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.

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