Hamsters are one of the most popular small house pets we keep. They’re considered low-maintenance and docile, which makes them great starter pets for kids. Though they’re known to be primarily benign creatures, hamsters can suffer from health problems just like any other animal.
They are known for being spunky little creatures, but it may signify something serious if your hamster is bleeding from its bottom. If you notice your hamster has any discharge or is bleeding, take it to the vet right away.
Let’s have a look at potential causes of hamster bleeding from the private area and what you can do to help your furry friend.
Why is my hamster bleeding from the bottom?
A hamster bleeding from its bottom could be due to injuries or underlying health conditions such as tumors, polyps, abscesses, gastrointestinal infections, or bacterial infections. Some cases are severe and require immediate veterinary checkups and medication.
1. Gastrointestinal infection
Gastrointestinal tract infection can be caused by bacteria or parasites, leading to inflammation and irritation in the intestines. This can cause your hamster to bleed from its bottom when responding to the “call of nature”.
Tumors in hamsters are relatively rare, but they can occur. You will notice the hamster bleeding from its bottom when the tumor bleeds or ulcerates.
Polyps are tissue growths that resemble small, flat bumps or small mushroom-like stalks. Polyps are quite common in hamsters. Although they are usually benign, they can sometimes bleed or become infected, leading to rectal bleeding.
An abscess is a collection of pus, usually caused by a bacterial infection. Abscesses are also relatively common in hamsters. Rectal bleeding can occur once the abscess ruptures.
Injuries are another possible reason your hamster may be bleeding from its bottom. Your hamster could have sustained an injury to its rectum or anus, leading to bleeding.
The hamster may also bleed from its bottom if a foreign object is stuck in its rectum or anus. This is more common in baby hamsters as they’re known to put things in their mouths and then swallow them.
Other injuries that can cause rectal bleeding include bites or scratches from other animals. If your hamster is kept with other animals, such as dogs or cats, they are at risk of being bitten or scratched, which leads to rectal bleeding.
6. Giving birth
If your hamster is female and bleeding from her bottom, she may be in the process of giving birth. This is more common in female hamsters over the age of one. Bleeding bottoms occur when giving birth because the hamster’s body is shedding the uterine lining.
7. Accidental cuts
If you recently gave your hamster a bath or trim, it’s possible that you accidentally cut her down there. This can lead to bleeding, which, in most cases, is minor and will stop on its own. However, you should take your hamster to the vet if the bleeding is severe or doesn’t stop.
How to treat bleeding in hamsters
Treating bleeding in hamsters is typically done by addressing the underlying cause. Below are the deets on treating bleeding in hamsters.
Antibiotics are the main form of treatment if the cause of your hamster is bleeding its bottom is an infection. The type of antibiotic administered will depend on the specific infection your hamster has. Your vet will likely prescribe oral antibiotics, which you’ll need to give to your hamster for 10-14 days.
Antibiotics work by killing the bacteria or parasites causing the infection. This helps reduce the inflammation and irritation in the intestines that cause rectal bleeding.
It’s important to finish the entire course of antibiotics even if your hamster seems to be feeling better. Stopping the antibiotics too early could cause the infection to come back, and may become resistant to the antibiotic.
If your hamster has a tumor, polyp, or abscess, it may need surgery to remove the growth. Surgery can sometimes be used to treat injuries that cause rectal bleeding.
During surgery, your hamster will be placed under general anesthesia. This is necessary to keep your hamster still during the procedure. Once your hamster is asleep, the vet will incise the area where the growth or injury is. The growth or injury will then be removed and the incision closed with stitches.
Your hamster will be put under pain medication and antibiotics after the surgery. The vet will also give you specific instructions on how to care for your hamster. This typically involves keeping the area clean and dry and giving your hamster plenty of rest.
3. Home treatment
If your hamster is bleeding from a minor cut or scratch, you may be able to treat the injury at home. Start by cleaning the wound to prevent infection and speed up the healing process. Use sterile gauze and warm water when cleaning the wound. Avoid using soap as it can cause irritation.
Apply a topical antibiotic ointment after cleaning the wound. This will help prevent infection and speed up the healing process. Be sure to follow the directions on the package when applying the ointment.
Make sure to place a bandage over the wound to keep the area clean and protected. Be sure to check the bandage regularly and replace it as needed.
Bath your hamster if cleaning does not help. This will help remove any feces or urine that may irritate the skin. Use a mild soap and warm water when bathing your hamster. Make sure to avoid scented soaps as these can irritate the skin.
After the bath, dry your hamster off completely. You can use a hairdryer on the low setting or a clean towel. Proceed to apply a topical antibiotic ointment to the injury.
FAQs about bleeding in hamsters
Let’s now have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about a hamster bleeding from its bottom.
Why is my hamster bleeding from its bottom?
The potential causes of rectal bleeding in hamsters include tumors, polyps, abscesses, and injuries. In some cases, the bleeding may be caused by a medical condition such as gastrointestinal ulcers.
How can I stop my hamster from bleeding?
If your hamster is bleeding from a minor cut or scratch, you may be able to treat it at home, administer antibiotics, bathe your hamster, or see a vet. Severe cases will need immediate veterinary help.
How do I know if my hamster needs to see a vet?
If the bleeding is severe or if your hamster is acting abnormally, you need to take it to the vet. Also, it’s a good idea to see a vet if the bleeding doesn’t stop after home treatment.
How do I know if my hamster has a tumor?
If your hamster has a tumor, you may notice that it has a lump or mass on its body. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Take your hamster to the vet for a diagnosis if you notice a lump or mass.
How do I know what antibiotic to use for my hamster?
You can ask your vet for a recommendation in case you’re not sure what antibiotic to use. Be sure to follow the directions on the package to apply the antibiotic. The best antibiotic is specific to the type of infection your hamster has.
How should I change my hamster’s bandage?
You should first remove the old bandage, clean the wound with warm water, apply an antibiotic ointment if desired, and finally apply a new bandage. Be sure to check the bandage regularly and replace it as needed.
You need to take action quickly if your hamster is bleeding from its bottom. There are several potential causes of rectal bleeding and some can be serious. Home treatment may be all that’s needed for a minor cut or scratch. However, if the bleeding is severe or if your hamster is acting abnormally, you need to take it to the vet. This way, your hamster will get the treatment it needs and you can rest assured that it will recover fully.