Why Is My Hamsters Eye Bulging? All You Need To Know

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:10 pm

Sometimes hamsters’ eyes protrude, which is known as exophthalmos or proptosis.

Bulging eyes in hamsters are standard in all breeds because they have shallow eye sockets and developed orbital sinuses behind the eyes. The bulging of the eye can be a consequence of an eye infection, glaucoma, abscess, allergy, or it can also be from dental problems.

In today’s article, you will learn why hamsters’ eyes protrude and what you can do to reduce this phenomenon.

What are bulging eyes in hamsters?

Protrusion of the eyes in hamsters is also called exophthalmos or proptosis.

Protruding eyes in hamsters are familiar due to infection, glaucoma, abscess, dental problems, allergy, trauma, and poor hygiene in their environment.

When hamsters have bulging eyes, they should be treated with antibiotics and, if necessary, surgery, which may require the removal of your pet’s vision.

Can Hamsters Eyes Pop Out?

As we said at the beginning, bulging eyes in hamsters is common.

When hamsters have exophthalmos, the following symptoms appear:

  • eating problems
  • eye color change
  • swelling of the eyes
  • discharge from the eyes
  • visual impairment
  • paw on the face
  • crust around the eyes

For various reasons, bulging eyes in hamsters happen, so let’s see what they are and what to do in such situations.

why is my hamsters eye bulging

Trauma is the cause of bulging eyes in hamsters

The leading cause of bulging eyes in hamsters is trauma.

Trauma can happen to them for several reasons:

  • hit with a sharp object
  • a firm squeeze from our side
  • accidental treading

Hamsters, because they have very poor eyesight, can often hit a hard object while running and playing and damage their eye, causing their eyes to bulge over time.

When we hold the hamsters in our hands, we must be careful not to squeeze them too much; they are delicate and may cause the eyes to bulge.

Children don’t pay too much attention, or they can accidentally step on the hamsters, and it can happen to us too, in which case we will hurt them, and their eyes will pop out.

Eye infection causing them to bulge

As a result of an eye infection, there is a bulging of the eyes in hamsters.

Eye infection or conjunctivitis causes inflammation, redness, and swelling.

There are several reasons why an eye infection occurs:

  • allergy
  • dirty bed linen
  • bacteria from food
  • injuries
  • part of an object entered into the eye

Eye inflammation is a serious problem that must be treated with antibiotics. Otherwise, it can lead to eye loss in hamsters.

An abscess causes a bulging eye in hamsters

An abscess is a bacterial inflammation that causes pus in a particular skin area.

In hamsters, abscesses appear in the mouth and cause bulging eyes; the eye bulges due to the pain from the abscess.

In such situations, you should not wait; you should immediately take the hamster to a veterinarian to prescribe antibiotics to cure your pet.

Stress or shock

Suddenly experiencing a stressful situation can cause one or both eyes to bulge.

Causes of stress or shock can be the following:

  • other pets, such as cats
  • too much noise
  • unknown persons in his environment
  • predators

That’s why we need to pay attention to our pets, to provide them with good conditions and a pleasant environment where they live.


Glaucoma is eye pressure that causes the eyes to bulge in hamsters.

The aqueous fluid found in the hamster’s eye has a certain balance between the production and discharge of this fluid in the hamster’s eyes.

If the hamster has eye pressure, then an abnormal function occurs; there is too much fluid in the eye, the pressure increases and the eye bulges.

When hamsters have glaucoma, their eyes may also bleed in addition to the swelling.

This condition must be treated immediately to prevent blindness in one or both eyes of the hamster.

Allergies are the cause of bulging eyes in hamsters

Yes, allergies can cause eye bulging in our furry friends.

Allergy for the following reasons:

  • food
  • bedding
  • allergens in the air

When the hamsters have an allergy for the above reasons, we need to remove them to stop the allergy and bulging eyes in the hamsters.

It is essential to find out in time what is wrong with the hamster because if it is not found out in time, there is a danger of severe consequences, such as the loss of one of our pet’s eyes.

why is my hamsters eye bulging

Dental problems

Teeth are one of the hamsters’ most essential organs, so they can adequately bite and grind their food.

But unfortunately, sometimes hamsters have irregularities with their teeth which causes the appearance of bulging eyes.

In such a situation, it is necessary to make a specific correction of the teeth with dental treatment. However, it is not very easy and may not be entirely successful.

If the correction does not help or is not done correctly, removing the hamster’s eye may be necessary to reduce the pain.

A dirty cage causes bulging eyes in hamsters

The hygiene of the cage of the hamsters is very important both for the overall health and hygiene, so for the prevention of the appearance of bulging eyes.

If the cage is dirty, bacteria appear that cause infection in hamsters and bulging eyes.

Therefore, we need to take the following steps:

  • changing bed linen
  • removal of food residues
  • cage disinfection
  • ventilation of the room where the cage is

All these measures are necessary to avoid bacterial infections and bulging eyes in our pets.

Can Hamsters Eyes Fall Out?

Yes, unfortunately, hamsters’ eyes may fall out.

If the hamster’s eye begins to dry out and enlarge, it will eventually fall out.

In such situations, hamsters often die because the operation is too complex and often not successful.

Veterinarians recommend euthanasia, or if the operation is successful, the hamsters continue to live with one eye.

Hamsters can manage with one eye because they have very poor eyesight; they use their senses of smell and hearing to navigate their surroundings.

What to do if a hamster’s eye falls out?

If the hamster’s eye falls out, you should immediately take it to the vet.

After the examination, the veterinarian will suggest euthanasia or treatment with antibiotics, which all depends on the condition of your pet’s eyes.

In any case, when the hamster’s eye falls out, it is not good at all, and most of the time, it does not end well for him and his life.

How to prevent eye drops in hamsters?

A falling-out eye in a hamster is an unpleasant situation for you and your pet.

Therefore, we can prevent such an unwanted occurrence with specific measures and attention.

Watch their teeth

Always provide toys and chews for hamsters as their teeth wear down.

Their teeth should never grow too large, thus reducing the chances of deviation and irregularities that cause the eyes to protrude.

Teeth are essential not only for preventing bulging eyes but also for proper eating and chewing food.

Do not push the hamster

Hamsters are delicate, and the slightest wrong grip when petting and playing with them can cause problems such as bulging eyes.

Be especially careful not to squeeze too much on the back of the neck; that part is very sensitive and problematic.

Our children also need to know how to play with the hamster correctly and carefully so as not to injure it.

Clean bed linen

Bedding is one of the most critical factors in hamsters’ risk of bulging eyes.

When the bedding is not clean, there is an accumulation of urine and the release of ammonia, which causes bacteria and the appearance of bulging eyes in hamsters.

Our recommendation for hamster bedding is the following:

  1. paper-based bedding
  2. soft hay
  3. toilet paper
  4. aspen shavings
  5. paper pellets

Avoid the following bedding:

  1. pine shavings
  2. cedar
  3. cotton

Bedding made from pine and cedar shavings is toxic and sharp to hamsters. It can cause a variety of problems, including bulging eyes.

why is my hamsters eye bulging

Cleaning the hamster enclosure

In addition to the hamsters’ bedding and cage, it must always be clean and disinfected, so that bulging eyes do not occur.

The cage and bedding are the main factors in the appearance of bulging eyes. The hamster spends most of its time in its cage, so it should be clean.

You must permanently remove food, droppings, and urine every two to three days to prevent bacterial infections and diseases in hamsters.

Besides bulging eyes, poor cage hygiene also causes a wet tail which can be fatal to his life.

Read more: Why Did My Hamster Yawn?

Hamster recovery from bulging eyes

After treatment at the veterinarian, following the instructions for correctly administering the prescribed antibiotics is necessary.

Regular check-ups so the vet can monitor the condition of the hamsters is essential to see if the hamster is progressing in recovery.

If bulging eyes are due to an infection, the therapy lasts about ten days with ophthalmic ointment.

When hamsters are under antibiotics and therapy for bulging eyes, you need to pay more attention and care to your pet, because it will be under stress and we must devote ourselves to get well as soon as possible.

Read more: Why Is My Hamster Shaking? Read All 11 Reasons

Home remedies for eye infection in hamsters

If your hamster’s eyes have an infection, the following signs may appear:

  • discharge of pus
  • closed eye
  • watery eye

The veterinarian is undoubtedly the best solution for eye infections in hamsters. Still, you can also do something yourself to improve his condition.

Usually, when pus appears, if it is not cleaned in time, it leads to the closing of the eyelids or the closing of the eye in our pet.

The best do-it-yourself solution is to prepare a solution with salt water and wipe the hamster’s eye. To make salt water, just put half a tablespoon of salt in half a cup of warm water, and the solution is ready to use.

Use gloves and a cotton pad to wipe the hamster’s eye, and never use the same cotton pad again.

Do this treatment for 2-3 days. If the condition of the hamster’s eyes does not improve, you should take it to a veterinarian.

Frequently asked questions

Why can a hamster’s eye turn red?

The red eye in hamsters appears due to infection, stress, and trauma. However, a red eye can also be from other things like an injury or some dirt. A red eye should not be ignored, and the hamster should be taken to the vet immediately.

What is the cause of cataracts in hamsters?

The main reason for the appearance of cataracts in hamsters is changes in the eye lens, which occur as our pets age, during which they may partially or entirely lose their vision.

What is a pink eye in hamsters?

Pink eye in hamsters is also called conjunctivitis, which occurs due to swelling of the tissues around their eyes.


The appearance of a protruding eye in hamsters is a common phenomenon that should be treated promptly, otherwise, the hamster may lose the eye.

Reasons for bulging eyes in hamsters are different, including trauma, infections, glaucoma, stress, allergy, and other reasons.

To reduce the chances of a hamster’s eye-bulging, we should pay attention to the hygiene in the hamster’s cage, change the bedding, inspect their teeth and be careful not to squeeze your pet too much.

Read more: Why Is My Hamster Lying Flat? All Reasons