Your hamster Billy looks like he could grace the cover of a pocket pet calendar. Billy eats a nutrient-rich diet, and he grooms himself daily so his hair coat shines. Billy’s intestinal system maintains itself pretty well, too, which makes your cage cleanup chores a lot easier. When Billy joined your family earlier this year, your Welland veterinarian gave him a complete physical exam and a clean bill of health. Even though Billy seems healthy, though, he can easily contract an infection or other illness. Knowing about the symptoms of common pocket pet ailments helps you identify potential problems that require your vet’s expertise.
If Billy has been sneezing a lot, or has trouble catching his breath, he might have developed a respiratory condition. You might also see some discharge from his nose, along with a reddish liquid leaking from your little guy’s eyes.
Billy is almost obsessed with coat cleanliness, and he grooms himself at least once daily. Even with that over-the-top grooming regimen, though, Billy will probably attract some external parasites at some point during his life. If you notice that Billy has dropped some hair and has been scratching a lot, suspect an external parasite. You might even catch some nasty little lice scurrying through Billy’s hair coat. While you know the lice infestation isn’t due to Billy’s cleanliness, you’re still revolted by the sight. Get Billy off to your vet quickly for an exam and a targeted medication that will wipe out the nasty little pests.
Billy really loves his high-quality hamster food, and he shows his thanks by leaving you nicely formed feces that are easier to clean up. You’re just thankful Billy doesn’t have diarrhea – at least not today. If Billy’s deposits begin to take liquid form, pack him off to your vet immediately for a diagnosis and treatment. You don’t want little Billy to become dehydrated from fluid loss.
If Billy suddenly seems to ignore his food, or appears to be losing weight, his badly aligned teeth might make it painful to eat. Ask your vet to trim your hamster’s teeth so they fall nicely into their natural positions. Bllly’s ravenous appetite should return in short order.
Pocket pets, including Billy, are susceptible to tumors on different parts of their bodies. Mice and rats, especially older animals, are at the most risk. If you notice a strange growth or lump on Billy, your vet needs to see your hamster immediately.
Good thing your Welland vet can keep tabs on Billy’s health problems, providing quick diagnosis and treatment so your pocket pet can enjoy his life with your family.