Hamsters are very gentle and often suffer from various diseases and infections. One of the possible infections that occur in hamsters is a urinary tract infection.
What are the signs of a urinary tract infection in hamsters?
The most common signs of urinary tract infection in hamsters are when they are not ready to urinate, urinate with pain, and make sounds like crying.
Also, when the hamster has a UTI, the urine smells very bad because there will be bacteria in it and it will be discolored.
When hamsters have UTIs then they will not want to exercise as before, they will be lethargic and sleep more.
They will drink a lot more water in order to get rid of the bacteria they have in their body that cause UTIs.
With the help of antibiotics, hamsters can be cured of UTIs and will need much more rest.
In today’s article, you will find out what are the main signs when hamsters have a urinary tract infection, why it occurs, and how to cure it.
What are common signs of UTI in hamsters?
When hamsters have a urinary tract infection, it is best to know all the signs that indicate that your pet is sick, so that you can help them as soon as possible.
So we did some research and discovered the following signs that indicate a UTI in hamsters.
When hamsters have a UTI they may begin to urinate constantly which is also called polyuria.
In this situation, hamsters may urinate small amounts, but it will be constant and much more frequent than usual urination.
When hamsters have polyuria, they go out into the open space in the cage much more often, which is not exactly their habit, because they usually move the most at night, or when the sun goes down.
Urine will be discolored
When hamsters have a UTI then the color of their urine will be cloudy and discolored because then they have bacteria in the urine itself.
When your pet has healthy urine then the color should be a milky shade of white.
Sometimes hamsters have other colors in their urine such as:
Whenever their urine color is a different color it is a sign that something is wrong with their health, especially when the color is light pink or dark brown.
Sometimes if they eat certain foods such as beets, their urine may change color, but this is only temporary.
If you notice that your hamster is constantly having a color that is not its normal urine color, you should take them to the vet for an examination.
Hamsters will be lethargic
When hamsters have a UTI they start to become lethargic because they are in pain and discomfort.
Then they don’t even want to groom themselves, they will be sleepy all the time and hide in their cage.
If you notice these symptoms, you must immediately take the hamster to a veterinarian to be checked.
Hamsters will not be able to urinate
When hamsters have a UTI they may avoid urinating.
This can be noticed because under normal conditions hamsters urinate at least 7 times a day, and maybe more.
When they avoid urinating then it will be noticed that when they urinate they will have pain and they may scream and yell because they will feel burning when urinating.
They will drink more water
When hamsters have a UTI, they may start drinking more water in order to flush the bacteria out of their bodies.
If you notice that there is a change in the way your hamster eats and drinks water, then it means that something is wrong and it should be taken to the vet to be examined.
But sometimes drinking a lot of water does not necessarily mean that it is a UTI, because this sign can also mean the occurrence of other health problems such as diabetes or a high temperature in their body.
Hamster pee will smell unpleasant
When hamsters have a UTI it can be noticed by their urine as it will start to smell very bad, much worse than the usual smell of their urine.
Hamster pee always has a certain smell which is a bit unpleasant, but when they have a UTI then it is even more unpleasant.
The smell of hamster urine will smell similar to the smell of fish and this is another sign that something is wrong.
When hamsters have a UTI they may experience incontinence
When hamsters have incontinence which is a constant leakage of urine. At the same time, the urine will collect around the bottom of the hamster, creating stains and wetting.
Sometimes a mistake is made when diagnosing a UTI and a wet tail, so it is important to have a veterinarian examine your pet to confirm the correct diagnosis.
Incontinence can also happen in hamsters without being a UTI, it can be a symptom of diabetes.
Can my hamster get a urinary tract infection?
Yes, any hamster regardless of age and gender can get a urinary infection.
However, we must emphasize that it occurs more often in older female hamsters and in those who have given birth several times.
The occurrence of urinary infection is a common occurrence in hamsters and it is completely normal, so pay attention to the symptoms they show so that you can detect it in time and start treating your pet.
What are the causes of UTI in hamsters?
Hamsters often get urinary tract infections due to unhygienic conditions in their cages.
If the cage is not clean enough, then bacteria can more easily enter the urethra, because hamsters spend a large part of their time in the bedding or on the base of the cage.
When the bacteria appear, they enter through the bladder, kidneys, or through rectum and continue into the urethra.
Sometimes the bacteria themselves can enter the hamster through other ways such as:
- through food
- through water
- contaminated items
- skin from other pets
Hamsters mostly get UTI through the bacterial infection Escherichia coli, so it is necessary to regularly maintain the hygiene of their cage.
Once a week, complete cleaning of the cage is required, and pieces or leftovers of food should be removed daily.
The water of the hamsters should be changed daily, and make sure that there is no moisture in the cage because it allows bacteria to grow faster.
Can a urinary tract infection kill my hamster?
Yes, a urinary tract infection can kill a hamster, although this happens less often.
Sometimes a UTI can indirectly affect the overall health of the hamster and cause other problems.
For example, kidney failure or other diseases can occur which, if not treated, can have fatal consequences for your pet.
How to help your hamster recover from UTI?
To help your hamster when it has a urinary tract infection you need to take it to a vet who will prescribe appropriate antibiotics for treatment such as Baytril.
Of course, the vet will first test a urine sample to confirm that the hamster really has a UTI. Antibiotics are used for about 2-3 weeks, and the hamster needs more time to rest.
That’s why you should take out the exercise wheel during that period so that it doesn’t waste its energy, which it needs to recover faster.
A urinary tract infection can go away on its own, but it will take more time, and the hamster will be exposed to pain and discomfort.
But it can also lead to the deterioration of his overall health and the appearance of other diseases, so it is recommended to use antibiotics to treat your hamster.
When hamsters have a UTI, it is usually noticed through their urine, which changes color, and smells much worse and the hamster has pain when urinating.
When hamsters have a urinary tract infection they can urinate constantly, be lethargic and get other diseases.
If the hamster has a UTI, then it should be taken to a veterinarian who, after the examination, will prescribe antibiotic therapy for treatment.
Since poor hygienic conditions are the most common cause of UTI, it is necessary to regularly clean the cage, food residues, and other preventive measures to prevent this type of infection from occurring.