By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS
My hamster’s eye is swollen and has a black-like, little ball under her eye, and it is pretty bad. Also, she is quite slow now and is not too interactive. Her eye has gotten worse and worse every day. It started to give out pus and stuff. She is an albino hamster, and her name is Snowflake. She has a bump under her mouth, and it’s green. I am so worried, and I need your help. I want to take her to the vet, but I don’t have the money. I would like to know what I can do to help.
Unfortunately, the only way to help your hamster is to visit a veterinarian. But you need to find one who understands the diseases of hamsters, as not all veterinarians have had training with hamsters.
It sounds like your hamster has a couple of problems that may be or may be not related to one another. The eye, as you describe, likely has an infection because you mention the discharge from the eye. This is not uncommon, and in many cases can be treated with antibiotic eye drops. Those are easy to administer and can make your hamster feel better within a day or so.
The “bump” under the mouth that is green also sounds like an infection. That type of infection could be an abscess. It may be related to the eye issue. Only your veterinarian would be able to tell you that.
Hamsters can get dental disease and because you have noticed this near her mouth, there may be a tooth root abscess that has formed. Again, this may not be difficult to treat, but left alone, your hamster may stop eating and then the problems become much worse.
The best case for your hamster would be that these conditions are infections that can be treated with antibiotics. But there are other diseases, especially different types of cancers, that can cause what you are describing. Although more complicated to treat than infections, there are potentially treatments for cancer and, at the very least, your veterinarian can help with any discomfort your hamster maybe suffering from with these different conditions.