How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Anna Your Own Question

Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9548
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
6012901
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my hamster is sneezing like crazy. i looked it up online and

Resolved Question:

my hamster is sneezing like crazy. i looked it up online and it said that she may be allergic to her bedding, or something in her cage, or she may have a cold. she has no sign of a runny nose and i don't think she has watery eyes. i live in maine, and it is pretty cold up here, if that makes a difference, however the room that she is in is often the warmest in the house. i cleaned her cage a couple of nights ago, and her sneezing seemed to lessen, but i just checked on her and she is continuing her sneezing almost constantly. i have newspaper in for lining, and she uses that along with her wood shavings and fluff to make her bed. i don't know what could be wrong!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

what kind of wood shavings do you use?

Is there any kind of air freshener or scented candle in her room?

Do you use any spray cleaners?

Thank you for the additional information.

Anna
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have PetsPick pine bedding. She is in my room. I used to burn candles, but I don't anymore. I don't use any air fresheners or spray cleaners.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I would get rid of the pine bedding at once. For a long time, we knew cedar shavings caused problems, but we've now learned that pine does, too. It gives off volatile oils that irritate the skin and respiratory systems. It could cause sneezing. CareFresh brand, in the unscented and uncolored varieties is the least likely to cause irritations. The first thing I would try is a switch to CareFresh. I also recommend that you get rid of the fluff bedding for another reason. Hamsters do love it and it provides a soft bed, but they carry their bedding around in their pouches, and fluff bedding tends to stick in the pouches. That leads to a cheek pouch impaction, which must be treated by a vet. I'm glad to hear that you don't use anything with artificial fragrance or any spray cleaners. Both can lead to all sorts of health problems.

The three most common causes of sneezing without any other symptoms are irritations, allergies, and foreign bodies in the nose. If you eliminate all bedding except CareFresh, and the sneezing continues, there is probably something stuck in your hamster's nose. Because a hamster is so small, it doesn't take much - a bit of bedding, a tiny seed, etc. If that turns out to be the problem, you will need to see a vet to have it removed. Many vets are not experienced with small rodents, and it would be best to find one who is. If you end up needing to see a vet, here is a link to a directory of rat vets (who will also be good with hamsters):

http://www.ratfanclub.org/vetref.html

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope the bedding change will solve the problem.

Anna

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you very much, I will try and get rid of it as soon as I can. Do you think she would last another day or so? My parents are away and I don't have my car to go to the pet store. I may be able to go and get it tonight, however we are currently having a pretty bad nor'easter. If there is anything common I could temporarily use, I would try to use that for the night. Also, is there any other type of ''bedding enhancer'' that would be safe to use in comparison to the fluff? I've had many hamsters in the past, and I have always used it. My hamster now loves it too.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
You can use plain newspaper until you can get to the pet store. the fluff doesn't cause a problem for all hamsters, but impacted cheek pouches do happen. You'll have to decide if you want to continue to use it.

Anna
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Alright, I do want my hamster to be healthy. May I ask what impacted cheek pouches are?
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
The hamster takes something into its cheek pouches to carry it. Some of the things they pick up can be sticky or can get compacted in the cheek pouch. The hamster then can't get the material out. The symptoms include swelling of the neck or cheek, an eye that is swollen shut or has a discharge, and appetite loss.

Anna
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Alright, and if I notice these symptoms and take her to the vet immediately, what will she need done? Would she have to get it removed by surgery? Also, how much would a visit like that cost? I'm sorry I'm asking so many questions, I appreciate this very much.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Most of the time, a vet can remove the material without surgery because the cheek pouch is accessible through the mouth. The material can be manipulated or scraped out. Sometimes surgery does become necessary. The cost of such a visit will vary a great deal, depending on where you live, Vet visits are more expensive on the coasts than they are in the Midwest. Big cities tend to be more expensive that small towns or rural areas. For example, in the Midwest, a typical office visit might be $30, with treatment adding on additional fees. In a large city, the fees might be double or triple that.

Anna

(If you've found my answer helpful, please click once on ACCEPT. Thank you.)
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 9548
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Anna and 4 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for all of your help, I appreciate it greatly. I'm sure my hamster will too!
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
You're very welcome.

Please don't click on accept again. Thank you for accepting above.

Anna

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2337
    Vet Tech for 30+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    273
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    157
    12 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Expert/Biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2916
    40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    Voice for your pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    1132
    Veterinary Technician for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.

    Satisfied Customers:

    884
    15 years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist