Can Hamsters Get a Virus from Mice?

Can hamsters get a virus from mice? This article tackles this question and explains about viruses that hamsters can get from mice. Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis virus or arenavirus is a viral infection that often occurs in mice, rats, sometimes hamster can contract is as well. Many hamster owners aren't aware of this virus and they should be. Arenavirus is contagious and can be passed onto humans.

How can your pet hamster get a virus from a mouse? It usually occurs in the pet store where you purchased them. They can also get it if you have any pet or wild mice in your house. Mice that carry the virus often have if for pretty much their whole life without showing any signs of it. The virus is usually spread when hamsters or humans come in contact with an infected mouse's urine, saliva, or feces.

Luckily, arenavirus in hamsters isn't common, but it does happen. To avoid the virus, make sure you buy a hamster from a pet store that either doesn't have mice or that doesn't have the hamsters right next to the mice. If you have mice in your home, you will want to get rid of them to keep you, your family, and your pets healthy.

Although, mice and hamsters with arenavirus don't always show symptoms of the illness, some do. If your hamster is experiencing weight loss, depression, spasms, or have swollen lymph nodes, they may have arenavirus. Be careful when handling a hamster with arenavirus, wear gloves.

You can call your veterinarian, but if they run tests and determine that your pet hamster has arenavirus they will probably recommend euthanizing it. There is no cure for arenavirus in hamsters and it's probably best to not have the hamster in your house since you don't want to get the virus. If you get arenavirus from your infected hamster you will have flu-like symptoms and should contact your doctor for treatment.


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.