All About Hamster Diabetes – Symptoms, Prevention, And Care

Hamsters can suffer from multiple diseases, most of them very similar to the pathologies that affect us, humans. They can also suffer from diabetes, in fact, dwarf breeds such as Russian and Chinese hamsters are genetically predisposed to suffer from this disease. Diabetes is a rare disease in hamsters. However, it is possible to develop it due to a poor diet or the product of a hereditary gene. So, here let’s know about a hamster and how to treat diabetes of hamster.


About Hamster:

Hamsters are friendly creatures, very suitable for pets. In nature, they live in groups and thrive in the forests, grasslands, and deserts of China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Siberia. They live in arid environments. If you treat them in the right way, they are going to live a long and happy life.

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What Is Diabetes In Hamster?

Diabetes is defined as a chronic and irreversible disease in which excess glucose is produced in the blood and urine. This is the result of a lack of insulin or resistance to it, a polypeptide hormone that allows the metabolic use of sugars by the body’s cells.

Dwarf hamsters, one of the most popular rodents as domestic pets, have only type 2 diabetes. This means that they are resistant to the insulin produced by their own body and, therefore, are not able to metabolize sugars and accumulate them in the blood.

Despite the fact that diabetes cannot be cured, with rapid detection and with the necessary care, the hamster can lead a relatively normal life and it will be possible to extend its stay with us since untreated diabetes leads to body degeneration and untimely death.

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Symptoms Of Diabetes In Hamster:

Diabetes in Dwarf hamsters is a difficult disease to tackle, as there is no definitive cure for it. Changes in diet and the patience of the tutor will be essential to address it.

Symptoms of diabetes can be very diverse, depending on the stage of the disease and its severity. Some of the most obvious can be detected if you pay special attention to the behavior of the rodent:

An Increase In Appetite:

the animal is constantly tired, as the cells of its body cannot use glucose for energy. Therefore, it is normal to eat more as an instinctual mechanism.

Increased Thirst:

for glucose to be excreted with urine, it needs a higher water content. Therefore, the dwarf hamster will be thirsty continuously.

Lack Of Energy:

The cells have fewer nutrients to metabolize, so it is normal for the animal to lack energy.

Weight Loss:

counterintuitive as it may be, diabetes can manifest itself in weight loss. Tissues burn fat and nutrients faster to compensate for the inability to use glucose.

Yellow Nails:

The presence of thick yellow nails is moderately simple to see and frequently demonstrates that your hamster has diabetes. All things considered, yellow nails can be normal in hamsters.

The other signs of diabetes are…

  • Drastic weight gain or loss.
  • Urine excessively.
  • Lethargy or Hyperactivity.
  • Dehydration.
  • Body tremors.
  • Loss of hair.
  • Greasy hair.
  • Bad smell.
  • Low body temperature.
  • Eyes are constantly closed or semi-closed.
  • Hump.
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Causes Of Diabetes In Hamster:

Diabetes of hamsters has so far been shown to be inherited. The number of genes that cause this mutation in nature is unknown, but surely their proportion varies considerably in captive populations.

Even so, diabetes in the hamster can manifest itself more quickly and more seriously based on certain maintenance parameters. Among them, we find the following:

  • Offering the hamster a diet that is too high in fat.
  • Unlimited access to food.
  • Stress and a dirty cage.

Remarkably and unlike in humans diabetes in hamsters has not been associated with typical factors, such as obesity. Both events may be correlated, but there is not sufficiently robust scientific evidence to confirm this in all cases.

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What To Do If My Hamster Diagnosed With Diabetes?

You have recently gotten a hamster, you have learned by heart the care you should provide, the ideal diet, the perfect dose of exercise to be healthy, and how your house should be so that it is very comfortable. Anyway, if at any time you notice that your animal is strange or does strange things, do not leave it and take it to the vet.


In the event that your hamster has diabetes, it will be hard for them to separate and change over the sugar into energy. Thus, you should peruse the fixings in your hamster’s present eating regimen and check for added sugars, like molasses, sugar stick, corn syrup, or fructose. On the off chance that your food contains these sugars, you should change your food sources to a low sugar level. There is no exceptional diabetic food blend available for hamsters, yet you can request that your vet suggest a food blend for your diabetic hamster.

Try not to give sweet treats. Sweet treats, as new organic products, prepared treats, and even carrots, are difficult for a diabetic hamster to separate. All things being equal, have a go at washing and slashing celery, broccoli, or spinach as a treat.

Just give your hamster one treat each day and make certain to eliminate the danger from the enclosure in case it isn’t devoured inside a day.

Feed your hamster a high protein, high fiber diet. Diabetic hamsters ought to eat an eating routine comprising of 10-15% protein and half fiber. You can enhance their standard hamster diet by giving them protein sources, like plain tofu, cooked chicken, and turkey or fried egg. These ought to be directed in limited quantities day by day. A few wellsprings of fiber include:

Hay, Timothy Hay, Vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, and spinach.

Give your hamster complex carbs. Carbs ought to be diminished yet not totally wiped out from your eating regimen. When taking care of hamsters’ carbs, consistently pick complex starches, like oat grain, entire wheat pasta, and earthy colored rice. Most hamster food blends will contain a sufficient measure of carbs, inquire as to whether you should enhance the food with complex sugars.


Ensure your hamster practices consistently. Ordinary exercise can likewise help forestall and control diabetes in hamsters. Ensure your hamster has a lot of space to move around its enclosure. You ought to likewise give them admittance to a running wheel. This can postpone the beginning of diabetes in certain hamsters.

Make a point to purchase a wheel that is plastic or lattice to lessen the odds of injury. In the event that your hamster is on his back while running on the wheel, he needs to get a greater wheel.

Hamster balls can likewise be an incredible type of activity whenever utilized effectively. Make sure the ball is understood and the region is covered. You ought to consistently watch the hamster while utilizing an activity ball.


Converse with your vet about treatment choices. There are a few drugs that have been fruitful in treating diabetes in hamsters. Clinical treatment of diabetes can be hazardous on the grounds that some unacceptable portions could prompt genuine unexpected issues and even passing. Inquire as to whether there is any clinical treatment that is fitting for your hamster’s particular wellbeing needs.

You ought to consider the expense related to the various kinds of treatment when settling on your choice.

Attempt oral meds. Glipizide and Fenugreek are normal oral meds for treating diabetes in hamsters. Both treatment choices are controlled orally and should be recommended by a veterinarian. To regulate, adhere to the guidelines given by your veterinarian.

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Treatment And Care:

Diabetes is a serious health problem, but don’t worry! It can be managed through a combination of diet and medication. If you suspect that your hamster has diabetes, you should test her urine and seek medical attention. Your vet will likely suggest a diet with reduced sugars and higher protein and fiber content. They may also suggest medical treatment, such as insulin. Although it is a fairly serious disease, you just need to take the necessary care so that your little one has a bearable and somewhat longer life.

  • It is not advisable to give them insulin, since the wrong amount of this dose can lead to death. Never self-medicate your little one. Also, in most cases, the problem is with the receptors, so a dose of insulin will not do any positive effect on your body.
  • Remember that diet and treatment do not make the hamster recover. Diabetes is a disease that gradually deteriorates.
  • Giving them the required care will make your pet have a more bearable and prolonged life (compared to what it would have if it does not receive any care).
  • The first thing will be to control your diet: you will have to eliminate all foods high in glucose such as fruits, sunflower seeds, and corn. Above all, treats for hamsters should be avoided.
  • The amount of protein will have to be increased: you should periodically give it cooked egg white, oatmeal, soy or tofu, boiled chicken, pellets for dogs, among others. Remembering that they should not contain high amounts of fat. It is necessary to give everything in small portions to avoid that the food spoils in the cage.
  • Keep your pet always hydrated. Never lack fresh water in your drinking fountain.
  • It is good to give vegetables such as broccoli or that stimulate your metabolism.
  • If we see that you are losing a lot of fluid or are dehydrated, it will be necessary to buy vitamin and moisturizing supplements. Many veterinarians and pet stores, sell specialized supplements for rodents.
  • All these dietary changes must be added little by little, so as not to disturb the animal’s body and cause diarrhea (which dehydrates it even more).
  • If the hamster’s teeth grow a lot because he is not eating as he usually does, it is necessary to give him something to gnaw on (wood, fruit pits, pellets for hamsters or dogs) or take him to a veterinarian to file his teeth every so often.


Unfortunately, diabetes in the hamster is a little-known pathology. Therefore, making changes to the diet and increasing the availability of water in the cage are the only options to improve their quality of life on a day-to-day basis. If you have any doubts or questions, go to a veterinarian, as he will help you deal with the animal’s disease effectively.

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How to confirm my Hamster is Diabetic?

The most reliable option is to go to a veterinarian who specializes in exotics. There is also the other option where you must purchase test strips for ketone bodies. These must be put in contact with the urine of the animal during the time indicated by the container. These strips are not 100% reliable as they are made for people, but they can give us a rough idea.

How To Treat Diabetes In Hamsters?

Contact a vet at the first signs. Although there is no cure for diabetes, steps can be taken to improve the quality of life for the sick hamster. For rehydration, as directed by the veterinarian, an unflavored Pedialyte solution can be given in the water bottle.

What To Feed My Diabetic Hamster?

A low sugar diet is recommended, feed them alfalfa, a good quality mix of seeds, potatoes, carrots, and boiled egg. Do not feed the hamster with commercial preparations, since many of them contain molasses and corn.

How to know my hamster is developing diabetes?

Diabetes in hamsters can be defined simply as a pathology characterized by the high presence of sugars in the blood. Certain groups of rodents are models for the study of type 2 diabetes, that is, that variant that is not produced by a misdirected autoimmune attack.
If a hamster drinks too much water, urinates excessively, or is shaky and shaky, he may have diabetes. This event is generally favored in those animals with obesity and a lifestyle that is too sedentary for their species. If you want to know everything about this disease in domestic rodents, keep reading.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!thing.