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Pink Eye in Hamsters

Conjunctivitis in Hamsters

Sometimes referred to as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the eye's outermost layer. This may be the result of an injury, overgrown or diseased teeth, or teeth that are not aligned properly. Conjunctivitis may also be caused by a bacterial infection or irritation from dust in the bedding.

Although it is not a serious condition, a hamster with conjunctivitis should be treated promptly to prevent any further complications. However, do not self-administer medication as hamsters are extremely sensitive creatures that are likely to develop allergic reactions to certain drugs. Instead, consult your veterinarian as to the best eye drops or ointments for your pet.

Symptoms

  • Watery eye discharge (oozing, dripping)
  • Prolonged discharge may become more purulent (pus-like)
  • Sticky eyelids due to dried up discharge
  • Swollen eye (or face in severe cases)
  • Redness around the edge of the eyelids

Causes

  • Injury/bite wounds
  • Dental disorders like overgrown teeth, malocclusion
  • Bacterial infection
  • Irritation from dust in the bedding

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian may suspect conjunctivitis by observing the clinical signs exhibited by the hamster. However, an examination of the blood or pus discharge is often necessary to determine if an infectious agent is the underlying cause of the conjunctivitis.

 
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