Rare Disease in Hamsters

Let's talk about a rare disease in hamsters. Can you imagine having an infection in your mouth, a swollen jaw, pus-filled pockets and difficulty eating? This is a rare disease in hamsters, however it does happen. This article informs hamster owners about the infection known as lumpy jaw.

Lumpy jaw is actually a rare infectious disease that is called actinomycosis. Lumpy Jaw is the disease's common name. This disease is caused by a specific bacteria that surprisingly is often found in a hamsters mouth. The bacteria is common, but the infection is rare, so what causes it?

When a hamster has any type of open wound inside its mouth the bacteria can get into the wound and enter the animal's bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream the infection is widespread.

This infectious disease actually causes a hamster's jawbones to become soft and the infected animals sometimes cannot eat. Not eating results in weight loss and usually lethargy. Other symptoms of Lumpy Jaw in hamsters include abscesses, inflammation around the jaw, bluish skin, and an increased heart rate.

To avoid secondary infections or any further complications, hamsters with lumpy jaw need treatment as soon as possible. A hamster with lumpy jaw needs to be examined by a veterinarian because abscesses may need to be drained and medication is required to rid the infected animal of its infection.

When you're trying to let your hamster recover it may need some special treatment. You may have to mash up its food or only feed it very soft food.  If you have other hamsters, separate the infected hamster to not only prevent the spread of the infection, but also because recovering hamsters need rest and a calm environment. To prevent Lumpy Jaw from reoccurring you should make sure there are no sharp edges or objects that your hamster can chew on. Preventing mouth wounds can prevent lumpy jaw.

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.