As you grow more used to your pet, you’ll be able to recognise when it’s in good health and when it’s not. The longer you’ve had your hamster, the better you’ll know how active it usually is, what its fur generally looks like, how much it eats, how it walks, and so on.
As you get to know your pet, you'll come to understand what's normal for it
A healthy hamster will have a normal, smooth gait, bright, clear eyes, healthy skin (on their ears, too), and a good coat that is free of dry patches, parasites, cuts and swellings. Their teeth will be of a relatively even length to the one next to it, and not overgrown. Their mouths will not have any cuts, or scabs. Their nails will be a good length, and their feet and legs will be free of scabs and swellings. Their rear will be clear of any discharge, blood or wetness. If there are any lumps on your hamster’s skin, these will have either been checked by a vet or attributed to another condition.
There are many different diseases that hamsters can suffer from, and although we list a few of them in our ‘Hamster Illnesses’ section, there are dozens and dozens of conditions that hamsters can suffer from, many of which an owner will struggle to diagnose themselves. In general, you need to be on the lookout for is anything that is out of the ordinary, as well as any signs that your hamster is unwell or in pain.