The responsibility to care for Hamsters includes providing the proper diet, living area, socialization, toys, and vet check-ups. Being prey animals, they don’t like to show any signs of illness. So, how do we understand whether they are ill and need vet check-ups?
As a responsible owner, you should take your hamster to a vet 1 to 2 times per year. Regular check-ups will let you know their health conditions and prevent many problems. Hamsters don’t need vaccinations, but a regular visit can keep them away from health issues or treat them faster.
You should know the symptoms of illness in your pet to understand when they need a vet. We will also learn, in detail, how to check the Hamster’s health at home to understand the urgency of taking it to a vet.
When Do Hamsters Need A Vet?
All pets are prone to weakness, and our Hamsters are no exception.
If their surrounding conditions or the diet is unsuitable for their health, they will become ill. However, they won’t show it to you immediately, but it will get displayed at some point.
Some common illness signs signifying that the Hamster needs to visit a vet:
- Heavy breathing
- Low energy
- Nasal discharge
- Weight loss
- Not grooming or grooming too much
- Constipation or runny stools
- A problem in maintaining balance
- Lower belly protruding out
These are common signs of illness.
Whenever you see these signs, you should immediately consult a vet. The reasons for these symptoms could be because:
You will also have to take them to the vet if you want your Hamsters to spay and neuter.
You can take your pet to the vet annually even if they seem healthy.
Hamsters don’t show signs of illness easily.
Following an annual check-up will help you know if they are having any problems and prevent various diseases and sicknesses before it gets the chance to spread.
We will talk about it in the next point in detail.
Can I Take My Hamster To A Vet Without Any Signs Of Illness?
Even if the pet doesn’t show any signs, you should give a visit to confirm their health conditions.
Going for a regular check-up without noticing any symptoms of illness is good for the Hamsters.
Since they don’t display the signs of sickness immediately, a regular vet check-up will confirm if they have any issues or not.
When Hamsters don’t show any signs of illness, it becomes difficult for the owners to know how well or bad they are doing.
When they start behaving abnormally due to the sickness, they will become exceedingly unwell.
Although the Hamsters will recover with the correct remedy, they will get stressed through the treatment and remain weak for a long time until they recover completely.
So, if you take them regularly for a normal vet check-up, you will know about the sickness beforehand (if any), prevent it from spreading, treat them quickly and help them recover faster without facing weakness for weeks.
How Often Should I Take My Hamster For A Vet Check-Up?
As mentioned earlier, Hamsters don’t like to show their illness because they think it might make them look weak.
A regular check-up will help you know if they are having any issues.
It will help to cure the illness quickly.
Some people consider checking Hamster’s health at home by consulting internet writings.
It is good, but you can still miss some things as you are not an expert.
You should still go to the vet clinic, confirm the condition and get the specific instructions.
It is essential to take your Hamster to the vet’s clinic at least once every year to know how well their health condition is.
It would be even better if you go every six months, provided you can afford it because the treatment cost is expensive for some owners.
You should know about this before having a Hamster.
You should keep everything pre-planned if you want to have a Hamster.
Sometimes, pet stores try to sell sick Hamsters.
If you have bought a new Hamster home, you should take it to the vet every 30-60 days for the first six months to confirm whether they are fine or not.
Many health problems could be present in the newly bought Hamsters.
However, if you are a well-researched person or experienced owner, you might catch the early signs of illness and take immediate steps depending on the situation.
What Kind Of Vet Should Treat Our Hamsters?
The vet you consult for your Hamster should be an exotic veterinarian who is well-focussed and has decent knowledge about rodents and small animals in general and Hamsters in particular.
Exotic vets are professionals in treating birds, reptiles, and mammals.
In this condition, the vet should be a specialist in treating mammals involving rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, Hamsters, gerbils, etc.
Such vets are hard to locate and are more expensive than normal vets.
So, you should find the right one for your Hamster before bringing it home.
This will assure that you can pet a Hamster and immediately take it to the ideal vet when in need.
The vet should have a good experience in treating Hamsters.
Don’t feel embarrassed to ask about their experience.
You don’t want the wrong treatment for your Hamsters and risk their lives to a great extent.
Try to choose a vet clinic with an experienced doctor and other facilities like regular check-ups, diagnostic tests, operations, and other sterilizing procedures.
What Is The Expense For A Hedgehog Check-Up?
Many people have Hamsters nowadays, but they hardly know the expenses behind them.
It is essential to know because if you cannot afford the cost of normal check-ups, then you shouldn’t probably have them.
You won’t want them to suffer and die eventually.
If you think you can take care of them without consulting a vet, you are only putting their lives at risk.
A regular check-up for a Hamster is around 50$ to 60$.
This is an approximate range.
You will know the exact amount after visiting the clinic.
The price is for a routine check-up during normal working hours.
If your pet has an emergency and you take it to the clinic when the working hours have not yet started or are over, it may cost nearly 100$.
The price will vary when the doctor uses the medical equipment for extra tests to diagnose the precise problem, such as blood tests, x-rays, or operations.
Depending on the pet’s condition, location, and the clinic, it may cost around 150$ or more.
However, you can save these extra costs if you take them for a regular check-up.
You will only have to pay the regular check-up price.
This will keep you from spending the extra money on severe weakness, and it will also save your pet from becoming seriously ill.
Will Hamsters Need Any Vaccinations?
Hamsters don’t require any vaccinations.
However, your pet can still experience health issues or infections, but there is no vaccination for prevention.
Consult the vet for advice, follow routine check-ups, observe their manners and give them a nutritious diet.
Moreover, hamsters remain mostly indoors, in cages, and don’t interact with any outdoor situations or animals.
They don’t get exposed to serious circumstances.
So, they don’t need immunization.
Some people have rabbits and are prone to deadly diseases like myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic.
Since they are also indoor animals, owners will worry about the transmission of the disease.
But you don’t have to worry here, too, because rabbits cannot transmit the disease to the Hamsters.
How Can I Check The Health Of My Hamsters At Home?
Even if you take your Hamsters for a regular check-up at the vet’s clinic, you should check their health condition by yourself at home.
Since they are prey animals, they don’t like to show their weakness.
So, you should understand your pet well from its drinking and eating habits, energy level, pee, poop amount and color, etc.
Here are some ways you can check your Hamster’s health:
- Check and understand their body weight.
- Inspect the ears, nose, foot, and eyes for any signs of infection, crusty changes, temperature, or discharges.
- Check the breathing, whether it is calm, normal, or heavy. Try to hear if the breathing is releasing any crinkling sound.
- See the color and length of the teeth and nails.
- While grooming them weekly, check their skin and coats. Watch for skin discoloration, rashes, redness, or pale marks on the coat.
- Look for the signs of diarrhea or constipation. Check the scent glands and see whether they need cleaning or not.
What Will A Regular Check-Up Look Like?
If you are a beginner with Hamsters, what happens during a regular check-up can concern you.
Well, you can relax.
You will be asked some usual questions by the vet like their diets, amount and manner of eating, any unnatural behavior, etc.
The vet will record everything you say.
You must also keep these records on your own to understand your Hamster’s nature.
You will also be able to remember some rare or unusual changes (if any) and inform the doctor.
This helps the vet understand and confirm what is wrong with your Hamster.
The vet will be checking its eyes, teeth, nails, feet, weight, and whatever else is needed to determine the problem.
How Do I Take The Hamsters To The Vet And Keep Them Calm?
Being small indoor animals, Hamsters feel uncomfortable while traveling.
So prepare a good plan before taking them to the vet’s clinic.
You must be wondering about the importance of planning such a minor thing.
But, it is vital because sudden sounds and jerking can make them restless and nervous.
- For a small drive, around 15-20 minutes, get a soft fabric carrier.
- Buy a traditional plastic cat carrier for a long drive that takes more than 20 minutes.
- Put the bedding as it is in their cage.
- If the weather is hot, keep water-content vegetables like cucumber to keep them hydrated.
- Add some toys to the carrier to keep them busy and distracted.
- Also, put a soft towel or cloth or stuffed toy to hide if they feel scared.
- Ensure that the driver of your vehicle has already started the engine before you put them in it. Then the Hamster will not get frightened by the sudden sound and jerking when the car starts.
- If you drive, start your car first and then tell one of your family members to carry them into the car.
- Tie the carrier with a seat belt so that it doesn’t jump or fly during the ride. However, there is no need for tying if you carry the carrier.
- Once you reach the clinic, don’t keep the Hamsters away from you. The carrier should either be near you or over your lap.
- If there is any dog, stay away.
- When it is time to take the Hamster out, they might feel nervous. Inform the vet so that they can deal with it accordingly.
- Once you get back home, return your little pet to its place.
Hamsters don’t require any vaccination. But, you should still take them to the vet once or twice a year, even if they don’t show any signs of illness.
Hamsters can hide their illness because they don’t want to display their weakness and become an easy targets. So, you won’t be able to understand their health conditions easily. That is why you should take them to the vet to know if they are fine or having any issues.
Regular check-ups can prevent many infections and diseases from occurring or spreading. The problem will get resolved faster if caught at the initial stage. Your pet will be healthy quickly without any stress. Besides, you can save the money that could have been gone if your hamsters were seriously sick.
Consider checking the health of your Hamster every week on your own. Check the skins, eyes, noses, and ears and try noticing their discharge amount and color. Weigh them and observe their behavior minutely.