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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11513
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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my hamster is breathing heavily and fast making sqeeking ...

Resolved Question:

my hamster is breathing heavily and fast making sqeeking noises will move around a little bit but seems not to have an appetite what could be wrong?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 9 years ago.

Do you see any discharge at all from the nose or eyes?

Is there any sneezing or coughing?

Is your hamster passing normal droppings?

Is there any swelling anywhere on the body?

Have you made any changes in diet or brand of litter recently?

Thank you for the additional information.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
yesba little wetness around the nose and a little matting of one eye but not all of the time no sneezing or coughing just squeeky noises im not sure about the droppings there are 2 in one cage no swelling that i can see no change in diet
Expert:  Anna replied 9 years ago.
Thanky ou for getting back to me. It sounds like your hamster has a respiratory infection, similar to colds or the flu. These illnesses are more serious in hamsters than in people because they can rapidly lead to complications and death in hamsters.

The best thing you can do is make an appointment with a vet. That way, you'll get a definite diagnosis and proper treatment. To read more about colds and flu in hamsters, check these links:

In the meantime, it would be a good idea to separate the sick hamster, if that's possible. You can also buy a jar of Vicks (at a drug store or discount store). Open the jar and set it where the vapors will go into the hamster cage. Be sure to put it where the hamster, children, and other pets can't get to it. It is OK to put a tiny smear of Vicks on the hamster's chest; keep it very thin. You can also make a mixture of half milk, half water, and a little honey. Warm it a bit, and feed it to your hamster. If he won't drink it, you can put a little at a time into the side of his mouth through a syringe. Don't put it straight down his throat because it can be aspirated into the lungs that way. If you have a vaporizer or nebulizer, you can use that in her room to make it easier for him to breathe. These are all supportive measures, and don't take the place of a visit to a vet.

If there are no vets in your area who will treat hamsters, you can try medicating your hamster at home. Some hamster owners have had good results with ornycycline. You can find this antibiotic in the bird section of a pet store. It's mixed with water. Use the dosing instructions on the package for a canary or "small bird." You can give it to him from a small syringe or eye dropper. This will not be as effective as the antibiotics a vet could give you, and is only a last resort if you can't find a vet.

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your hamster recovers quickly.


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