Ask the Veterinarian/hamster


I bought my hamster two weeks ago and all was normal.  He seemed happy and curious.   Now he is always sleeping and wont go on his wheel at all.  He will sleep in the corner of his cage, barley moving and looks like he's breathing heavy.  Also he will get tense randomly when he's curled in a small ball.  He still eats food and drinks water and he will get up and act semi normally by running around his cage and nawing on his chew blocks as well as climb the cage bars,   then he goes back to being sickly.  What's up with him?  He seems to be really struggling and does not look comfortable at all.  Also today he has been sleeping on his back and I reached down to pet him and he didn not move or mind at all,  which was not his normal behavior to begin with.  Please help

I'm sorry Liana but I am not a hamster expert. The only thing I can tell you is to have a vet look him over if he seems sick. That or call the place where you bought him.

You can always re-post this question to the Hamster experts as well.
Here is their link:

and you can also look here:

But really a vet is the only one that can tell you what might be wrong. Make sure that you have the correct type of bedding for them as I know one kind can be toxic and cause breathing problems, but I don't know what type.

Please ask the Hamster experts. I know they can help you.

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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