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Gerbils & Hamsters/Syrian Hamster Help


We had to take our 5 month old Syrian Hamster to the emergency vets last night as she was squealing very loudly when she walked and becoming very agitated. The vet has given us pain killers but she is unable to tell if it is a fracture or just a sprain in her hind leg/ Please can you give me any advise on the best way to keep her comfortable and enable her to heal.. have you had many cases of this? I'm very worried as I don't want her to suffer.


Hi Laura

I'm sorry to hear about your hamster.

I've had several with broken bones and they have all healed well. Assuming it is a straightforward fracture then it should be fine but sometimes the vet has to intervene if there are complications or if circulation is affected in which case surgery might be needed.

The main thing is to make the cage hamster friendly - if you can remove any platforms and the wheel as you want your hamster to rest - it takes around 4 weeks for a break to heal.

Worst case is if the vet has to amputate but I've had a few with only 3 legs and they have been fine. In the wild they wouldn't survive but in captivity they're fine - you just have to modify their cage so they can get around it easily,

I hope your hamster is 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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