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Gerbils & Hamsters/teddy hamster with eye infection


I have a two year old hamster with some kind of eye infection. I have called around to all the vets in my area and no one will help me because they don't deal with hamsters. His eye has been crusty and swollen for going on two months. I have tried rinsing his eye out with sterile water but don't want to use anything else because I don't want to hurt him. Be is eating well and drinking fine. He just looks so miserable is to the point where its sticking closed. I have tried to clean his eye and clean off the crust  but its a daily thing. I don't want him to suffer and he seems to be healthy otherwise. If you have any ideas please help. Also, I have never used wood chip bedding.

Hi Kaleigh

Thanks for your question. It is important that your hamster does open his eye daily so if you gently wipe with a damp cloth to help him.  Hamsters can get eye infections such as conjunctivitis.  It is difficult to know what is wrong without seeing him but it is possible to use an eye ointment called Fucithalmic (this is a dog medicine) and this helps treat/prevent infection. It might be worth seeing if you could get this or ask your vet to prescribe it. I am concerned about the swelling and am disappointed that your vet doesn't treat hamsters. Some eye complaints can be very painful so it is important to try and treat him. other treatments that are safe for a hamster depending on the diagnosis are: maxitroll drops which are corticosteroids, tiacil ophthalmic solution is an antibiotic - perhaps you could ask your vet to examine him to determine if this is an infection and mention that these treatments are safe for hamsters.

I hope this helps you.


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Sheila Adby


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


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:

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

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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