Should anything like this occur, it is important to call a veterinarian instantly. However, if an immediate consult is for any reason delayed, there are some steps one can take in order to help the hamster in the meantime.
Hamsters are fragile, easily frightened animals, and they need their environment to provide them security, especially if they are sick, since that is when they feel the most vulnerable. The first thing to do with a sick hamster is make sure that it is isolated from the others, in case the cage contains more than one animal. Not only is it to make sure that the other hamsters don’t get sick, but also because the healthy ones tend to attack the sick one, taking away its food and any comfortable sleeping place.
The sick hamster could be transferred in an aquarium or another cage, or even a box with one open side. They are to be kept out of the sun and any kind of wind, even a light breeze, so any place that is well-hidden and has a comfy bedding will do just fine.
If the hamster does not need to be transferred, the thing to do is check the conditions in the cage. That includes possible water leak which can cause a lot of bacteria, as well as the unhygienic conditions in the cage. Making sure that the cage is cleaned regularly is really important. A possible consequence of a poorly-maintained cage is the appearance of a certain type of fungus called aspergillis. This fungus is identified by a strong disagreeable smell and black and white fuzzy growths. In this case, the cage does not only need regular cleaning, but sterilizing as well. This includes hot water and bleach. Besides these, a bedding made of cedar tree can also be harmful for the hamster.
Another important thing to remember is not to feed the hamster anything out of its regular diet since it could cause shock to an already disturbed digestive system. Also, fresh foods would only bring more bacteria into the hamster’s system and possibly worsen the condition.
These are just some of the most basic actions to take when taking care of a sick hamster in order to relieve its discomfort while waiting for the veterinarian to give it the proper treatment.