When you start keeping a hamster, you enjoy the moments spent with your pet, you and your hamster have fun, but sometimes it happens that it bites you.
Syrian hamsters are the least likely to bite, while other breeds of hamsters are more likely to bite you.
Can You Die From a Hamster Bite?
If you get bitten by a hamster you can die, but it is very unlikely that this will happen. You can die if you are bitten by a hamster if you are allergic, or if your pet is a carrier of a deadly disease that will be transmitted to you through the bite.
In today’s article, you will learn why a hamster bite can very rarely have fatal consequences, and other questions related to the topic.
Can you die from a hamster bite?
If your hamster bites you, the chances of you dying are very small. When hamsters bite you, nothing serious will usually happen to you, possibly an infection may occur.
It is best to wash the area with soap and water as a preventive measure if you are bitten by a hamster.
Very rarely you can die from a hamster bite if it has a disease that is dangerous to humans, or if you are allergic to hamsters.
The majority of hamster owners, when they talk about their experience with a bite from their pet, say that there were no serious consequences for their health.
However, we must share that there were very rare experiences, namely two cases when people died from being bitten by a hamster, but probably the death happened because they were allergic to hamsters.
If you are bitten by a hamster, there is no need to go to the hospital because you probably won’t have any consequences for your health.
If you notice that you have certain allergies or some other problems after being bitten by a hamster, only then should you go to the doctor.
Can you be allergic to hamster bites?
Some of us who keep hamsters may be allergic to hamster bites, but I should still emphasize that the chances of something more serious happening to our health are very small.
Except for a few cases where a hamster bite turned out to be tragic due to an allergy, all other cases ended without consequences.
If you are allergic to hamster bites you may have some mild allergy symptoms.
It can only be dangerous for people’s health if they get an anaphylactic shock, which can cause death in people.
Sometimes people themselves are not aware that they are allergic to hamsters or other animals until they experience allergy symptoms.
It can happen later in your life that you start to be allergic to hamsters even though you didn’t have any problems or allergies before that time.
Anaphylactic shock from a hamster bite can be life-threatening for humans
If you go into anaphylactic shock then your life may be in danger after a hamster bite.
However, you should know that certain symptoms indicate an anaphylactic shock, such as:
- rapid heartbeat
- redness of the skin
If you have an anaphylactic shock, it can be dangerous for your life, because it causes difficulty with breathing, an increase in blood pressure in a very short time, and other problems.
If you get anaphylactic shock as a reaction to a hamster bite, you need to see a doctor right away.
The most common drug used in such adverse situations is Epinephrine, which immediately helps to reduce the consequences and reduces the chances of fatal consequences for people.
Anaphylactic shock can also occur after certain small allergic reactions in people, for example, it starts with itching, redness, or irritation of the skin immediately after a hamster bite.
Can my hamster bite me and transmit diseases?
Hamsters can not only cause allergies in humans, but they can also transmit certain diseases.
In the USA, in Colorado, there was a case where a hamster that had tularemia transmitted the disease to its owner through a bite.
Apart from this disease, hamsters can also transmit other diseases such as lymphocytic choriomeningitis, but we will repeat that the chances of such transmission are still rarer.
Can my hamster give me rabies?
Hamsters, like other animals, can transmit rabies to humans, but the chances of such a thing happening are practically impossible, and here’s why.
Hamsters if exposed to an attack by another animal that has rabies will not be able to survive the attack.
For a hamster to be a carrier of rabies, it needs to be bitten by a wild animal, because pets such as dogs that are kept at home have always received a rabies vaccine.
So far, there has been no case of a hamster being a carrier or having rabies, so your pet will not transmit rabies to you, be sure of that.
Rabies is not congenital, it is transmitted only through contact with another animal, and hamsters kept in a cage cannot have such unwanted contact with other animals.
Can my hamster give me tularemia?
Hamsters are capable of transmitting tularemia, but again, the chances of this happening are very small, since so far only one case of transmission of this disease to humans has been recorded.
What is tularemia?
Tularemia is a bacterial disease caused by Francisella tularensis, and is transmitted through:
- animal bite
- eating contaminated food
- drinking contaminated water
This disease is very dangerous and can be life-threatening if not treated promptly with antibiotics.
Hamsters can transmit it to humans, and this is evidenced by a case of a 3-year-old child who was bitten by a hamster who had tularemia.
Fortunately, the child survived because he received antibiotic therapy in time.
Symptoms of tularemia in humans are:
- skin sloughing
The hamster that bit the child died of tularemia, as did the rest of the hamsters that were with the sick hamster.
What diseases can my hamster transmit to me if it bites me?
Hamsters can transmit more diseases, not only tularemia, so we should be careful and promptly notice if we have unwanted symptoms after a hamster bite.
Here are some of them:
- Salmonellosis – is transmitted through contaminated food or the excrement of hamsters. When people are infected by a hamster with Salmonellosis, symptoms such as fever, stomach pain, and diarrhea appear.
- Tetanus – is transmitted by the bacterium Clostridium tetani and then the muscles of the body become stiff. The best prevention is a tetanus vaccine that prevents the spread of bacteria in the human body.
- Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus – is a virus that can be transmitted to humans from hamsters through their urine, feces, or cage bedding. Humans may have symptoms such as muscle aches, fever, and decreased appetite. This virus is more likely to be transmitted to people who are with weaker immunity and pregnant women.
As you can see, the most common reason for the transmission of viruses and diseases from hamsters to humans is through contamination, so you should regularly wash your hands after handling a hamster.
How long do hamster bites take to heal?
If your hamster bites you, the time it takes for the site or wound to heal depends on how hard the hamster bit you and the depth of the wound.
Most often, the wound from a hamster bite will heal in 5-7 days, although it can last longer than a month or even more.
Take care of the wound caused by a hamster bite, clean it regularly and the wound will heal faster, and at the same time, you will reduce the chances of infection.
What should I do if my hamster bites me?
A hamster bite will usually not cause serious consequences for us humans.
However, there are some tips that you can apply to ensure that you prevent unwanted consequences for your health.
Here are some of them:
- cleaning the wound – where you were bitten by a hamster with soap and water, and if you have bloody wounds then it is best to go to a doctor to be examined.
- Antibacterial soap – is great for washing the wound where you were bitten by a hamster, as well as using antibacterial ointment to prevent possible infection.
- Watch out for allergic reactions – because after a hamster bite you can get swelling, difficulty breathing, and similar symptoms as signs of allergy, when you should call a doctor immediately.
How do I know that a hamster bite can cause an infection?
If you are bitten by a hamster, you will usually pass without any reactions or infections, but in some cases, complications may occur.
So here are some symptoms that indicate you have an infection:
- pain at the site of the bite
- pus on the wound
If you notice any of these symptoms you should seek the opinion of a doctor to check if you have an infection and how serious it is for your health.
Why is my hamster biting me?
Hamsters can usually bite you if they are scared or maybe they are stressed at the moment by the environment that surrounds them.
Syrian hamsters are the least likely to bite, while other breeds of hamsters are more likely to bite you. When hamsters feel threatened in their territory they will bite you again as a sign of defense.
But you should know that they don’t always bite the same way, sometimes they can only bite you a little, and they know how to bite harder and bleed your wound.
The closer you get to your hamster, the less likely it is to bite you, so you need to be careful and show them that you love them.
What should I do to prevent my hamster from biting me?
Hamsters are very sensitive animals that bite if they feel threatened, so you should be very careful with them.
Here are some tips to reduce your chances of being bitten by your hamster:
- always approach slowly – as fast and sudden moves can only scare the hamster and it will bite you. Hamsters have poor eyesight and they cannot immediately see you coming, they will not be able to recognize you.
- give him food from your hand – so you can get closer to your pet, close the relationship, and trust you more.
- don’t hold him longer than he wants – because if you notice that he wants to let go, feel free to let him go, otherwise you will only cause a negative reaction and he will bite you.
- don’t wake him up when he’s sleeping – since raccoons least want you to wake them up when they’re sleeping, you’ll only cause unnecessary stress to your pet and then he’ll bite you.
- speak softly and slowly – so as not to disturb him, because noise and loud noises will scare him and he will bite you again.
Will it hurt if a hamster bites me?
If hamsters bite you, you can expect it to hurt and upset you a bit, however, they don’t bite as hard as other larger animals.
Hamsters are rarely aggressive, they will bite you if they feel threatened or scared by you or the environment that surrounds them.
That’s why you should be careful and gentle with your pet, so that there is no space for him to feel nervous and stressed, then the chances of him biting you will be lower.
How do you punish a hamster for biting?
If your hamster bites you then it is best to try to discipline it a bit so that it knows not to do the same thing again.
An effective method of weaning him from biting is to blow in his face but do this gently and slowly.
Your pet probably won’t like this, but this method will help to wean it from biting its owners.
Which hamsters don’t bite?
Syrian hamsters are considered the friendliest breed that does not bite or does so very rarely.
Other breeds of hamsters bite more often, that’s why Syrian hamsters are the most popular and are mostly taken for keeping in domestic conditions.
Syrian hamsters do not bite, but that is why they are very territorial and do not want to share their territory with other hamsters regardless of their breed.
If your hamster bites you, you will rarely die, the chances of this happening are almost zero.
Hamsters can bite you and give you an allergy and bleeding at the site, but dying from a hamster bite is almost impossible or very rare.
So far, only a few cases have been recorded when people died from a hamster bite, specifically when people were allergic to hamsters or had an additional disease.
Anaphylactic shock is the most dangerous for people when they can die from a hamster bite, with the appearance of symptoms such as swelling, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, etc., and it is necessary to consult a doctor immediately.
When a hamster bites you, clean the place with soap and water and you should be fine, without any consequences for your health and life.