Hamster’s red eyes
Hamsters are quite popular pets that seem to be completely unpretentious, do not require a lot of your time and careful care. In some ways, this is true, hamsters do not require as much attention as dogs, for example. But it is necessary to take care of the hamsters, to monitor what they eat and in what conditions they live regularly and very carefully. Otherwise, you may encounter health problems in your pet. In this article, we will talk about eye diseases of these animals. Why are hamster eyes red? Why do they turn sour or become bulging. How to recognize the first symptoms and how to treat an animal in order to quickly destroy the source of the disease.
The main causes of eye diseases in hamsters
Hamsters are quite susceptible to various kinds of infections, and they are often affected by senile ailments. Conventionally, the main causes of eye ailments can be divided into several categories:
- Unsanitary living conditions. Hamsters often need to clean their house, change the litter, because harmful microorganisms easily multiply in it. We all know how much hamsters love to bury their heads, so it’s no surprise that they can easily catch eye infections.
- Eye injuries. Quite often, an animal can injure its eye with a sharp object, prick or hit with something. As a result, the eye swells in the hamster, or it begins to water and redden.
- Allergic reactions. Hamsters may have allergic reactions to certain foods, or even to the cleaning products you used to mop the floor or clean the animal cage.
- As a result of other diseases. If the hamster has had a certain viral disease, conjunctivitis or other bacterial infections can be the result. This is provoked by lowered immunity.
- Senile diseases. When an animal is naturally old, eye problems may appear. In particular, these are white spots that cover a large part of the eye.
Not only old individuals, but also very young hamsters can get eye problems. In order to prevent a possible illness in time, you need to consult with a veterinarian at the first symptoms, who will prescribe the most effective treatment, because not for every problem you can use the same treatment methods.
The main symptoms for which you need to see a veterinarian
- The hamster’s eyes turned sour, or both.
- The eyes are constantly wet, they water;
- The eyelids are swollen;
- One eye does not open in a hamster;
- The eyes are suspiciously enlarged, as if bulging;
With such symptoms, you should not waste time, because the animal feels considerable discomfort, and in order to help him, he urgently needs to start effective treatment.
The most common bacterial infections in hamsters
Most often, all of the above symptoms are the result of a bacterial infection that arose as a result of a particular irritant. Mostly hamsters suffer from the following types of ailments:
Conjunctivitis in hamsters: symptoms and treatments
Conjunctivitis is a familiar problem, but it affects not only people, but also pets. It is necessary to treat it at the first symptoms, because in a neglected state many more serious sores can be added, some of which can only be solved by surgical intervention.
Wet eyes are considered the first symptom of conjunctivitis, then more serious troubles are added, such as:
- Eyes fester in the hamster, pus of a characteristic green or yellow color, especially in large quantities in the morning;
- The eyelids are swollen;
- The animal cannot fully open its eyes;
- The hamster becomes lethargic, refuses to eat.
Usually, for conjunctivitis, the veterinarian prescribes rinsing and instilling the eyes with special drops. Also, a sick animal needs to be quarantined. Isolate it from other animals that live in your home.
Additional tips regarding the treatment of conjunctivitis in hamsters:
- Thorough hygiene. Change the bedding daily, as well as wash your hands before burying the eyes of the animal;
- It is necessary to treat both eyes, even if only one is sick;
- Track the pet’s diet, excluding sweets;
Usually, conjunctivitis can be completely cured in two to three weeks. To avoid re-infection, try to keep the animal’s cage clean and play with it after washing your hands.
It is important to know that delayed treatment of this infection can lead to the fact that the hamster’s eye will come out. It will become unnaturally bulging. This can only be corrected by surgery.
Blepharitis: symptoms and treatment
Blepharitis is another complication of conjunctivitis, but it can still be treated with medication. Among the main symptoms are severely reddened eyelids that itch incredibly. Since the hamster will try to rub his eyes, hair may fall out around them. In most cases, a veterinarian may also prescribe a special ointment for drops. However, each case is individual, so the doctor will establish the exact method of treatment only after examining the fluffy patient.
What to do if your hamster has an enlarged eye?
Occasionally, owners may notice an unpleasant phenomenon when the hamster’s eyes have enlarged.
This can be either a consequence of a neglected infection or the result of injuries and falls from a height. In any case, you should immediately contact a specialist. As for the forecasts, they are extremely disappointing, the animal will have to undergo an operation to remove the organ of vision.
Eye diseases associated with senile changes in the body
Very often, with age, hamsters develop such an unpleasant disease as cataracts. It manifests itself as white spots, clouding of the lens, and visual impairment. The animal gets real stress, because it begins to see poorly. Unfortunately, this disease can rarely be cured, it remains only to make life as easy as possible for the animal by following certain tips:
- Do not place the hamster’s cage in direct sunlight, this will further irritate the eyes and make the situation worse;
- Don’t give the animal a lot of sweets. Instead, give a lot of carrots, zucchini.
- Do not put many objects in the cage, because due to poor eyesight, the animal can hit them and injure itself.
This is all that you can do for your pet to somehow facilitate its existence.
Other diseases in hamsters that can cause eye problems
Eye infections are not always the cause of watery eyes in the hamster, or other problems with the organs of vision. Sometimes the problem is completely different, and the discomfort with the eyes is just a side effect.
For example, inflammation in the cheek pouches. In this case, the cheek may swell and, as a result, the hamster’s eye closes. In this case, it is not necessary to bury the eyes or smear them with ointment, it will not be effective. Cheeks should be cleaned; this should be done exclusively by a veterinarian.
Another common problem is an abscess in a hamster as a result of a hard blow, bites from other rodents, and the like. For example, a lump or swelling in the head area, if hit exactly there, can provoke eye redness.
It is great if you notice swelling in the initial stages, in which case it will be possible to get by with taking antibiotics, but if this moment was missed, a purulent wound may develop. This problem requires more serious treatment, often surgery.
In no case should you independently prescribe medicines to an animal. Sometimes rodents may not tolerate certain medications, this will lead to fatal consequences.
Only with a complete examination of the animal, the veterinarian can correctly prescribe the treatment. Sometimes, it may be necessary to open and wash the wound, establish drains, and suture. Sometimes the abscess is opened by itself, then the doctor conducts a slightly different series of manipulations, which also include washing and disinfecting the diseased area of the body.
Prevention of disease in hamsters
It is very difficult to completely eliminate all possible diseases, but it is quite possible to minimize their number. First of all, you should adhere to the following recommendations:
- Do not keep several hamsters in the same cage at the same time, they can bite each other, get scratched;
- Keep the cage clean, change the litter on time;
- Wash hands for yourself and children before playing with your pet;
- Be careful to examine the animal from time to time for lumps or other suspicious symptoms. The sooner you notice any disease, the easier it can be cured.
Take care of your pets, do not neglect preventive examinations at the veterinarian and do not ignore even seemingly insignificant signs of pet health problems.