Hamsters and Lumpy Jaw

Let's talk about hamsters and lumpy jaw.

Lumpy Jaw may sound like something humorous, but it is no joke. Lumpy jaw is actually a very serious infection that occurs in a hamster's mouth.

Actinomycosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria A. bovis. Actinomycosis' common name is Lumpy Jaw. Why is it called Lumpy jaw? Because swelling, and abscesses occur in the mouth and around the hamster's jaw. Abscesses are pus-filled pockets that form from an infection.

Other symptoms of this rare up serious infection include softening of the jawbones, bluish skin, inflammation, increased heart rate, and weight loss caused by the hamster's inability to properly eat.

So, how does a hamster get an infection in its mouth. The bacteria A. bovis is in most hamsters' mouths without causing any infections. However, if a hamster has an open wound in its mouth, the bacteria enters the wound and ends up in the hamster's bloodstream creating a serious infection.

Infections can be dangerous and spread, which is why you should immediately contact your veterinarian and schedule an apportionment for your hamster as soon as possible. Plus, with Lumpy Jaw the hamster is most likely not eating or drinking which can cause even more complications. Your veterinarian will exam your hamster and its mouth. They will also run some tests and cultures to ensure they are making the right diagnosis.

If you noticed your hamster's symptoms early enough treatment and recovery can be very easy and successful. Your pet will be prescribed antibiotics. In some cases, a hamster's abscesses have to be drained and treated. Your veterinarian can make specific recommendations depending on your hamster's symptoms and severity of the infection.

If you have more than one hamster in a cage together, immediately separate the infected hamster from its friends because Lumpy Jaw can spread.

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.