Hamster health

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Common health problems to look out for in hamsters:

- Pyometra in female Syrian hamsters, usual symptom is smelly discharge coming from her vagina. Book her in for a spay with a hamster-savvy vet

- Scent gland issues with male Russian hamsters. Some have overactive scent glands that become swollen and need help cleaning. It may get to the stage that the scent gland needs removing by a hamster-savvy vet

- Overgrown nails in dwarf hamsters. To prevent this give them a variety of textures to walk on, including rough stones and sand. They may still need trimming, if you're not confident to do it then have a hamster-savvy vet do it, they can give them a bit of gas if they're a fast wriggly hamster

- Overgrown/misaligned teeth. If the hamster has overgrown teeth they'll need to be burred (not clipped!) by a vet

- Hairloss in female hamsters could indicate hormonal problems such as ovarian cysts which would require surgery

- Diabetes in Russian hamsters, symptoms are drinking and urinating more than normal, urine will have a different smell to usual. The vet will test the urine and the hamster may need to have injections for the rest of their life

Example of scent gland issues in male Russian dwarf