Signs & Symptoms of Stomach Aches in Hamsters

Hamsters are very small rodents that many people like to keep as pets. As with any domesticated animal, hamsters are likely to have some sort of medical issue at some point in their life. Stomach aches are common in hamsters, and there are a number of different causes. In order to figure out what is causing your hamster's pain, you will need to recognize the signs and symptoms. You will also need to provide it with the proper treatment.

Signs

When a hamster has a stomach ache, there are many different signs that it may be showing. These signs include personality change, becoming immobile, change in sleep patterns, or change in appetite.

A personality change in hamsters could be shown in different ways. When a hamster is in pain, it is likely that he will not approach your hand if he is usually friendly. Often, if a hamster is in pain, he may actually bite his owner. This is not unusual as a hamster may feel threatened when in pain or simply uncomfortable and not want to be bothered.

When your hamster stops going about his normal routine, this could also be a sign of a stomach ache. His normal routine should include cleaning himself, exercising, or creating his nest. If your hamster is showing any of these signs, it is likely that he is in pain or ill and will need to be seen by a vet in order to figure out exactly what is going on.

If your hamster becomes immobile and simply sits in a corner of his cage all day, this could be another sign that he is in pain and may possibly have a stomach ache. When you go to bed, take note of the position that your hamster is in and in what spot. If he is in the same spot for more than a day, it is likely that he has fallen ill and possibly has a stomach ache.

Sometimes a hamster will show changes in his sleep pattern. He may appear restless or possibly sleep all day and all night. This could be due to a stomach ache as when he is asleep, the pain is suppressed. If your hamster seems overly tired or as though he is not sleeping enough, this could be a sign of a stomach ache.

If you notice that your hamster is eating less than usual, this could be due to stomach problems or a stomach ache. It's also not uncommon for a hamster to eat more than usual when his stomach is upset in order to try and suppress the pain.

If your hamster is displaying any of these signs or symptoms, there are various steps that you will need to take in order to get him healthy again. These steps include getting him to a vet for treatment, providing a different kind of food, cleaning out their cage regularly and providing proper medication.

Symptoms

A hamster with a stomach ache may also exhibit symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, loud stomach noises or a bulging stomach.

If your hamster is vomiting, this can be due to a number of different reasons so it is wise to take him to a vet to figure out the underlying cause and get him treated. Vomiting may be noticed in his cage around his bedding. It could appear lumpy in texture, smooth or watery. It also could possibly look like un-chewed food. Sometimes it may show up in his food bowl as well (he may have tried to eat and then regurgitated).

Diarrhea is very noticeable. Hamsters tend to "relieve" themselves in one particular spot which is usually in a certain corner of the cage. Be sure to check for liquid around this area of the cage. If you see blood in the stool, this could also signify stomach problems that could cause a stomach ache.

If you suspect that your hamster has a stomach ache, listen closely when you are near him or holding him for unusual sounds coming from his stomach (it would sound like the stomach growling). This could be a symptom of a stomach ache or a digestive problem in your hamster.

Sometimes when hamsters have a stomach ache, it could be accompanied by a bulging or bloated stomach. It is not unusual for the stomach to be tender to the touch, so it is wise to avoid handling your hamster to avoid being bitten. The stomach will appear much larger than normal and sometimes the hamster will literally lay on his back.

Causes of Signs and Symptoms

Underlying causes for sickness in hamsters include the flu virus, intestinal infections, parasites, food intake or even poisoning. The flu in hamsters is the same kind of flu that can be spread to humans.

An intestinal infection can be caused by bacteria in the hamster's cage. Sometimes bacteria can be present in a hamster's food if it is kept in the cage too long without being changed or eaten. Most likely, the infection came from contaminated water that is not changed daily. The water can end up containing feces, urine and even hair that may cause stomach problems in the hamster.

Internal parasites can come from the food that you are giving to your hamster. This includes fruits or vegetables that have sat in there and grown mold or water that has been contaminated with feces or urine. Parasites can come from bedding, food and other animals.

It is important that you feed your hamster daily and provide him with raw fruits and vegetables every so often. When an animal eats too much fatty food, this can cause him to become constipated resulting in stomach aches and even death.

When an animal is poisoned, he will display many different signs and symptoms. For a hamster to be poisoned, he would have had to touched, eaten, or drank a toxic substance.

Prevention of Stomach Aches

In order to prevent your hamster from having stomach aches, it is important that you take proper care of him. This includes meeting with your vet regularly for check-ups and examinations of your hamster.

Follow Up

If your hamster has had a very severe medical problem such as an intestinal infection or being poisoned and has survived, it is important that you monitor his health daily. It is not uncommon for a hamster to suffer shock or aggressiveness after such a traumatizing experience. Check for regular breathing patterns and handle your hamster with gloves in order to prevent injury from biting. You cannot blame your pet for biting after he has had a bad infection or medical condition.

Author

Since 2007, Emilia Lamberto has been a professional writer specializing in home and garden, beauty, interior decorating and personal relationships. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Lamberto owns two blogs, one which provides readers with freelance job opportunities and one which covers beauty advice and product reviews.