On the whole, a hamster that is fed a well balanced diet is a healthy hamster. Some minor health problems can be treated at home but if in any doubt seek veterinary advice quickly.
Tummy upsets / loose droppings.
Remove all treats, greens, extras etc leaving only the dry hamster mix before seeking advice if no improvement occurs.
Overgrown teeth and toe nails
As with many rodents, the teeth and claws of a Hamster grow continuously throughout their lives. If you're concerned that either of them have become overgrown, you should always seek veterinary advice.
Healthy hamsters are happy, playful pets
Colds and coughs
If your hamster is visibly hunched up and is finding breathing difficult - keep it warm and seek veterinary advice. Please note that hamsters can catch cold or ‘flu’ from you, so if you have a heavy cold it would be wise to keep your distance and get someone else to feed the hamster until you recover.
Lumps and bumps
These should be monitored and if no improvement seek veterinary advice.
N.B. The 'lumps' at the rear end of a male hamster become more prominent once the hamster is mature, especially in hot weather. Male Chinese are very obvious as males at a very early age as they have a very definite protuberance at the rear end! Female Chinese have a rounded rear end.
Dark spots on the hips of Syrian hamsters are scent glands and again once the hamster is mature males spend a great deal of time grooming them so that they are visibly obvious especially on short haired hamsters. Male Dwarfs have a scent gland on the tummy and with age it can become a little 'crusty' looking.More information on general health problems and illnesses can be found in books on hamsters. These can usually be borrowed from a local library.
How long will a hamster live?
The average life span is around 2 years with on the whole Dwarfs living slightly longer. As with all animals some will live longer than the average and some a little less.