics.
Abscesses ( not as common )
Abscesses are a skin disease formed because of minor cuts on hamster’s skin. Then pus accumulates causing a pocket of bad blood. Make sure that the hamster is on the soft ground away from sharp materials. It might create a lot of pain and pus may leak out of the skin. Take to pet to a veterinarian as soon as you notice it. By removing all the pus and giving antibiotics will heal the hamster if it’s not too late.
This is the indication that your hamster is facing some problem. It may be a drop in room temperature, virus or eye disorder. It is better to take your pet to a veterinarian before things go out of control. A hamster can have red eyes for genetic reasons or because of eye irritation, infection or disease. … If normally dark eyes become red it could be due to “pinkeye” or conjunctivitis, irritation from fighting, scratching, smoke or other causes.
Because of virus and infection, hamsters might face infection in the respiratory system. Which may contribute to pneumonia. Then hamsters will face problems like weakness, loss in apatite, laziness, and eye infection.
Most common problem and easy to cure. This problem is very messy. Need repeated cleaning of the cage. It may occur because of water, food or any substance e consumed which has chemicals in it.
One hamster is good, but two or more is a bit of risk. Hamsters may fight for a number of reasons. So it is better to have one hamster in one cage. Or at the either end of the bar. They are especially territorial when it comes to their mate. So I suggest if you like it, put a ring on it. So check for that Bling and avoid any embarrassing altercations. Hamsters are very small with thin skin. We need to give proper attention. They are children’s favorite pet just because they act foolishly at times. It is fun to spend time with them when they are in the mood to play.