Amyloidosis in Hamsters: Causes, Symptoms & Prevention
Amyloidosis is a common illness among hamsters that occurs when soluble proteins combine to form insoluble fibers known as amyloid. The amyloid proteins build up throughout the body including vital organs such as the liver and kidneys interfering with their normal functioning.
Amyloidosis in hamsters is susceptible to old females and hamsters with existing illnesses. This makes it difficult to detect when a hamster has this illness until it’s too late. Once the hamster has amyloidosis, it lives only for a short time since it has no permanent cure.
In this article, we will focus on the following;
- Causes of amyloidosis in hamsters
- Signs of amyloidosis in hamsters
- Diagnosis of amyloidosis in hamsters
- Prevention of amyloidosis in hamsters
- How to help a hamster suffering from amyloidosis
Causes of amyloidosis in hamsters
Amyloidosis in hamsters occurs when sheets of dense insoluble fats are deposited in different tissues.
Signs of amyloidosis in hamsters
You may not notice signs of amyloid accumulation in the hamster’s body until it starts affecting vital organs.
- Leaning forward with bowing head
- Breathing difficulties
- Rough hair coat
- Loss of appetite and eventually weight loss
- Cloudy urine
- Abdominal swelling
Diagnosis of amyloidosis in hamsters
When you suspect that your hamster has amyloidosis, the next step you should take is to visit a veterinarian. The vet will conduct lab tests on the hamster’s blood and urine tests.
The blood test will check for abnormal levels of cholesterol, albumin, and globulin proteins. Urine tests will also check for high cholesterol deposits.
Prevention of amyloidosis in hamsters
The best way to prevent amyloidosis in hamsters is to observe their overall health. Observing measures such as hygiene and a balanced diet will eliminate the chances of common hamster illnesses attacking your hamster.
You should also add toys for hamsters to play with in their cage. Adding a running wheel, for instance, will keep your hamster from being stressed and restless. The body will also burn the excess fats and keep organs such as the heart in perfect condition.
How to help a hamster suffering from amyloidosis
Unfortunately, when the veterinary confirms amyloid in your hamsters, the pet has a few days to live. You should take this opportunity to make the pet as comfortable as you can.
The veterinarian should also recommend a diet to which you will feed a hamster preferably having a small fat content.
What are the warning signs of amyloidosis in hamsters?
The common signs of amyloidosis in hamsters include weight loss, lethargy, swollen belly, and hunched posture.
What foods are high in amyloid?
Foods with high protein content are likely to cause amyloidosis in hamsters. These include nut meals and hard-boiled eggs.
Which organs get affected by amyloidosis?
The kidney and liver are the most vulnerable when a hamster has amyloid.