Hamsters are playful creatures that enjoy running around and playing biting games. They’re playful and often curious, and they can be prone to abscesses. But what is a hamster abscess? And how are they treated? A hamster abscess is an inflammation of the hamster’s skin that leads to the accumulation of bacteria and excess fluid.
What causes a Hamster abscess to occur?
A hamster’s abscess is often caused by a bite from another hamster or from an insect bite. The infection is often caused by bacteria from a wound or from another animal. This bacteria is attracted to the area due to the tissue swelling from the infection and begins an infection in the surrounding tissue.
A wound such as that from a hamster bite causes a hot spot which quickly swells and becomes sore and painful to the hamster. The wound becomes infected and grows and spreads under the skin of the hamster, much like a boil on the skin does to us. The infection comes from the inside out.
If a hamster is continually injuring himself in the same way then remove the cause. For example, if two hamsters are frequently fighting then you should separate them, otherwise the injuries could lead to abscesses.
What are the signs of an Abscess in your hamster?
Hamsters bodies are intricate and so small that it’s often not pretty when an abscess occurs! The causes of an abscess can lead to other illnesses and infections, so it’s important to watch your hamsters very closely for signs of abscesses or wounds of any type. Signs of an abscess include swelling and a discolouring odour. Your hamster may be licking a wound repeatedly.
What should I do if my hamster has an Abscess?
If you notice your hamster displaying the above symptoms, it’s important to rush it to the vet for medical attention to prevent the spread of the infection to other areas of the body and to other animals such as your other pets!
If you notice a wound of some kind on your hamster, your vet may tell you that it’s important to pad the wound with gauze and continue to replace it until the wound healed. It may be that your hamster’s abscess must first be drained. Your veterinarian may have already done this as part of the diagnostic process. They might need to administer some low level antibiotics or steroids to help it to heal.
Severe abscesses that have not ruptured can be surgically removed by the vet if necessary.
Looking after your hamster recovering from an Abscess
Once the infection has healed, the wound can be cleaned out regularly then covered with gauze or a clean cloth or bandage until it has healed completely. Symptoms of an abscess include swelling, discolouration of the skin, and a bad odour coming from the wound. The bad odour comes from a buildup of bacteria inside the wound and can kill an open wound if not taken care of properly.
Keeping your hamster healthy
Hamsters have an excellent personality and are very playful and energetic! To keep your hamster healthy, it is good to give it vaccinations and to make sure it’s eating a balanced diet and has enough exercise to keep healthy!
Hamster Life span
A hamster’s life span is anywhere from 2-3 years, although many hamsters live to be around 4 years old depending on their health and care given to them. Typically a hamster’s life span is shorter than a dog’s and cat’s life span, but that being said, there’s nothing cuter than a hamster running around and playing!
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