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Hamster Not Walking Well

If your hamster starts to limp or has trouble walking, consult the vet. These are some of the possible causes of the problem:

  • Falls and accidents - If your hamster has suffered a fall recently, he may have a paralyzed or broken leg (or legs). Your pet will need to visit the vet.

  • Scurvy - If there's not enough vitamin C in your hamster's diet, it may develop the vitamin deficiency known as scurvy. In serious cases, this can paralyze the hamster's back legs, forcing the poor pet to hop around. Scurvy can be avoided simply by providing foods containing plenty of vitamin C, (as well as all the other nutrients a hamster needs). Small amounts of fruit and veg will help. Make sure the hamster food you buy online or in the pet store is sufficiently fortified with all the vitamins and trace elements a hamster requires.

watch how hamsters walk
Sometimes a hamster's movements can reveal a health problem

  • Strokes - If your hamster rocks backwards and forwards while sitting, or sways as it walks, it may have suffered a stroke. Some of the damage caused by strokes can heal, but some is permanent. A vet should be able to tell you how extensive the damage is, and to what extent your hamster will recover. Stricken hamsters can still lead a full life, but sometimes it may need help eating and drinking. Ask the vet for advice.

  • Dehydration - If your hamster becomes listless and not doesn’t walk around as much as usual, he is probably either severely dehydrated, or has a serious illness. It may also be an attempt at hibernation, as a result of a drop in temperature. If you are able to rule out the hibernation option, make sure the hamster has plenty of water available, and then consult a vet for a diagnosis.

  • Old age - In older hamsters – over the age of 18 months – walking and exercising less, along with sleeping more, are simply part of the ageing process. Like humans, as hamsters get older they start to slow down.

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Jenna, 14 June 2021

My hamster had one of his playhouses on top of his leg and was stuck. I realized this when i woke up so I don’t know how long it was there. I got it off but now his leg is sticking up and he’s limping and licking his leg. It’s currently 8:30am and I can’t get to a vet until 4:30. Will he be okay? Will it be okay to wait that long or should I try to get there sooner?

Penelope, 30 May 2021

hello. my hamster is very old and i think she is a Siberian hamster. she is 2.5 years old and her hind legs have not been the best. i noticed it today when i was cleaning her cage. her hind legs would slip, flail and drag and she kept falling on her side. i asked my parents and they said it was probably her time to go. we think she is just old. im sorry this comment is all over the place. im trying now to make her last days as comfortable as possible and trying to spend as much time as i can with her. i am also feeding her her fav foods. i hope she is not in pain. i know shes probably just old but cant help but feel guilty. if anyone has any tips please let me know

Mary, 15 April 2021

My hamster just fell from the couch where I lost her and down to the first floor. She's a roberrovski female and she's been having trouble walking. we've been trying everything but she doesn't seem to be healing. what do I do? please answer quickly as she's having a hard time moving.

An Omleteer, 26 April 2020

Last night, my hamster was falling on its side, and shaking, along with only opening its eyes a little bit. It's almost in a ball, and feels very thin. It's a male Syrian, and he's not even 1. Today, he seems better, because he's moving and walking better, and his eyes are fully open. He is still very hunched over, and although we gave him a lot of food, he still feels thin. Normally, he looks chubby. I'm worried, and I'm wondering what is wrong. What should I do?

Jane, 29 August 2019

My daughters hamster seem to be taking seizures and then lies on my hand and sleeps for few secs then gets up again walks then another seizure will start wat can be rong n wat can i do to help the poor wee thing HELP