Hamsters are cute and nice, but they are also very gentle pets that require enough care and attention. Hamsters often get various diseases, injuries, and other problems with their delicate health.
One of those conditions that can happen to hamsters is problems with their eyes.
Sometimes their eyes are closed, and you must be wondering what is the reason for their eyes being closed.
When hamsters have closed eyes or sticky eyes it is a problem that will prevent them from seeing. Closed or sticky eyes happen because the fluid that is secreted from their eyes when they sleep hardens and dries out, preventing the hamster’s eyes from opening.
A sticky eye is an unpleasant health problem that unfortunately happens very often and creates big problems because your furry friend will not be able to see.
In today’s article, we will find out why sticky eye occurs, how to treat it and how dangerous it is for the health of hamsters.
What causes sticky eyes in hamsters?
Sometimes when we are sleepy, our eyes release fluids, which eventually dry out and harden.
This can also be noticed early in the morning when we get up from sleep, the same process happens again as the fluids that were released from the eyes during the night dried up and formed sediments around your eye, similar to sand.
Now you can understand that actually something similar happens in hamsters.
Let’s just say that this phenomenon is common in a large number of different animals, not only in hamsters.
Although a similar phenomenon occurs with us humans, it causes much more serious complications with the health of the eyes in hamsters, which leads to other additional problems, because if they can’t see, they won’t know where they are going, where their food is, and other problems.
It’s okay to secrete fluids from his eyes, it’s good for keeping the eyes moist, but the problem arises when this fluid dries up and hardens.
The dried liquid closes the eyes of hamsters just like glue, that’s why this phenomenon is called sticky eyes.
The appearance of sticky eyes usually affects older hamsters because their eyes secrete more fluid.
This does not mean that the appearance of sticky eyes will not occur in younger hamsters, it will occur but still not as often as in older hamsters.
The sticky eye is a very common phenomenon faced by older hamsters, it should not surprise us at all if it happens to your hamster.
When the hamster’s eye is closed it can be due to some other reasons that can cause the eyes to be closed.
For example, if dirt or dust has entered the hamster’s eye, then its eye will close.
Another example is if the hamster’s eyes are swollen and pink then the hamster will be forced to close its eyes.
What to do if hamsters have sticky eyes?
One of the positive things about sticky eyes is that you don’t have to immediately take your pet to the vet for this phenomenon because you can help hamsters yourself at home.
Here’s how to help your hamster with sticky eyes in a few steps.
Hold your hamster properly
Before you start treating the hamster’s sticky eye, you should carefully and gently take the hamster in your hands.
However, be careful not to injure the hamster, because if you press it too hard, you can easily injure it.
So hold it as long as you need so that it doesn’t fall or escape, but not too hard so that you don’t hurt it.
Use a cotton ball or Q tip to clean his sticky eyes
Cotton swabs or Q tips are best for cleaning hamster eyes as they are soft and will not cause further injury to the eyes or other areas around their eyes.
You can also use a clean cloth, but cotton or a Q tip is a better and safer solution.
The next thing you need is lukewarm water or a saline solution in which to soak a cotton ball or Q tip to clean sticky hamster eyes.
Make a saline solution
To clean the sticky eye in hamsters, you can use lukewarm water or saline solution.
To prepare a saline solution, you only need salt dissolved in water.
Saltwater is a natural antiseptic for cleaning the eyes of hamsters because it can also kill harmful pathogens in their eyes.
Its effectiveness is really great, just be careful to use non-iodized salt.
Begin to clean the hamster’s eye
When starting to clean the hamster’s eyes, care must be taken and done carefully so as not to injure the hamster’s eye.
With a Q tip or cotton, we should gently wipe the crusted substances.
The very humidity of the Q tip helps to soften the dried-up substance, making it much easier to wipe it from your furry friend’s eyes.
The wiping should be done gently and without rush until we have wiped all the substance from the hamster’s eyes.
As we remove the substance, we can notice that the hamster slowly begins to open its eye.
If even after wiping for several minutes, the hamster does not open its eyes, we will have to remove the substance using a gentle brushing stroke so that the eye can be opened.
Some of us may think that we should just open the eyelid and directly wipe the substance from the hamster’s eyes, but this is not a good idea.
Because the substance is very similar to glue, such a quick procedure can only cause additional problems and possible injuries to their eyes.
Therefore, it is best to follow the procedure that we have described so that the hamster’s eye can be safely reopened and function normally as before.
Read more: Are Hamsters Color Blind?
It’s time to open the hamster’s eye
Now that we have finished cleaning the hamster’s sticky eye, he should be able to open his eye on his own.
But sometimes hamsters are afraid to do it themselves for fear that the substance is still around their eye, so you will have to slowly and gently open the eyelids with your fingers.
If something doesn’t go according to plan and his eye doesn’t open again, then you’ll have to repeat the whole process again, since there’s probably some dried substance left and the hamster can’t open his eye.
The process must be repeated until the hamster opens its eye on its own or with your help.
Prevention for the future
Now that you’ve gone through the whole process of how to clean a hamster’s sticky eye, you need to take some steps so that in the future your hamster won’t have, or will have much fewer these unpleasant moments with his eyes closed.
The only way to prevent the frequent occurrence of sticky eyes in hamsters is to wash their eyes regularly.
However, if, despite regular washing, the hamster often has sticky eyes again, then you should take your pet to the vet to examine him and see if there is something else that causes this phenomenon.
Read more: Do Hamsters Get Cataracts? (Find Out Now)
Can sticky eye kill a hamster?
Let’s say right away that the sticky eye cannot kill the hamster, it can only cause immediate problems with their vision.
The sticky eye indirectly has a bad effect on the health of the hamsters because it does not allow them to be able to see for a certain time.
When they can’t see, hamsters will have a problem regularly eating and drinking water, and they can hit some objects that are in front of them.
Therefore, the sticky eye should still be treated as quickly as possible so that the hamster can eat and drink normally, and of course run and play throughout the day.
Read more: Why Hamsters Have Red Eyes?
The sticky eye is a common phenomenon in hamsters that occurs due to the drying of the fluid that comes out of their eyes.
This usually happens when they wake up from sleep, during which the hamsters will not be able to open their eyes or will get a sticky eye.
The sticky eye prevents the hamster from being able to see, which it will consider being able to eat and drink water, and it can also injure itself and hit an object.
The sticky eye needs to be cleaned with lukewarm water or saline solution to open the lids and the hamster can see again.
Hamsters cannot die from a sticky eye, but the eye must still be cleaned so that our pet can function normally.