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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11061
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My Syrian hamster suddenly has one eye black and bulging and

Customer Question

My Syrian hamster suddenly has one eye black and bulging and the other crusted over and has some sneezing. Is this a common cold? should I take it to the vet?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. How old is Suddenly?
Customer: overnight occurred
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Suddenly?
Customer: the day before normal, the next day had these issues, active, low appetite
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in small animal health. I'm sorry to hear of this problem.

This does sound like it may be an infection, but it is more serious than a common cold. The crusty eye and sneezing do point to a respiratory infection. The bulging eye may be another story.

There are two possible causes of a bulging eye in hamsters. One is glaucoma. This is when the pressure of fluids inside the eye builds up beyond normal levels, causing the eye to bulge. No one knows why hamsters get glaucoma, and there is no treatment in hamsters. The eye can be removed, but the surgery is expensive, and surgery of any kind is risky in hamsters. Most vets don't treat glaucoma in hamsters, but let it run its course. The bulging will get worse and worse, until the eye prolapses out of its socket. It will eventually dry up and come off. Hamsters adjust well to living with one eye.

However, there are other possible causes of a bulging eye that can be treated. An infection is one, and that can be treated with antibiotics. A dental problem can put pressure on the eye from behind, as can an abscess, a tumor, or an impacted cheek pouch. Because there are conditions that can be treated, it's best to have a vet examine a hamster with a bulging eye. This is even more important in your hamster's case since there are other symptoms. The following links will take you to directories of vets who treat small rodents. At the first site, you'll come to a log-in page. Sign in as 'member' and use 'member' as your password ***** well.

In the meantime, you can soothe the eyes by putting in a drop of saline solution (the kind made for contact lenses) every few hours. That won't cure anything, but can make the eyes feel better.

If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your hamster will be fine.


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Expert:  Anna replied 4 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Expert:  Anna replied 3 months ago.

Hello again,

I'm just checking to see how your hamster is doing. I hope you were able to get help, and the situation is improving.


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