Can An Abscess Kill A Hamster? (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment)

Last updated on December 9th, 2023 at 09:41 am

Hamsters are very gentle and often get sick from various diseases, so we must take good care of them.

One of the dangers to the health of hamsters is the appearance of an abscess. An abscess is a severe problem for hamsters that can even cause a hamster’s death.

Can an abscess kill a hamster?

Yes, an abscess can kill a hamster if the disease is widespread or gets into its bloodstream. The good thing is that in most cases of abscesses in hamsters, they heal, and the hamsters make a full recovery if detected in time.

In today’s article, we will find out the symptoms of an abscess, the reasons for its occurrence, and how to cure your pet.

What is an abscess?

An abscess is an inflammation that occurs on the skin of hamsters and leads to the collection of bacteria and excess fluid.

An abscess is usually caused by the bite of another hamster or an insect bite.

Also, abscess infection is caused by bacteria from a wound or another animal, and there is swelling at the place and infection.

The infection spreads under the hamster’s skin and causes much pain and problems.

Can an abscess kill a hamster?

Yes, an abscess can kill a hamster if it spreads too far throughout its body.

But fortunately, this rarely happens; most hamsters recover from abscesses.

The most important thing is to react promptly and immediately take it to a veterinarian to examine it and help the hamster; the sooner the better for the health and life of the hamster.

What are the symptoms of an abscess in hamsters?

When hamsters have an abscess on their head, it is easy to see, but abscesses can also appear on other parts of their body.

Sometimes the abscess can appear behind the hair and be red and very painful to the touch.

In more severe cases, lymph and cheek swelling may occur. If the pus from the abscess bursts and bleeds around the hamster’s hair.

In which parts of the body do hamsters get an abscess most often?

An abscess in hamsters usually appears on the cheeks and legs, but it can also appear on other parts of the body such as the neck, face and tail.

Since the abscess appears from injuries to hamsters, it means that they can be injured on any part of the body and therefore it can appear anywhere.

When hamsters have a cheek abscess it is the most difficult to detect because their cheek pouches always look swollen.

In any case, whenever you suspect that the hamster has an abscess, you should take it to the vet to check if it really is an abscess or something else.can an abscess kill a hamster

What are the causes of abscesses in hamsters?

Abscesses appear as a result of injuries in our pets.

Especially when those injuries are from sharp materials like wood shavings.

Apart from injuries, hamsters can also get abscesses from infections, animal bites, and other diseases.

Diagnosis of abscess

When diagnosing an abscess, cysts and hematomas of the skin, which are common diseases, should be checked first.

Then the abscess is punctured, and blood or pus is taken to perform a test to identify the microorganisms that caused the disease.

How is an abscess treated?

You should take several steps when your hamster has an abscess, so let’s go over them in detail.

Check if the hamster has an abscess on the cheeks

First and foremost, checking whether the cheeks and pouches have an abscess is correct. Because hamsters store food in their cheeks and they can also swell from food.

When the pouch in the cheeks of the hamsters is emptied and the swelling disappears, it means that they do not have an abscess, the node was from food.

If the swelling is still present after emptying the cheeks, the hamsters must have an abscess.

When hamsters have an abscess, it’s a big problem for them, and they eat much less because the swelling from the abscess disturbs them and hurts them.

When hamsters eat less, they take in fewer nutrients, exposing them to other diseases.

Take the hamster to the vet

When hamsters have an abscess, they must be taken to a veterinarian for an examination. The vet will first check if the hamsters have an abscess on their cheeks or if the swelling is from food.

If the hamsters have an abscess on their cheeks, the vet will take a sample of the pus from the abscess to examine it.

To do all this, it is necessary to put the hamster to sleep and perform an operation to open the abscess. During surgery, the vet will remove the abscess to fix the problem.

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Treatment after abscess surgery

After the operation to remove the abscess, the veterinarian will give you the appropriate antibiotic therapy for the hamster.

Antibiotics must be given to the hamster precisely as prescribed and not stopped prematurely. Because if it is stopped earlier, the disease may recur if some bacteria survive.

Warn the hamster not to touch the surgical wound until it is completely healed; otherwise, it will only slow down its healing.

can an abscess kill a hamster

Can a hamster abscess be treated at home?

You should not attempt to treat a hamster abscess at home, as there may be an infection that requires veterinary treatment.

The vet will first check if it really is an abscess or something else, and then he will start treatment with antibiotics.

At home, you can only give antibiotics to the hamster after the examination and treatment for the abscess at the vet.

How to prevent the appearance of abscesses in hamsters?

Several tips can help you prevent an abscess in hamsters; let’s see what they are.

Proper nutrition

When hamsters have a proper diet, the chances of developing an abscess are reduced.

Sharp foods are risky and can cause an abscess or reoccur if your hamster has had one before.

Softer food while recovering from an abscess is best for your furry friends.

Read more: Can Baking Soda Kill My Hamster? Let’s Find Out

Reduction of hamster teeth

If the hamster’s teeth are too large, they can injure the cheeks and cause abscesses.

That’s why you should take your hamster to the vet to have its teeth reduced.

Please do not attempt to trim the teeth yourself, as you may do it all wrong and do more harm than good to your pet.

Read more: How Long Does it Take a Hamster to Die After Eating Chocolate?

Always have enough toys for the hamsters

The toys in the cage, besides helping the hamsters to have an occupation and not to be bored, are essential for preventing abscesses.

Hamsters need the toys to be able to chew and bite them, which will reduce their teeth and prevent them from getting an abscess.

The larger the hamster’s teeth, the greater is the risk of an abscess.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for an abscess to kill a hamster?

If not treated promptly, the abscess can kill the hamster very quickly. In 24-48 hours, the hamster will die if therapy is not started for its removal, which is usually done by surgery; the sooner it is treated, the better for the hamster.

How fatal is an abscess?

When abscesses are on the skin, they are not dangerous and usually go away on their own within a specific time. However, in some situations, a veterinarian must do treatment because some abscesses cause an infection that can spread throughout the body and have fatal consequences for the life of the hamsters, even their death.


Hamsters can die from an abscess, but only if this problem is not treated promptly. Most of the time, hamsters recover from an abscess and live entirely normally.

When the hamster has an abscess, it needs treatment at the vet; we can’t help the hamster by ourselves.

Prevention of abscesses is a timely reduction of their teeth, proper nutrition, enough toys in the cage, and regular checks of the hamsters at the veterinarian.

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