Just like any other living creature in this world, your cute hamsters will also die. While it is never a pleasant thing to think about your small friend passing away, it is inevitable. What are the common reasons why hamsters die? Can hamsters sneeze to death?
The good news is that sometimes, a sneeze is just a simple sneeze and nothing else. Just like humans, hamsters may suffer from reactions from even the tiniest speck of dust. There are also instances when those sneezes and squeaks are tell-tale signs that your pet may be sick or suffering from some form of infection.
While you can always try to get rid of the possible culprit behind the allergic reaction, it is still essential to get the help of a veterinarian for your pet. What might look like just a common cold to you may already be fatal for your little pet.
Sneezing May Be a Sign of Infection
Hamsters may sneeze if there is a stray piece of dust stuck in their nose. But it may already be serious if the sneezing increases or continues. Always check your small pet for other possible symptoms of a cold.
If you don’t notice other cold symptoms, the sneezing may be due to allergies. It is quite common among hamsters to suffer from allergies to beddings of wood shaving style. The oil present in the wood may also lead to upper respiratory issues.
If ever this is the case, the only thing you need to do is to change the bedding and give the cage a good and thorough cleaning. An upper respiratory infection might also be due to improper ventilation. A tank-style habitat usually lacks good ventilation, which may result in infections.
What Symptoms Should You Watch Out For?
Always examine your hamster for watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, decreased appetite, and lethargy. Take your hamster to the vet right away if he experiences all of these symptoms. When there is a remote chance of your hamster suffering from a cold, this should be treated as soon as possible.
Colds in a hamster can quickly turn to pneumonia which may be fatal for your pet. And even if it is just an allergic reaction, the vet can work with you to identify the cause of the allergy.
Respiratory Infections in Hamsters
Hamsters don’t get the cold or flu as humans do but they can still suffer from a respiratory tract infection. These upper respiratory tract infections may lead to symptoms such as sneezing, runny eyes, nasal drainage, decreased appetite, lethargy, and crusty eyes that may seal shut.
These infections may lead to something more serious such as pneumonia, which is often easy to cure when treated and addressed immediately. Bacteria from food or the environment or even other hamsters can also cause an infection that can cause sneezing in hamsters.
Sneezing and Allergies in Hamsters
Are you suffering from allergies? Well, your hamsters can also have allergies just like you. While you don’t have to go to the extent of testing your hamsters for allergies, you can still treat the associated symptoms, eliminate potential sources of allergens, or suppress the release of histamine using antihistamines.
Some hamsters might also be allergic to some kinds of scents like the fabric softener you are using to wash your pet’s fleece towels or blankets. Some hamsters may also be allergic to their cage’s beddings and others might also find something in their treats or food that can make them sneeze.
The presence of dust in the surrounding environment can also bring microscopic dust mites that might also cause allergies in your hamsters. Try to switch foods, wash beddings using unscented softeners and detergents, and use a HEPA filter near the cage of your hamster to get rid of the allergens in his surrounding environment that might make him sneeze.
Once these symptoms get worse during those drier months of the year, you might also want to use a humidifier. If it still doesn’t help, you can ask your vet if it is safe to give an antihistamine to your pet.
Other Reasons for Sneezing in Hamsters
Less likely but still very much possible, there might be more serious underlying reasons for sneezing in hamsters. Tumors in the nose and head may lead to sneezing but are not often diagnosed.
This is because many hamster owners are often hesitant to make their small pets undergo CT or MRI scans. If you notice a bloody nasal discharge, it might be an indication of s serious disease that makes your hamster sneeze.
When your hamster acts or behaves abnormally in any way, eats less, doesn’t drink, sleeps most of the time, and seems lethargic, you might want to consult your vet right away. Schedule an appointment to check if your pet needs antihistamines, antibiotics, or anything else.
Just because hamsters are small pets, it doesn’t mean that there are no big things your vet cannot do for them. Hopefully, all that it takes to stop sneezing in your hamster is to get rid of the dust in the cage or change the softener you use for washing their beddings or fabrics. If not, don’t hesitate to get your hamster checked out by the vet.
How to Prevent Sneezing in Hamsters
Clean the cage thoroughly and change the bedding. If you ate using pine or cedar bedding, you might want to switch to a safer bedding alternative like wood pulp bedding. Pine and cedar bedding can cause upper respiratory infections and allergies due to the wood oil.
If it is impossible to take your hamster to the vet right away, you can give them a solution of milk and lukewarm water mixed with one teaspoon of honey that can help soothe the symptoms.
The Bottom Line
While sneezing itself may not cause death in hamsters, it might still be a possible symptom of an underlying and more serious condition that may be fatal for these animals. If things seem out of hand, make sure to take your hamsters to the vet right away to prevent death.