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Cage paralysis in hamsters

A hamster may seem unable to walk properly or even paralysed due to a number of causes. These include problems with the spine due to trauma which is probably the most common one seen in general practice. Disorders associated with the muscles will also cause the hamster to walk abnormally.

Spinal trauma is a common problem with hamsters if they are dropped or if they fall from a height, (never put your hamster in a transparent ball on a table where it could fall and cause serious injury to your pet), this type of injury is also seen in hamsters which are allowed to roam freely around the house and then get trodden upon, unfortunately spinal injury is not something which can be treated, and it is usually kindest to put the hamster to sleep.

Lack of exercise can cause problems in these small pets since the muscles will grow weak. It is a good idea to provide activities for your hamster. I would recommend tunnels and climbing apparatus rather than wheels and transparent balls which can themselves cause injury to hamsters.

Sometimes a diet deficient in vitamins D and E can cause myopathies (muscle problems), this type of disorder can usually be reversed if the diet is improved. Offer a good quality proprietary food to avoid this type of problem.

There is also a sex linked cage paralysis which affects male hamsters of approximately 8-10 months of age. In females this problem is mild and rare.

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All Rights Reserved | Content is provided for information only. All content on vetbase.co.uk is protected by copyright and therefore may not be copied without specific written permission from the author. Disclaimer: The content of this website is based upon the opinions of Samantha Coe, unless otherwise stated. Individual articles, extracts, and any links to external sites are based upon the opinions of the respective author(s), who may retain copyright. The information on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a qualified veterinary professional and is not intended as medical advice. The purpose of this site is the sharing of knowledge and information - Samantha Coe encourages you to make informed healthcare decisions for animals in your care based upon your research and in consultation with your vet.