Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Why is my hamster losing weight? (No. 6 is important)


Every person who has a hamster undergoes the phase when you ask – why is my hamster losing weight?

The average lifespan of a hamster is 2 years. It is quite quick for a hamster to reach that old age time when he/she becomes skinny. Nevertheless, a hamster losing weight in the early stages is quite common and easily reversible.

In this article, let us explore 11 major reasons for hamsters to lose weight.

How do you know if your hamster is too skinny?

The easiest way to find if your hamster is skinny is by gently rubbing his body to see if you experience ribs instead of flesh. Aged hamsters display skinny nature around face, legs and back portion.

how do you know if your hamster is too skinny

Do not want to rub him and disturb? You can partially estimate the level of skinny nature based on the food consumption.

The body of a hamster changes its shape and gives a crappy look replacing the furry nature when he is becoming too skinny. Hamsters squeak so much at this time and the impact can be seen on the abdominal curve.

7 Reasons Your Hamster is Losing Weight

1. Your hamster might have nutritional deficiencies.

Hamsters commonly eat grains, seeds, and grasses. In assessing nutrient requirements, it is important to follow the natural ingredient diet present below.

Source – National Academy of Sciences (1995)

This chart makes it clear that your hamster needs enough protein each day to stay hydrated and physically strong. If your hamster is losing weight, there is high likelihood of low protein content in the body.

2. Your hamster is having inappropriate food quantities

The quantity of food that your hamster takes in is directly proportional to the weight. When the quantity of food is high, the hamster can also experience bloating. When there is insufficient food, the hamster can starve and result in skinny body.

It’s time to answer the question –

How much food should I give my hamster?

Give a couple of teaspoons of dry food spread into 4 different portions of the day. Dwarf hamsters take 0.5 tablespoon of dry food while big-sized hamster breeds take in a maximum of 2 tablespoons of dry food each day.

How often should I feed my hamster?

It is ideal to feed hamster once a day when he is full of health. But, when he is sick, breaking it into 4 different meals will help in assessing health conditions and improving the intake.

why is my hamster losing weight

Some of the healthy treats that you should give your hamster to increase weight are –

  • Kiwi
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas
  • Corn
  • Grapes
  • Flax seeds
  • Apples

Hey, if you are also raising a rabbit, do check this link – Rabbits

3. Your hamster is suffering from anorexia.

Anorexia is a form of mental health complication when your hamster rapidly loses weight. The main cause of anorexia in hamster is an issue observed in teeth or mouth thereby affecting the digestive system.

When it is a pheromone-caused anorexia which is common among male Syrian breeds of hamsters, it can control over time. Otherwise, hamsters need a visit to the vet to sort the internal disorder and reach back to the original food routine.

Note – Ensure that your hamster does not have symptoms of diarrhea. This can add more risks.

4. Your hamsters have overgrown teeth.

It is common for hamsters that eat little to no grass to experience troubles in their gums affecting the digestive system. This is one reason for your hamster to skip usual substances that are hard to munch and digest. They wait for soft soluble substances that do not hurt their food pipes.

Note – Remember that hamsters have their teeth growing throughout their lifespan. This also gets influenced by the diet that they consume. So, remember to keep an eye on the growth of teeth.

5. Your hamster is aging.

When your hamster is getting old, there is a natural decrease in several aspects like appetite, sleep, fur growth, movement, and other impairments.

An aged hamster needs extra attention from you since he can develop new issues each day. Perhaps, if the hamster is raised with the right diet and lifestyle since birth, the likelihood of developing deficiencies is low.

6. Your hamster needs grooming.

When you observe your hamster losing weight, you should also check if you have been grooming him appropriately. Hamsters are known for their cleanliness. Sometimes, they fail to groom themselves which is when they develop an unhappy look.

Take a piece of damp cotton pad and place it on the body. Ensure that the pad is not too wet. Gently wipe over the body but don’t do it entirely in one day. On the first day, focus on the head region, and on the next day, focus on the back.

If your hamster is aging, remember not to do this. You can take him to a vet so the vet can administer and do the needful.

Note – Never use baby wipes or cotton pads available in the market. They are loaded with chemicals and applying such pads can end up in more issues.

7. Your hamster is hyperactive.

Some hamsters remain extremely hyperactive and end up losing weight. Assess the activity pattern of your hamster for a couple of days. Compare your finding with food and fluid intakes. If there is a sudden increase in activity, you may have to increase food intake or reduce movement.

Note – In this process, ensure that the solution you identify doesn’t end up the hamster in poor mental health.

Do hamsters lose weight before they die?

Hamsters lose significant weight before they die as they develop impairments in different parts of the body and lower their food and fluid intakes. This slow lifestyle is also attributed to energy loss.

do hamsters lose weight before they die

The best way to ensure that your hamster does not suffer from weight loss before death is to increase his comfort level and to keep him hydrated at all times.

Why is my Syrian hamster so skinny?

Syrian hamster, the friendliest variety, becomes skinny due to internal health complications or lack of attention from the human pal or seasonal changes. As they are also expressive, you can find the exact reason at ease.

Why is my dwarf hamster so skinny?

Dwarf hamster, being the smallest variety of a hamster, becomes skinny primarily due to seasonal changes. Never assess and take chances. They are fragile species and need the intervention of a vet.

Sowmya Sankaran
Sowmya Sankaran
Sowmya Sankaran is crazy about animals and birds! An avid rescuer and rehabilitator of animals and birds, she uses PETSMOND to share her experiences in raising different creatures and paying attention to intricate aspects of their health. Know more about me - https://petsmond.com/about/

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