How To Comfort A Dying Hamster?

Photo of author
Written By Editorial Staff

Veterinary Experts

If you have a hamster that is dying, it can be difficult to know what to do. They are small and fragile creatures, and they need your help to make them feel comfortable during their final days.

At first, I didn’t want a pet, but my friend was returning to Brazil, and no one else wanted him, so I took Hammy in.

He quickly won over my heart with his gentle nature–and big spirit! The little guy became an integral part of my family in no time flat!!

A few weeks ago, Hammy stopped eating and drinking. I knew his time was coming. It was tough to watch him go through that, but I wanted him to know he wasn’t alone.

I brought Hammy into bed with me every night until he passed away peacefully in my arms on Thursday morning. He was such a special hamster and will always be missed!

Before he passed on, I researched how to make him more comfortable in his final days. Here are a few tips from my experience.

How to comfort a dying hamster?

How to comfort a dying hamster
How to comfort a dying hamster?

If you have a dying hamster, there are many things that you can do to make them feel more comfortable and keep their spirits up during the final days of their life. Pet owners need to remember not only taking care of their furry friends physically but also emotionally. You can help make the dying process easier for your Hamster by providing a clean and comfortable living area, regulating their body temperature, offering food and water, and showing them love and attention.

Regulate their body temperature

When you see your Hamster is sick or dying, you should first try to keep them at an ideal temperature. As a hamster gets older, or if they are sick, they may struggle to regulate their body temperature. If your Hamster is dying, you will want to keep them in an optimal environment-between 69 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the temperature does not drop below 60 degrees or else your Hamster will go into hibernation.

You can also place a heating pad under a towel and put it near the Hamster’s bedding. This will help keep their body temperature regulated and make them more comfortable.

Give Your Hamster A Clean, Quiet, and Peaceful Sleeping Area

When your furry friend approaches death, they will need to sleep more for the little energy they have been wasting away. To keep them comfortable while sleeping, ensure you provide a clean dark place with no noise or dampness; it’s important not only throughout this time but also when mourning after having lost an animal companion.

Keep your Hamster hydrated

Try not to let your dying Hamster get too dehydrated. They can’t drink on their own, so it’s up to you, as the owner of the dying Hamster, to provide fresh water at all times during the day and night. If a hamster does not eat for several days, that is still ok, but without water, their body will get dehydrated and it may die a painful death.

If you notice that your dying Hamster isn’t drinking as much water as they usually do, it might be a sign that they are close to dying. You can try changing the water and adding sugar or salt to make your dying Hamster drink more.

My Hamster had stopped eating, but I ensured that I kept giving it water at regular intervals.

Please show your support by giving them attention

Your dying Hamster will appreciate all the love and attention you can give them in their final days. Stroke them, pet them, and talk to them softly. They may not respond, but they will know that you are there for them.

Hammy was dying, and I spent hours just sitting next to him, holding his paw and telling him how much I loved him. It eased his anxiety and made the dying process more peaceful.

Keep their living area clean and free from clutter

A dying hamster doesn’t need the added stress of a dirty and cluttered living environment. Make sure to clean your Hamster’s bedding and food dishes regularly and keep their surroundings free from any extra noise or distractions.

When my Hamster was dying, I moved his bedding and water dish to a quiet corner of the room.

It is important to remember that each Hamster is unique and may pass away in its own way-so be prepared for anything.

Provide pain management medication

If your dying Hamster is in pain, you can provide them with some medications that will help relieve their suffering. The most common way to do this is through palliative care. Palliative care includes any treatment or intervention to relieve symptoms without curing the underlying condition causing these symptoms (such as dying).

Do not give your hamster pain medication without consulting with a veterinarian first. Animals have different tolerances for medications than humans do, so it’s important to get the correct dosage and type of medication for them before giving anything orally or by injection.

Hammy was dying, but I didn’t know how long it would take him away from us. So the vet prescribed me some pain medication for dying hamsters, which I gave him every day until he passed on peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones (us).

Frequently Asked Questions on Dying Hamsters

Do Hamster know when they are dying?

Hamsters do not have a great sense of self-awareness, so they will likely not know they are dying. However, you may notice certain behaviors or changes in your Hamster that indicate that they are nearing the end of their life.

How do I know when it is time to euthanize my Hamster?

If your Hamster is dying or has a terminal illness and is suffering, you may need to euthanize them. For example, if your Hamster has stopped eating and drinking for more than 24 hours, if they are struggling to breathe or have lost the ability to move their legs, it might be time for euthanasia. Talk to your vet.

Are dying animals in pain?

Some dying animals may be in pain, while others may not. If your Hamster shows signs of extreme discomfort, your vet can administer a painkiller to help make them more comfortable.

What should I do if my Hamster dies at home?

If your Hamster dies at home, you should bury them or have them cremated. You can also hire a pet disposal service to come and take the body away for you.

My dying Hamster has lost its appetite; what should I do?

If your dying Hamster is refusing food or water, you will want to give them pain management medication that can be prescribed by a vet if necessary. This can help make dying hamsters more comfortable.

What do hamsters feel like when they die?

When dying hamsters are nearing the end of their life, they may feel a sense of peace. They will likely be weak and tired, but if you show them love and affection during this time, it can help ease any anxiety or stress that they might have. This is something I experienced with my dying Hamster Hammy.

What does a dying hamster sound like?

Dying hamsters may make a gurgling noise as they breathe, or they may make no sound at all. If your Hamster is gasping for air or having trouble breathing, it is a sign that they are in pain and you should consult with your vet.

When do most hamsters die?

Most hamsters will die within two to four days of showing the signs of dying. However, each Hamster is different and may die sooner or later than this. If your Hamster has a terminal illness, they may only have a few hours or days left to live.

How do you know if your Hamster is suffering?

If your Hamster is suffering, they will likely show signs of discomfort such as losing appetite, difficulty breathing, or agitation. If you are unsure if your Hamster is in pain, consult your veterinarian.

Can I hold my dying Hamster?

Yes, you can surely hold your dying Hamster in your hand. However, if your Hamster is weak and close to death, you may want to hold them in your arms.

What is the average lifespan of a hamster?

The average lifespan is between two and three years, although some live longer than this. For example, the Syrian Hamster has an average life span of two to four years, while the Campbell’s dwarf Russian hamsters can live for up to three years on average as a pet.

What do you do when your Hamster is about to die?

Gather supplies – a shoebox, soft cloths, a heating pad, and a small amount of water
Place the Hamster in the shoebox and wrap it in the soft cloths
Put the heating pad on low heat and place it in the box with the Hamster
Give the Hamster a small amount of water to drink
Talk to your Hamster softly and tell it that you love it
Wait until it dies peacefully in your arms

Can I bury my Hamster in my backyard?

Yes, you can bury your Hamster in your backyard. You will want to dig a hole at least six inches deep and place the Hamster’s body in it. Cover the body with soil and mark the spot so you remember where it is. Check with your local municipality on rules related to burying dead animals on your property.

What do dying hamsters look like?

Dying hamsters may seem weak and tired, or they may not be able to move their legs at all. In addition, they will likely have a very low body temperature and feel cold to the touch and have pale ears and cheeks. These are some of the signs that dying hamsters show.

Can I euthanize my Hamster at home?

If your veterinarian agrees, you can give your Hamster a lethal injection to end their suffering. However, you should only make this decision if all other options have been exhausted and the Hamster is in great pain.

What do I do with my dying Hamster?

If your dying Hamster is refusing food or water, you will want to give them pain management medication that can be prescribed by a vet if necessary. This can help make dying hamsters more comfortable.

Can I cremate my Hamster?

Yes, you can cremate your Hamster. To cremate a hamster, you will need to have their body cremated at an animal crematory or funeral home that offers this service. You may also be able to find one online, depending on where you live.

What Are Some Signs That Your Hamster Is Dying?

Here are some signs that your Hamster is dying:

Lethargy: If your Hamster is not as active as it usually is, this could be a sign that something’s wrong. It may also take longer for them to respond when you call their name.

Change in Appearance: If your Hamster’s appearance changes suddenly, such as their coat starting to look greasy or matted, this could be a sign of illness.

Loss of Appetite: If your Hamster stops eating altogether, it is likely because they are not feeling well.

Weight Loss: A healthy hamster will weigh between 200-500 grams depending on their breed, so if you notice any sudden weight loss in your pet, this could be a sign of illness.

Change in Behavior: If your Hamster has been behaving differently than usual and is no longer as friendly or interactive with you or other family members, this may indicate that something’s wrong.

Labored Breathing: If your Hamster is having trouble breathing, this could be a sign that they are suffering from an illness or heart failure.

Unkempt Coat: A healthy hamster’s coat will be clean and shiny, but if it becomes greasy or matted, this may be a sign of illness.

If you notice any of these signs in your Hamster, it is important to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible for a diagnosis.

What Causes A Hamster To Die Suddenly?

There are a variety of things that can cause a hamster to die suddenly, such as an illness, old age, or being crushed by accident. If your Hamster dies suddenly and you do not know the cause, it is best to take them to the veterinarian for a postmortem examination. This will help determine what caused your Hamster’s death and provide peace of mind for you.

Here are some common reasons that can cause your pet Hamster to die suddenly:

Stress or Trauma: If your Hamster experiences sudden stress or trauma, such as being attacked by another animal, they may die from the shock.

Infection: If your Hamster contracts a serious infection, they may die as a result. This can be from a variety of sources, such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Heart Failure: Hamsters are prone to heart failure and it is one of the leading causes of death in this species. If your Hamster dies from heart failure, it is likely because their heart was not strong enough to pump blood throughout their body and organs.

Old Age: If your Hamster has reached an advanced age, they may die as a result of dying tissues in their bodies. It’s important to keep this in mind when deciding whether or not you should euthanize your pet hamster.

Illness: Hamsters are susceptible to a variety of illnesses, and if they become ill and do not receive treatment, they may die. These include:

  • Conjunctivitis (pinkeye): A highly contagious eye infection that can cause blindness and even death if not treated.
  • Mycoplasma pulmonis: A bacterial lung infection that is often fatal if left untreated.
  • Coccidiosis: A parasitic intestinal infection that can cause diarrhea, weight loss, and in some cases death.
  • Protrusion of the eyeball: A condition that is often caused by infection or injury and can lead to blindness if left untreated.
  • Diarrhea (Wet Tail): A hamster with diarrhea will often have a wet tail. Diarrhea can be rapidly fatal and requires prompt veterinary care.
  • Lameness: A hamster that is lame will have difficulty walking. This could be a sign of a serious illness resulting from strained tendons or broken bones.
  • Pneumonia: A hamster with pneumonia may have labored breathing, chest congestion, and rapid breathing. This condition can be fatal if not treated. Symptom include pus or mucus coming out of nose or eyes of the Hamster.
  • Sendai Virus (Parainfluenza Virus 1) Infection: A highly contagious disease that can cause respiratory problems and even death if left untreated. There is currently no cure for this disease. A vet may treat the symptoms with fluids, food supplements and antibiotics.
  • Tumors: Tumors are growths of tissue in the body that may be benign or malignant (cancerous). If a tumor is cancerous, it may spread to other parts of your Hamster’s body and lead to death.
  • Inflammation and Scarring of the Liver (Cholangiofibrosis): This condition is caused by a unknown reason. Female Hamster’s are particularly susceptible to this illness. This can lead to scar tissue and inflammation, which affects the ability of the liver to function properly.Blood test will show increase in enzymes by liver.
  • Cancer: A tumor that forms on or inside your Hamster’s body could be cancerous. Cancer may spread from one part of your pet’s body to another if not treated.
  • Stroke: A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a build up of fat in your Hamster’s arteries. This causes damage to the nerve cells in their brains, which can be fatal if left untreated.
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (Arenavirus) Infection: Its a highly contagious disease that is spread through the saliva of infected hamsters. This can cause neurological damage and even death if left untreated.
  • Encephalitis: Encephalitis causes inflammation in your Hamster’s brain, which can lead to seizures or other neurological problems.
  • Heat Stroke: Heatstroke occurs when a Hamster is exposed to high temperatures, which can cause them to dehydrate rapidly.
  • Hypothermia: Hypothermia occurs when a hamster’s body temperature falls below 98 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time. This is often caused by exposure to cold temperatures or excessive wetting of their fur with water from swimming pools or baths.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion occurs when a hamster becomes dehydrated due to excessive heat exposure.
  • Poisoning: Hamsters can be poisoned by ingesting household items such as cleaning products, cosmetics, and medications. They may also die from eating spoiled food or drinking water that has been contaminated with chemicals.
  • Actinomycosis: A fungal infection that can cause abscesses (pus-filled lumps) to form on a hamster’s salivary glands. This condition is may be fatal if the affected area is not lanced and treated with appropriate antibiotics.
  • Source:

If your Hamster dies as a result of one of these illnesses, it is essential to take them to the veterinarian for a postmortem examination to determine the cause of death.

Accidents: Hamsters can also die from accidents, such as being crushed by a falling object. If you see that your Hamster has died suddenly and you are not sure why, it is best to take them to the veterinarian for a postmortem examination. This will help determine what caused your Hamster’s death and provide peace of mind for you.

There are a variety of other causes that can lead to the death of a hamster, such as being poisoned, getting into a struggle and dying from internal injuries, or drowning. If you have any concerns about your Hamster’s health or well-being, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian.

Let nature run its course

Your Hamster will die when it’s time, and there is nothing you can do to speed up or slow down the process. Instead, try to relax and let nature take its course. It may be hard to do, but it will be best for both you and your Hamster.

Some people choose to have their dying hamsters euthanized by a veterinarian so that they don’t have to go through the pain of dying naturally. If you are considering this, please speak to your veterinarian about the process.

It’s hard to see our furry friends suffer and pass away, but with these tips you can make their last days as comfortable as possible. Comforting a dying hamster is a big responsibility, but it will be worth it in the end. Thank you for reading!

Was this article helpful?