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Gerbils & Hamsters/Hamster Acting very strange


Well it's much to late to take my hamster to the vet it's 1 am here.
So I figured I'd try this.
Honestly with the way he's acting I dont expect him to make it through the night but if he does I'll take him to the vet in the morning.
I got up to go to the bathroom and looked over to see he wasn't in bed or running but rather in his maze type thing in a odd position. He didn't respond to talking so I poked him and he woke up. I noticed he was wet around his nose down to his chest but not near his genitals.
I picked him up and smelled the liquid and it wasn't urine. The liquid was clear.
He was making a clicking noise with each breath and keeping his eyes closed. Occasionally he would open him mouth as if gasping.
After I checked him out and attempted to dry him off I put him back in his cage and watched him for a bit.
He sneezed a lot started running around like he didn't know where he was and acting panicked before going back to where I found him.
He is a little over three years old and is a long hair teddy bear.
Could you offer any insight on what's going on?
I hate to say it but with his age and how uncomfortable he is if he is still alive and acting like this he will likely be put down in the morning. He's so old and I dont want him to suffer.
But I'd still like another hamster owners insight on what it could be.

Hi Devlyn

Thanks for your question. You hamster does sound very sick and sadly he may have died before you receive this.

It is hard to know what this fluid is - hamsters can get colds or he might have pneumonia - both of which are very serious especially in old hamsters.  He could have a tumor which is causing the problem. One of mine had a lung tumor which caused similar symptoms.

The important thing is that he doesn't suffer. I'm glad you are going to a vet as they will be able to see if it is worth treating him with pain killers or anti biotics or they may recommend euthanasia.

I hope this helps.


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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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