Are Syrian Hamsters Prone to Diabetes?

Are Syrian hamsters prone to diabetes

Are Syrian hamsters prone to diabetes? 

Are Syrian hamsters prone to diabetes? 

While Syrian hamsters can develop diabetes when eating an unhealthy diet, Syrian hamsters are not actually prone to diabetes and are unlikely to develop it. It’s still best to give a balanced diet though and this mean more vegetables than fruit and high sugar fruits in moderation. Hamster breeds which are prone to diabetes are Russian dwarf hamsters and Chinese hamsters. 

In short, are Syrian Hamsters prone to diabetes? No they are not.

Are hamsters allowed to have sugar? 

Hamsters will have sugar in their diet from fruit and this is absolutely fine as long as their diet is balanced. High sugar fruits should be limited to twice a week and given in small amounts. Fruit can be combined with vegetables and seeds or nuts.  

How long are Syrian hamsters supposed to live? 

In the wild Syrian hamsters live between 2 and 3 years, however, a well looked after Syrian hamster can live up to 4 years as a pet though often, they will die closer to 3 years rather than 4.  A good balanced diet, fresh water, a large clean cage and a quiet surrounding all help your hamster have the longest life possible. Having said that, genetics can play a part and as with everyone, there is no guarantee. Enjoy the time you have with your hamster and look after him or her as well as you can.

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Why do my Syrian hamsters keep dying? 

Hamsters have a short lifespan and depending on where you bought your hamster, their age is not always accurate, and they might die of old age much earlier than expected. It can also be that you have brought disease from the shop into your home, which has killed your hamster. Disinfect the cage thoroughly before you house a new hamster as bacteria can still be present and can kill your new hamster.  

What are the symptoms of diabetes in hamsters? 

If your hamster displays any of the following symptoms, contact your vet to check your hamster for diabetes or other disease 

  • Loss of weight – this is never good and should always be checked out especially if the weight loss has been significant and quick.  
  • Drinking a lot – if your hamster seems thirsty all the time, then this could be because the kidneys are using a lot of fluid to remove the excess glucose from the body 
  • Urinating often – this relates to the increase in water intake. Urine might smell sweeter than usual.  
  • Eating more – Your hamster might be eating more as their energy is changing from lots to none constantly.  
  • Lack of energy or hyperactive – depending on the sugar level in your hamster’s blood, she might either be hyperactive or exhausted. 

What causes diabetes in hamsters? 

Food high in sugar and starchy foods which your body will change into sugar are the culprits of diabetes. Hamsters prone to diabetes like the dwarf hamsters and Chinese hamsters, should only have 2 small portions of fruit per week and if possible low sugar fruits should be given. Starch should also be kept to a minimum. Vegetables and seeds as well as crickets and mealworms are treats your hamster is likely to appreciate which will be a healthier food choice to avoid diabetes. 

What does it mean if my hamster is drinking a lot of water? 

If your hamster is drinking more than 2-4 teaspoons of water per day, then your hamster could be overly thirsty, which is often caused by illnesses like diabetes where the kidney needs more fluid to remove the excess glucose from the body.  If you are worried, check your hamster for diabetes by testing their urine, or call your vet.

Is it normal for hamsters to pee a lot? 

If the spot where your hamster pees is constantly wet, then your hamster is peeing too much, which means he’s also drinking more than normal, which in turn can be a sign of illness, like diabetes. Check how often your hamster drinks water to find out. However, if you give your hamster watery food such as cucumber regularly, you’ll find that your hamster temporarily pees more too.  

How much water should a hamster drink per day? 

Hamsters drink about 2 teaspoons of water per 100 grams of their body weight. This relates to between 2 and 4 teaspoons depending on the size of your hamster. Dwarf hamsters will drink roughly 1-2 teaspoons of water per day while Syrian hamsters will drink roughly the equivalent of 4 teaspoons of water per day.  

Do dwarf hamsters drink a lot of water? 

As dwarf hamsters are very small, they won’t drink much water. As hamsters drink roughly 2 teaspoons of water per 100 grams of body weight, your dwarf hamster might drink less than 1 teaspoon of water per day. If you give watery food like cucumber or strawberries, then she might drink even less.  

How do hamsters drink water? 

Hamsters can drink water from either a water bowl which has been placed in their cage, or from an inverted water bottle. Hamsters need fresh water regularly, preferably twice a day but at least once a day, even when given in an inverted water bottle. 

Do hamsters need baths? 

Hamsters don’t need baths as they are very good at keeping clean. If they are not, it’s often because the cage isn’t being kept clean. Water baths are a bad idea for many reasons and if needed, use a damp cloth to wash your hamster down with.  

How often should I feed my hamster? 

Your hamster needs feeding once a day with pellets or a seed mix. Depending on how much your hamster has eaten that day, you can add to this or give new food the next day. You can add treats and vegetables, fruit, seed and nuts to this daily as well. Find out how long hamsters can go without food here.

Can hamsters die from sugar? 

A hamster will not instantly die from too much sugar; however, you will make your hamster ill when you give him a diet high in sugar, especially when giving foods like yoghurts and sugary cereals. Diabetes is a serious illness which all hamsters can get but some are prone to (dwarf and Chinese hamsters) and this can significantly reduce your hamster’s wellbeing and life span – especially when untreated.  

What do sugars do to hamsters? 

Sugar can give your hamster a sugar rush in the same way as humans have, where it gives more energy for a short period of time. Test showed that a hamster given sugar water walked nearly twice as long compared to drinking plain water; 29 minutes rather than 16 minutes within the first hour after drinking.  

Can hamsters go in shock and die? 

Hamsters don’t easily go into shock, but this could happen when your hamster has severe injury from falling from height or from an attack from another animal. Prolonged stress can kill your hamster, but this is over a longer period of time. But as hamsters are prone to stress, you should make sure you don’t expose your hamster to loud sudden noises for example. Continued stress will make your hamster ill.

Is my hamster close to death? 

If your hamster has stopped eating, is hiding most of the time and doesn’t react to you, your voice or any stimulation, it could be that your hamster is either ill or at the end of his life. If you suspect illness, contact your vet immediately. If your hamster is close to the end of their natural lifespan, then unfortunately, comforting your hamster is the best way forward.  

Can hamsters die from diabetes? 

Just as in humans, diabetes takes a toll on your hamster’s body as it’s working overtime to deal with the imbalance of their sugar level. This in turn means that unless you can reverse the diabetes or control it with a very strict diet, your hamster has a much shorter life expectancy.  So yes hamsters die from diabetes, but in the long run so to speak.

What is the life expectancy of a hamster with diabetes? 

As hamsters have a short life expectancy anyway, diabetes can take many months of your hamsters’ already short life. If you suspect your hamster to have diabetes, put them on a strict low sugar, high protein diet immediately and consult your vet. A urine sample can be taken to confirm diabetes and with a strict diet and medication your hamster has a good chance to live out their life into old age which is depending on the hamster breed, between 1,5 and 3 years. 

Are Syrian Hamsters prone to diabetes? No luckily they are not, though that doesn’t mean you should give your hamster lots of sugary foods. A healthy balanced diet is important to give your hamster a happy and healthy life!

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