Gerbils & Hamsters/hamsters eye

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Question
hi
this morning i noticed that my hamster has some sort of scab over her eye... we are not sure what it is exactly... we think that she may of some how cut her self around the eye area or in the eye... what do you think would be the best way to try to heal her...or should we take her to the vet?

Answer
Hi Julia

Thanks for your question.

I suspect this could just be 'sticky eyes'.  This is very common in hamsters.  They have glands that secrete a reddish fluid that lubricates their eyes.  Sometimes they produce more than usual and when they sleep it can become crusty around their eyes.  It is important that a hamster opens their eyes every day, therefore you need to carefully clean this away and help her open her eyes.  If they don't open their eyes they can get infected and pus can accumulate behind the lid.

Some hamsters just seem to have sticky eyes from time to time, however, it can also be a sign of ill health.  If the hamster's immune system is compromised they can produce more of this fluid than normal. How is she apart from this?  Is she eating/drinking/playing normally?  If so, then I wouldn't worry too much, but if you feel she isn't her usual self, then it might be worth getting her checked out.  I've had several with this condition, and they have all been fine - it tends to happen to the same ones on and off.

If when you clean her eye area you find it is more of a scab, then she may have injured herself - perhaps scratched herself on any houses/toys etc in her cage.  if this is the case, carefully clean the area, apply a little warm salt water.  If the area is red or doesn't seem to be healing, or if she seems bothered by it then you might need a vet to give antibiotics, but usually small injuries sort themselves out providing they are kept clean.

I hope this helps you.

Regards
Sheila

Gerbils & Hamsters

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Sheila Adby

Expertise

Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is www.thehamstersite.com

Experience

I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website: www.thehamstersite.com

Publications
Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Education/Credentials
Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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