It is a good idea to find a local vet with small animal experience when you get a new hamster so that you know where to go if your hamster becomes unwell. Vets' fees for hamsters are usually reasonable, and you can ask at the surgery for the cost of consultations. Vectis Hamstery uses Unicorn Vets in Southampton and the New Forest.
If you are worried your hamster may be ill, please seek a vet's opinion
Providing appropriate health care is a requirement of animal ownership according to the Animal Welfare Act (2006).
If your hamster needs medication, there is advice on how to give it here.
Hamster First Aid Kit
Hamster first aid kits can be as big or as small as you want. As a minimum, you should have the number of a good small animal vet, a vet fund to cover unplanned vet expenses and a carrier to take your hamster to the vet.
- 1ml syringes (for mixing meds, and giving oral meds and water)
- Snugglesafe or hot water bottle/wheat cushion (not to be placed in the cage or used with unconscious animals)
- Digital scales that read to 1g
- Cotton buds and cotton pads (for wiping cuts or sticky eyes)
- Glass dropper bottles (for storing mixed medications)
- Comb and brush (for any fur issues especially with longhaired hamsters)
- Diastix (if Chinese/hybrid/Campbells)
- Small glass bowls (for water bowls or soft foods)
- Hamster carrier
- Towel (for covering carriers on the way to the vet or wrapping up grumpy hams for meds/injections)
Supplements/food/over the counter meds
- ProC Probiotic (for hamsters on antibiotics)
- Lactol and powdered baby porridge (to build up poorly hams)
- Malt paste or wet cat food (for hiding medications in or tempting sick hamsters to eat)
- Johnson's tea tree cream (for dry skin or wounds)
- Small lip balm-sized Vaseline pot (various uses including squeaky wheels)
I have many hamster health books but the ones I've found most useful are:
- Diseases of Small Domestic Rodents
- BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets