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Lump under hamsters throat
Lump under hamsters th  
recently, I noticed that there is a lump under my Syrian hamster's throat. the swelling is not solid at all. my hamster is one and half year old male. he seems to be quite OK, he also eats normally.i don't have  access to any vet, so is there any way for me to find out what is this swelling (tumor, cyst, or abscess)? if ,god forbid , the swelling is a tumor, is he in pain? is there any treatment I can apply by myself?  I appreciate your attention in advance and look forward to your kind response.

Hi Mary

Thanks for your question and photo. It is very difficult to know for sure what this lump is from the photo I'm afraid.

How is he behaving apart from this?  Is he drinking and eating normally?  Does he look bright?

Tumors are very common in hamsters especially when they reach around this age.  If this is a tumor it might be slow growing and not be a problem, or it might be aggressive.  If it is aggressive you will notice changes fairly rapidly.  The main problems with tumors is that they can rupture and infect and they can put pressure on other parts of the body which causes pain.  In these cased veterinary intervention is needed as they would need to be put to sleep.

There is always a chance this could be a cyst/abscess - however in these cases antibiotics are required otherwise any poison in the body could get into the blood stream and make him very sick.  I'm not aware that you can buy antibiotics without seeing a vet.

I'm sorry I can't give you a lot of advice on this.  I would recommend that you monitor him, check for any changes, and try and make him as comfortable as possible.  If you think he is in pain, you can give aspirin - but you need a tiny amount - around 1/25th of a tablet which is literally a grain or two. This can be given 3 times a day.  It is best to dissolve the tablet in water then it is easier to divide this into 25 so you know what the dose is.

If there is any sign of bleeding or pus then you should bathe the area with salt water and use an antiseptic.  You should be able to buy teatree cream from a pet shop - this is a natural antiseptic.

How helpful is the pet shop where you got your hamster?   They might be knowledgeable and be able to advise you or suggest someone who could examine your hamster for you if you can't get to a vet.

I hope you get on OK.


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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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