Nosebleeds in your hamster are an alarm sign that you should not ignore.
Not infrequently, dangerous causes are responsible for it.
In this article we show you the 10 most common reasons for a bleeding hamster nose and also tell you what you can do immediately and when a visit to the vet is essential.
Why does my hamster bleed from the nose?
Several causes can be responsible for nosebleeds in a hamster. Injuries, diseases but also dry room air are potential triggers. In any case, you should have a diagnosis made quickly to allow for early treatment.
10 common causes for a bleeding hamster nose
Cause 1: Nosebleeds due to dryness.
You may know this problem from yourself….
In summer, air conditioning and fans put a strain on the nasal mucosa. In winter, it has to cope with dry heating air. Due to the low moisture content, the mucous membrane dries out, tightens and becomes more sensitive and thinner.
Even a sneeze can then be enough to cause a superficial blood vessel to burst. Often, the nosebleed is triggered even without additional stress.
The amount of blood coming out of the nose is small and will clot quickly in an otherwise healthy hamster. In many cases, you will only notice a small residue on one nostril or on the fur near the nose.
Treatment is not necessary if your hamster’s nosebleed is a one-time occurrence, is minor, and there are no other symptoms of illness.
However, you should correct the cause because dry mucous membranes are not only more prone to nosebleeds. They can no longer perform their function of moistening and warming the air you breathe.
In addition, cracks can form and pathogens penetrate more easily.
Increasing the humidity of the air also benefits yourself for these very reasons. The risk of colds is reduced and you can even prevent headaches.
All it takes is a few small changes:
Regular, brief airing prevents the air in the room from becoming too dry and having an increased germ load. However, make sure that the hamster cage does not get any drafts and that the room does not cool down too much.
Plants can significantly improve the indoor climate.
However, when choosing plants, make sure that your hamster cannot reach them. Also falling leaves must be out of reach. This is because a large number of plants are poisonous to the small rodents and even herbs suitable for feeding should not be ingested in excessive quantities.
A damp cloth or water dish on the heater can be used for light humidification.
If the air in the room is permanently very dry, a humidifier may be a better choice. Modern models also include hygrometers that measure humidity and turn on or off automatically.
Cause 2: Bleeding after a fall
Hamsters can jump, but they cannot catch themselves well due to their body structure.
In addition, they are nearsighted and thus poorly able to gauge their jumps and landings at greater distances.
Even a fall in or out of the cage can therefore produce significant injuries. Internal bleeding, concussions and broken bones are unfortunately not uncommon.
Bleeding from the nose may also occur.
If you have witnessed a fall, you should take your hamster to a veterinarian immediately. Injuries may not be immediately apparent due to the initial shock and adrenaline rush.
Note: Falls from small distances that roughly correspond to your hamster’s maximum jump height are considered safe. Also, if your pet landed on a soft surface – such as bedding or the sofa – the risk for injury is correspondingly lower.
Cause 3: Injuries
Injury to the nose is rare but possible due to the small size of the nostrils.
Spikes or thorns on the lining, splinters and other foreign objects can produce them. Similarly, scratches directly on the nostril can occur from a split claw or during fighting.
As long as no foreign objects remain in the nose and you monitor your hamster closely to detect infections early, minor wounds are not problematic and usually heal well.
If this is not the case, medication may be required. This is advised if the following signs occur:
persistent or recurrent bleeding
difficult breathing and noticeable breathing sounds
Cause 4: Tumors
Both benign and malignant tumors can damage surrounding tissue or burst open and bleed.
Unfortunately, treatment is not possible in these cases. Only the accompanying symptoms can be alleviated by medication.
Even these measures, however, can only be taken for a limited time. Therefore, even if it is difficult, you can only give your pet a pleasant remaining time.
Cause 5: Infections and allergies
Colds, colds, allergies and irritations of the nasal mucosa cause sneezing and inflammatory reactions of the. The mucous membrane becomes sensitive, produces more secretion and has a greater blood supply.
Even the smallest injuries can then trigger bleeding.
In these cases, the causes can often be eliminated with little effort.
In the case of colds and rhinitis, strengthening the immune system in combination with heat and inhalation is a good solution.
Make sure that the symptoms subside within a few days. If this does not happen, you should consult a veterinarian. A supposedly harmless cold in a hamster can develop into pneumonia within a short time.
If this occurs, the necessary therapy is much more difficult and protracted. In addition, pneumonia can lead to death, especially in very young, older or already weakened animals.
Therefore, do not delay the visit to the vet!
In the case of allergies, the search for the respective trigger can also be difficult. This is because allergic reactions can occur for the first time at any age. If the respiratory tract is affected, it is usually:
Unlike contact allergies, the cause can only be found with considerable effort.
A change of bedding or exposure to dust is relatively easy to determine. The use of aggressive cleaning agents should generally be avoided.
However, a strong pollen count can usually only be determined if a corresponding app is used.
As a support of the treatment by the veterinarian, it is advisable to attach pollen screens to the windows. In addition, increased dust should be avoided.
Cause 6: Blood clotting disorders
In order for blood to clot, the body needs sufficient vitamin K.
If there is a deficiency of this micronutrient, even minimal injuries can produce significant bleeding. Herbs and green vegetables, eggs and grains are particularly rich in vitamin K.
The problem with this condition is that the blood clotting disorder can only be detected by extensive research into the cause or by a “stroke of luck.”
If your hamster has scratched itself and the bleeding lasts for a very long time, this is already a clear indication.
However, these cases rarely occur directly in front of your eyes. Therefore, usually the exclusion procedure leads to a diagnosis or it remains at first with a presumption.
However, the deficit can be corrected by appropriate vitamin supplements and changing the feed.
Cause 7: Diseases of the liver and kidneys
If your hamster’s nose bleeds, internal organs are often not the direct cause.
However, functional limitations of the liver and kidneys can affect the entire body. Since the filtering capacity is no longer sufficient to remove toxins and breakdown products from the body, these reach high levels in the organism and can damage other organs.
In addition, they have a significant impact on the course of (vital) processes.
In the case of serious and advanced diseases, injuries are then no longer necessary to cause bleeding.
These are not always limited to the nose.
In addition to general apathy, loss of appetite, and changes in coat, bleeding from the mouth and bloody urine are also possible. Weight changes, a bloated abdomen or water belly and swollen paws may also occur.
Prevention is possible only to a very limited extent.
The same applies to treatment: the use of medication is possible, at least for the kidneys. However, a cure can often not be achieved with it.
Nevertheless, you should consult a veterinarian in order to exclude or alleviate pain and other restrictions of well-being associated with the diseases.
Cause 8: Teeth too long
A special feature of the rodent’s dentition are the nail teeth.
These continue to grow throughout life.
If the necessary material is missing to wear them down and thus regulate growth, the lower teeth can bore into the upper jaw.
This causes bloody and purulent wounds.
In addition, inflammatory reactions and germs can cause the formation of canals between the oral cavity and the nasal passages. Blood can therefore escape from the nose as well as pus.
It is noticeable that your hamster refuses food and also has difficulty drinking.
The general condition can therefore suffer considerably.
Treatment is possible with antibiotics. However, in the case of far advanced infections, this form of therapy can also be omitted.
Cause 9: Poisoning
Poisoning can occur in several ways: Houseplants, contamination of the food or wrong feed, medications and cleaning agents are possible triggers.
As different as the respective toxic substance can be, as different are the possible symptoms.
Nosebleeds in hamsters are mainly caused by substances that thin the blood. For this, a piece of an aspirin tablet that you have dropped and is ingested by your animal is already sufficient.
If you have observed the rodent nibbling on a plant or if it has had the opportunity to eat something else unsuitable, consult a veterinarian and give all the information you have yourself.
What houseplants are in the room?
What have you fed in the last few days?
What cleaning products do you use in the cage?
Have there been occasions when your hamster may have ingested something outside the cage?
Depending on this, treatment with appropriate antidotes can be given. Since hamsters cannot vomit, the toxin can remain in the body for a long time and spread here.
Quick action is required here!
Cause 10: Age
As your hamster ages, it will develop some discomfort.
Movements become more difficult and activity decreases. They become more susceptible to disease and the risk for tumor formation increases. Skin becomes thinner and injuries occur more quickly.
In addition, organ functions are impaired and cell renewal slows down.
All of these factors contribute to your hamster suffering from nosebleeds.
It is not always possible to narrow it down to one trigger. The reason for a bleeding nose can also be found in the combination of this and the resulting general weakening.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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