The hamster is an inquisitive and charming tiny creature, but they are also prone to disease and injury that can result in death.
We understand that this information may have you worried about your small furry friend or maybe concerned that your hamster is acting differently than usual.
Be at ease, though!
We also learned how to avoid your hamster from becoming sick, how to keep your hamster safe and healthy, and what kinds of behaviors to watch out for since we were intrigued.
Table of Contents
What Are Ways Hamsters Can Die?
Some hamsters pass away from illness or disease, such as Wet Tail Disease, while others die through avoidable errors like falling from a height that is too great.
Sometimes the behavior of hamsters might be puzzling.
Is my pet simply digging?
Basically hiding out to hibernate?
Perhaps they are ill and need to visit the vet?
Although hamsters do not live as long as the majority of home pets, with proper care and attention to sickness symptoms, they can enjoy long, fulfilling lives.
How Long Do Hamsters Live?
Approaching your hamster’s cage one day only to find it dead is the worst possible situation.
But maybe even less is known about how vulnerable these animals are, and that hamsters can pass away for a variety of causes other than merely getting old.
The typical lifespan of a hamster is about 2-4 years after you bring it home from the pet store.
If a hamster’s quality of life is in the ideal range, you can do a lot to ensure they live to the 4-year mark, excluding an early death that may result from subpar treatment.
My hamster lived a full and happy life and passed away quietly in his sleep at the age of 3 years.
Why Do Hamsters Die Easily?
The primary cause of hamsters dying young or quickly is poor, unethical breeding.
Hamsters May Die Abruptly, Right?
It may be difficult to imagine, but abruptly passing away a hamster—more particularly, a Syrian hamster—is more often than you may think.
It’s upsetting and disheartening to bring your new pet home only to discover a dead hamster in its cage the next morning.
However, the primary factor for this is the significant amount of stress that these rats go through when relocated to new surroundings.
Make sure you are organized so that the transition from the pet store to your house goes as smoothly as possible.
Syrian hamsters may pass away unexpectedly when the daily stress of pet shops meets the enormous levels of fresh stress that occur with being transported to a whole new environment—your house.
Other hamster species outside the Syrian hamster can also experience this, and it often occurs in less than a week.
The main causes of sudden death in hamsters are stress-induced heart failure and exposure to chemicals in their new habitat that may cause breathing problems (which are then exacerbated by the stress).
Heart attacks are quite self-explanatory, but the toxins making your pet ill may have little to do with how clean your home is and instead may be a sign of the hamster’s susceptibility to unfamiliar situations, which can result in bacterial infections.
Such infections cause diarrhea and vomiting, which can cause fatal dehydration.
Additionally, it must be emphasized that disturbances in an animal’s habitat, particularly its cage, can cause abrupt death.
A young hamster may get a cold fast if the inside temperature is too low; this is indicated by a wet nose, and it may result in rapid mortality within a few hours owing to respiratory difficulty.
It is always advised to keep your pet’s body temperature between 36 and 39 degrees Celsius, and a heat lamp can assist keep your hamster’s vital signs within the ideal range.
But the importance of increased stress in guaranteeing a short lifetime for hamsters cannot be overstated.
These rodents’ immune systems are weakened by stress, as they are in all living things, but because of their small size, this is even more dangerous for them.
Make sure you progressively get to know your pet; let them get to know you in little, daily doses, and always make sure they can never slip out of a cage and are in one that is contained and ventilated.
Although it’s not always the case, you should hope that your pet will live as long as it can.
Let’s look at a few of the reasons why hamsters die in the following section.
Always keep in mind that the 2-4-year lifetime threshold is only a rough estimate, and there are numerous circumstances that might lead your pet to pass away before that time.
Shortly After Being Brought Home, Hamsters Die
When hamsters pass away so suddenly and without showing any symptoms of illness, they either entered your house very unwell or were exposed to a very strong poison there.
Your treatment sounds excellent, and there appears to have been no toxic exposure.
When hamsters pass away suddenly after moving into a new home, they typically first experience diarrhea from bacterial reasons, after which they lose too many nutrients, fluids, and electrolytes and pass away.
It doesn’t appear like your hamsters are experiencing this.
A necropsy, performed by a veterinarian, is the most effective method for determining the reason for your hamster’s demise.
The necropsy can provide a lot of information concerning the causes of a pet’s death, even if we don’t always receive all the answers.
The necropsy must be performed using fresh tissue within a day or two after the pet’s passing in order to get the best findings.
Why Do Hamsters Die?
Hamsters have the same potential for illness and demise as any other living thing.
A bacterial, viral, or fungal infection may be the root of the problem.
These can occasionally be lethal if left untreated, and this is true even while receiving the greatest veterinary treatment.
Hamster Deaths From Natural Causes
Hamster health issues may be identified and treated by any licensed veterinarian, although some natural reasons can result in a hamster’s demise.
Many of these conditions are similar to those that might affect a family member, as well as your beloved hamster playing in his or her cage.
This is so because every living creature possesses a set of genetic traits that predispose its lineage to a variety of illnesses or ailments.
The word is a general one that is used in place of specific disorders that may have co-occurring ailments that all collide into one event that results in loss of life, much as we hear this when it comes to human beings.
Because of inherited variables that are beyond our control—indeed, beyond the control of any living thing—some circumstances just cannot be avoided, no matter how much effort you put into keeping your hamster safe.
In light of this, let’s go through some of the most typical reasons why hamsters pass away. age or certain hereditary illnesses and disorders.
Wet Tail Disease
Hamsters with a wet tail nearly invariably die from the condition.
Bacterial infection that results in severe diarrhea and constant discharge from hamsters’ tails gives rise to the name of this illness.
Although the disorder is not fully understood, it is believed to be triggered by periods of intense stress.
Regrettably, there aren’t many therapies or remedies available to prevent it.
A wonderful strategy to avoid the disease is to make sure your hamster lives in a stress-free environment without any other rodents or animals around.
For those who are interested in learning more, we have created a blog on wet tail symptoms and remedies.
It should go without saying that hamsters are extremely anxious creatures.
Hamsters have an atypical susceptibility to encounter stresses, which makes them vulnerable to rapid cardiac arrest and sudden death from shock.
Avoid positioning your hamster’s cage in the room’s corner as a way to prevent scaring them.
Always open the door cautiously, and make sure the cage is clearly visible from the entryway.
In these situations, it’s crucial to reduce fear since hamsters dislike unexpected surprises.
If there are other animals around, hamsters will also be easily startled.
So make sure to keep the hamster’s room locked at all times if you have a pet dog or cat that is allowed to roam the house.
Internal Bleed Out
Since hamsters don’t have a lot of blood to begin with, it might be difficult to spot hamsters who are bleeding inside.
This illness may develop as a result of a fall from a height, careless handling that inadvertently damages the internal organs, or other, undiscovered disorders like cancer.
Internal bleed-out is a serious danger and can result in death if your hamster displays weight loss, bloody stools, urine discharges, a lack of hunger, trouble sleeping, or any other unpredictable behavior that is not typical of hamster behavior.
Hamsters may potentially get more illnesses during the course of their life.
Due to their brittle bones and joints, hamsters are susceptible to sudden onset paralysis.
Exercise or even sprinting and leaping too rapidly might cause this.
If their nutrition is of inferior quality, hamsters may potentially develop diabetes and dental problems.
For this reason, it’s crucial to constantly provide your rodent the best hamster chow you can.
A warm, yet comfortable living space is always a must for these rodents because, in addition to these issues, they are highly susceptible to colds and viruses.
When there are no other underlying medical issues and the hamster’s longevity is equal to or greater than the average lifespan for hamsters, hamsters have been reported to pass away from old age.
Your hamster’s life is coming to an end when it develops clouded eyes, experiences difficulties moving about, stops eating and drinking, and withdraws into the corners of its cage.
You can consider hamster euthanasia with your veterinarian if your hamster has a poor quality of life in this situation.
Even though we would love for our pet hamsters to live forever, they only have a short time on this earth.
It is crucial that, as responsible pet owners, we do everything we can to watch out for any indications and symptoms that might hurt our hamsters since illnesses and accidents can shorten your time together.
Most hamsters do not require veterinary treatment during their whole life, especially if they are well-cared for.
It’s admirable to want to make sure your hamster doesn’t need to visit the vet frequently, but you should be aware that death is a natural part of life.
You never know when your hamster will leave you, so you should always be prepared to say goodbye.
Young hamsters might also pass away from internal ailments that you or a veterinarian would never suspect. It’s not just old hamsters that pass away.
If the vet determines that there is nothing further that can be done to preserve your hamster and he is in pain, you should let him pass peacefully to hamster heaven and even ease his transition by having him put to sleep.
Live each day as if it were your hamster’s last, and enjoy your time together.