What is Lumpy Jaw?

Let's talk about what is lumpy jaw.

Many pet owners don't worry about rare diseases, but just because these diseases are less likely, doesn't mean that they don't affect some pets. This article will discuss a disease in hamsters, known as lumpy jaw.

Lumpy jaw or actinomycosis is an infectious disease. It is rare, but is sometimes found in pet hamsters. The infection is caused by the A. bovis bacteria enters a hamster's bloodstream. A. bovis is actually common in a hamster's mouth, but it doesn't enter their bloodstream unless the pet has an open mouth wound.

This infection actually softens a hamster's jawbones and causes inflammation. Other symptoms of this disease include bluish colored skin inability to eat, weight loss, increased heart and pulse rates, abscesses and swelling.

If your hamster has these symptoms they need immediate medical attention. This type of infection can be painful and serious. Any abscesses your hamster has will need to be drained and your veterinarian will also give the infected hamster sodium iodide and antibiotics. Depending on the severity of this infection other treatment options may be required. For example, hamsters may need fluid or electrolyte therapy if they have not been eating or drinking.

As with all other types of infections, lumpy jaw can spread to other hamsters. Therefore, always separate infected hamsters from healthy hamsters if you have more than one of them. Keep recovering hamsters in a clean, calm, and quiet environment. Since this infection mostly affects a hamster's jaw and mouth, they will need to eat soft foods. You may have to mash up your pet's food.

If you want to prevent this infection from occurring, regularly clean your hamster's cage and try to prevent your hamster from chewing on its cage or any other objects that could cause an open wound in their mouth.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.