Wellness Tips and Signs of Illness

Wellness Tips and Signs of Illness: Small Rodents: Hamsters, Gerbils, Rats, Mice

Small rodents should all be evaluated for a post purchase exam immediately after you purchase or adopt your new companion. During this exam, our doctors and staff will examine your pet for any obvious signs of physical illness, teach you how to properly feed and care for your rodent in ways the pet stores can not, and offer you appropriate testing to ensure your new investment is happy and healthy. We will recommend appropriate spaying or neutering to prevent disease, unwanted pregnancies, and destructive behaviors. Our goal here is to help set you and your pet up for a long, happy life of good health and preventative medicine.

Due to their short lifespan, small rodents should be examined at least on twice yearly basis. During these exams we get the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about your rodent’s health over the year. We will examine your pet to evaluate any changes that may be important such as weight changes, hair/skin abnormalities, or any irregular growths that may be important to detect. We are often able to find subtle problems that you can not at home. This allows us to prevent illness and disease, educate you on changes you may need to make at home to improve your rodent’s health, and share with you any new advances we have learned during the year in rodent medicine.

Signs of Illness in Hamsters, Gerbils, Rats and Mice

If during the year, your rodent exhibits any of these signs of illness, we would strongly recommend scheduling an exam with one of our specialists:

  • Hair loss
  • Itching
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty eating or change in food preferences
  • Drooling
  • Change in color of urine
  • Increase in urination
  • Increased drinking or thirst
  • Change in fecal production, color, or size
  • Limping
  • Raspy or loud breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Growths on the skin
  • Decrease in activity
  • Overgrown toenails
  • Sleeping more
  • Bulging eye or eyes
  • Swelling of the feet or face
  • Feces (poop) or urine stuck to fur
  • Abnormal smell
  • Overgrown or cracked teeth
  • Grinding teeth

Signs of Illness Requiring Emergency Treatment

If your rodent exhibits any of these signs or experiences any of these events, your pet may be having an emergency and you should call us right away:

  • Not eating (anorexia)
  • Not producing feces
  • Bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Inability to stand
  • Straining to urinate or unable to urinate
  • Diarrhea or Wet Tail
  • Trauma

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9:00 AM-7:00 pm


9:00 AM-7:00 pm


9:00 AM-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm