Swollen Belly in Hamsters: 8 Possible Causes & What to Do

Last updated on April 24th, 2023 at 07:51 am

Hamsters are very gentle animals that get sick easily and can have various problems with their health.

Sometimes hamsters have a swollen bellies and they have pain and problems, and you immediately wonder how to help your furry friends.

Why does a hamster’s belly swell?

Hamsters’ belly swells due to stress, digestive problems, constipation, and abdominal tumors. Sometimes the swelling of the abdomen can also be a consequence of heart failure, Cushing’s disease, and ovarian cysts.

Although sometimes swelling of the belly can mean that the female hamster is also pregnant.

In today’s article, you will learn why hamsters’ belly swells and how to help them overcome this unpleasant situation.

Why does a hamster’s belly swell?

Hamsters get belly swelling when they have a variety of problems such as constipation, stress, problems with digestion, or an abdominal tumor.

Other causes include Cushing’s disease, heart failure, and ovarian cysts which can also cause swelling and bloating in the abdomen.

It’s best if the hamsters have a swollen belly from pregnancy, then you don’t need to worry because it’s normal.

Stomach swelling in hamsters is an unpleasant and painful experience that can be noticed by the following symptoms:

  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • pain in stomach
  • weight loss

So let’s see in more detail about each of the reasons that lead to swelling of their belly and how to help our little friends.

Swelling due to stress

Stress is the main reason for the occurrence of various diseases in hamsters, and one of them is the swelling of their stomach.

When hamsters are under stress, we have to help them and find the cause of their stress.

It can be:

  • noise
  • presence of other pets
  • too cold or hot in their environment
  • bad location of his cage

Stress can also lead to bloat, loss of appetite, and dehydration in hamsters, which is dangerous for their life.

The abdominal tumor causes swelling in hamsters

Hamsters can have a tumor on their abdomen and this can be the cause of their belly swelling. When hamsters have a tumor on the abdomen then fat deposits are formed in the shape of a ball.

If you press the ball, you will notice that it falls, which is a sign that it is an abdominal tumor.

In such cases, it is necessary to immediately take the hamster to a veterinarian to examine it and see what the condition of the tumor is.

He can suggest treatment or removal of the tumor, but it depends on the condition of the hamster.swollen belly in hamsters

Hamsters have swollen bellies when they are pregnant

When hamsters are pregnant, their belly swells, which is a completely normal phenomenon and there is no need to worry.

If the female hamster has recently been in contact with male hamsters she has become pregnant and is carrying babies in her belly and therefore has swelled.

However, it is best to take the hamster to a veterinarian to confirm that pregnancy is the cause of abdominal bloating.

Trichobezoars cause abdominal swelling in hamsters

Trichobezoars are hairs found in the stomach and can also appear in the intestines of hamsters.

They can block the normal functioning of the intestines, causing hamsters to lose their appetite and become skinny.

All this happens because of the trichobezoars that prevent the normal work of the digestive system, causing constipation and swelling of the stomach.

In order to avoid such problems, it is necessary to regularly brush the hamster to remove excess hair.

Heart failure

Heart failure can cause fluid to build up in the hamster’s abdomen and cause swelling and bloating.

The appearance of swelling due to heart failure is rare in hamsters, but there is still such a possibility. When hamsters have heart failure, they breathe harder, have no appetite, and are lethargic.

A vet exam will determine if the belly swelling is from heart failure or some other problem.

Ovarian cyst

Another possibility is if there is an ovarian cyst and it causes swelling of the hamster’s belly.

In addition to a swelling of the stomach, when hamsters have cysts on their udders, they will not want to eat and will lose weight.

An ovarian cyst causes hamsters to have abdominal pain.

Cushing’s disease can cause swelling of the belly in hamsters

Some hamsters may have a bloated stomach due to Cushing’s disease.

Cushing’s disease appears due to a hormonal disorder or the production of too many corticosteroids in the body of hamsters for various reasons, one of which is a tumor of the adrenal gland.

Hamsters when they have a swollen belly due to this disease they may have more appetite to eat and drink water.

Kidney disease

When hamsters have kidney disease it can cause their belly to swell.

Kidney disease occurs as a result of improper kidney function and the inability to filter waste materials from the blood and expel them through the urine.

When hamsters have abdominal swelling due to kidney disease, it can also be noticed by symptoms such as weight loss, a lot of urination, and drinking more water.

Read more: Testicular Tumors in Hamsters (Symptoms and Treatment)

How to help a hamster with a swollen belly?

When hamsters have abdominal swelling, it can be very serious and dangerous for their health.

Here’s what you should do if your hamster has a swollen belly and how to prevent this unpleasant occurrence.

Less stress

Hamsters that are under stress have the highest chances of developing diseases and health problems, including belly swelling.

Therefore, take care of the hamster as best as you can, avoid noises in its environment, and make sure that there is always an optimal temperature in its cage.

Do not allow other pets to disturb and annoy him, which leads to stress.

Be careful with your behavior towards the hamster, always be gentle and speak to him in a low tone so as not to scare him.

Good nutrition

Food is an important factor for a hamster to be happy, which reduces the chances of stress, digestive problems, and the occurrence of other diseases.

The better the diet, the less chance the hamster will have of developing other diseases and tumors that cause its stomach to swell.

Veterinarian examination

If you notice belly swelling in hamsters, it is best to take your pet to an examination immediately to determine the cause of the swelling and bloating of its abdomen.

However, you cannot treat this kind of phenomenon at home alone, and that is why an examination by a veterinarian is the best and most important thing that should you do in the first place.

Read more: How Long Can Hamsters Live With a Tumor?(Treatment and Cure)


Hamsters sometimes have belly swelling, which is an unpleasant and painful condition. Abdominal swelling in hamsters can occur due to tumors, stress, poor nutrition, trichobezoars, and pregnancy.

Hamsters can also have belly swelling due to heart problems, ovarian cysts, and Cushing’s disease.

Other than pregnancy all other causes are a problem for hamsters and must be helped to reduce swelling.

An examination by a veterinarian is mandatory to know the exact cause of belly swelling and what to do to normalize the condition.

Read more: Hamsters With Big Balls – Should You Be Worried?