Hamster Ear and Eye Care

Hamster Ear care

Most hamsters can keep their ears clean with no help from you.  Hamsters take great care to clean themselves every day.  In fact, they spend around 20 percent of their time grooming themselves.

The only time you really need to need to be concerned about your hamster’s ears is if you notice symptoms such as excessive scratching or if they appear red, inflamed or infected.  Hamsters can get ear mites.  Ear mites are small black parasites, and if left untreated they can cause serious issues.

If you notice excessive scratching, heavy wax buildup, discharge, redness, swelling or odor from the ear, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away.  Your pet’s veterinarian will be able to give an accurate diagnosis and also recommend the best course of treatment for your hamster.  Do not automatically assume that your hamster suffers from ear mites.  Check for ear mites with a flashlight in a darkened room, or you can also rub the ear with a white paper towel.  If you can see moving black specks, then ear mites are probably the cause.  If you cannot be certain that ear mites are the cause, do not just treat your pet with an over-the-counter ear mite treatment.  This might cause more complications for your pet down the road.

While your hamster has poor eyesight, your hamster’s hearing is normally  quite excellent and a very important part of how your pet perceives his world.  Hearing loss is stressful and disorienting for your pet, so make sure any ear issues are addressed right away.

Hamster Eye Care

Like your hamster’s ears, your hamster does not normally need routine help taking care of his eyes.  There are times that small particles, such as dust from bedding or other nesting material, might get into your pet’s eyes and cause irritation.  If you notice that your hamster is squinting – or that the fur near the eye is wet, if there is a discharge, or if the eye is discolored – there is a problem.  Moisten a cotton swab with warm (but not hot!) water and clean the affected area.  Take care not to injure your pet’s eyes – he will be squirmy while you are trying to clean his eye(s).  If his eye does not look better by the next day, he should be taken to the veterinarian.  If there is a small cut or other injury, a secondary infection can set in and can also spread to both eyes.

Older hamsters can sometimes develop cataracts.  This can be seen by a milky look to the eye.  This will, eventually, lead to blindness.  Since hamsters are extremely near-sighted, they can still lead very productive lives even if blind.  Some hamsters become more timid or fearful when complete blindness happens.  Usually, though, hamsters do quite well getting around their housing area.

If at any time you have a question concerning the eyes or ears of your pet, contact your veterinarian.  Your pet’s eyesight and hearing are too precious to put in jeopardy.

28 Comments on "Hamster Ear and Eye Care"

  1. my hamster has a large scratch in his ear. we are wondering if it would be ear mites. How woul;d we treat it and my mom said she is not going to take him to the vet becvause she is not going to speld money on a hamster.please help us.Thanks!

  2. Francesca | 28/11/2012 at 5:24 pm |


    i just noticed that one of my hamsters eyes has turned red. is this ok / normal ? i think she may have knocked it? but im not sure. she is still a baby so im sure its not just an illness that they get with old age. can you advise if i need to do anything. im just a little worried as this is my first time having a hamster 🙁

    many thanks

  3. Brytani | 29/03/2014 at 5:56 am |


    I was just looking at my hamsters ear and it looks almost as if it is shedding but it’s not coming off and it’s white and only on one ear it looks like skin sheddings from a sunburn or something, please help

  4. My son has a hamster, the hamster has a red eye and 2 paws are very red . Not sure what’s going on but my son is very sad.

  5. Brownie | 19/05/2015 at 7:47 pm |

    My hamsters one ear is hard. It looks okay it just doesn’t feel or look like the other one.
    What do I do?

  6. My hamster has a crusty black thing in her ear, and she seems really stressed out. I dont know what to do!! Can you help me??

  7. Riana Bester | 07/10/2015 at 9:30 am |

    I have noticed that our hamster’s 1 eye have turned red and is swollen, what can the probable cause be and should we rather take her to the vet?

  8. My hamsters are ok but one of them had a small hole in her ear like a hole to put your earrings through but she didn’t seem bothered by it . She’s dead now , from old age .

  9. My hamster has a small patch of dark red it looks like blood . Plz help me im worried! !!!!!!!:-(:-(:-(

  10. Plz someone should I be worried plz help :-(:-(:-(:-(:'(

  11. Vicky jone | 13/05/2016 at 11:46 pm |

    My daughter has a syrian hamster and both her eye are closed and ears are curled up and looks thinner is this a sign that she is on her last legs or should we visit the vets please help

  12. CoolGirl8374 | 16/05/2016 at 2:53 am |

    NOO! I feel awful for you! How old is your hamster?

  13. CoolGirl8374 | 16/05/2016 at 2:57 am |

    You see, I had a Syrian hamster, but she left us. She was older than the average hamster life span, which I didn’t realize.

  14. CoolGirl8374 | 16/05/2016 at 3:01 am |

    The average life span is two to three years, but some hamsters live to about 36 months, if that helps…

  15. Tatum Dorothy | 21/05/2016 at 7:01 pm |

    Will my hamster’s “dirty”, “reddish”, “bulgy” eyes get better? We tried to clean itoff whe it was closes but then it started releasing this red thing and now this is what happened…. She got reddish, dirty, bulgy eyes! Help please. Help. What should we know and do? Thank you sl much!

  16. Marianne | 22/06/2016 at 6:40 am |

    My hamster just got a cut on his ear and it looks like a piece of his ear may be missing how do I treat it??

  17. My hamster has this redish blood type of colour that is running from his eye. I am not to sure if i should take him to a vet. He is very old and sleeps alot now. I am very worried about him.

  18. Ray Chang | 05/12/2016 at 2:12 pm |

    My hamster’s ear feels very hard and doesn’t feel or look like the other one and there is also fur loss (guessing it was from scratching) on one side of the ear. What is the cause of this and how do I treat it

  19. my hamsters ear is smaller than the other ear and the fur is all gone and its all shriveled up.
    please help!!!!

  20. charlene | 23/11/2017 at 11:25 pm |

    Hi my hamster has got a ear infection and I don’t know what best treatment is to give him

  21. My hamster has cataract and it will occasionally turn red. I’m not sure what to do…

  22. My hamster has a piece of his ear hanging off what do i do??

  23. Hi my Syrian hamster had a scratch on his ear and we had let it not thinking any thing of it but now it’s gone to a slit and is ripping easily is any thing I should be worried about ?

  24. My hamster was bit by my cat and is all sore round the aria it got bit

  25. Elizabeth Visagie | 15/10/2018 at 8:28 pm |

    My hamster has funny white things in one ear. It almost looks like warts but he is sensitive when I touch it. Please advice

  26. Chloe Wood | 27/01/2019 at 7:09 pm |

    My hamsters ear is bright red and swollen I am scared to death because she is only a year and two months old is this the end of her life please help me I want her to be healthy

  27. Hello, My hamster has an ear infection but my mom won’t take my hamster to the vet what should I do? Please respond

  28. My hamster was squinting and around her eye was wet and swollen. I found blood on the walls of her cage. But she seems completely normal and happy. Maybe a little more sensitive around her eye, should I just consider it a scratch? Or do you think it is something I should be more worried about?

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