Hamsters are easy to care for, making them great pets. However, playing the guessing game is one thing you don’t want to do with these cute little critters when it comes to their health. But exactly how much does it cost to take your hamster to the vet?
The average cost for a veterinarian exam on hamsters can range between 30 and 100 US dollars. Exotic veterinarians may charge higher, depending on whether you take the animal for a routine checkup or emergency care. Treatment costs will also vary depending on the specific health problem.
A couple of other factors can influence the cost of a vet exam. Want to know what these are? Keep reading to learn more, and you’ll also pick up a few tips on how to ensure your hamster stays healthy.
One of the factors that can affect the cost of visiting a vet is your location. Thankfully, veterinary bills are not too expensive in the US.
For example, in Texas, New York, and many other states, pet parents can expect to pay between $30 and $100 in annual checkup costs for hamsters.
These annual vet visits are important, even for healthy hamsters. And it is crucial to go for the first annual checkup within the first few days of adoption.
The veterinarian will examine your hammy for skin, wet tail, respiratory, and other common hamster health problems at the first vet visit.
Usually, these exams don’t cost much for healthy pets.
However, vet bills for hamsters can go as high as $250 for a single visit, depending on the severity of the health problem.
Here’s what you can expect to spend on treating common hamster illnesses, providing medications, and emergency veterinarian visits.
Digestive disorders are common in hamsters. Constipation and wet tail (diarrhea) top the most common digestive disorders list. Many hamsters suffer these problems at some point in their short lifetimes.
It is usually a good idea to budget for some of these common problems if you plan to get a hamster.
The reason for this is simple: digestive problems, particularly the wet tail, can be fatal. A hamster can die within only two days after showing signs of diarrhea.
Thankfully, treatment for wet tail won’t break the bank.
You can expect treatment of wet tail to cost around $100 to $250. However, the cost can be significantly higher in more serious cases.
One of the cheapest costs associated with hamster care is medications.
Keep in mind that the exact costs for medications will depend on a couple of factors, such as:
- The type of treatment your pet needs.
- The specific company or brand that manufactures the medication.
Overall, you can expect medications for your hamster to cost anywhere from $7 to $35.
Generally, hamster medications include:
- Medication for parasites and flea ($10 – $15)
- Antibiotics ($10 – $25)
In many cases, a veterinarian will recommend special foods to help your furry friend quickly regain its health. In such cases, you can expect to spend between $7 and $35 on recovery foods to speed up the recovery process.
You can expect to pay higher when a vet provides urgent care during emergency vet visits than when you make an appointment well in advance.
The vet may have to cancel or postpone a vacation or other important event to take care of your hammy. So, it makes sense to charge a little extra for the inconvenience.
Specific costs can vary between regions and countries. However, hamster owners in big cities, such as Los Angeles, Detroit, Seattle, and many states of the US, can expect to pay up to $100 or more for emergency vet visits.
But that’s not all.
You might have to shell out for additional tests or surgery if your hamster needs one.
That’s because fixing a broken limb or stitching an open wound to prevent infections can attract higher costs.
Taking your hamster to the vet for every problem might not be practical, and it is not convenient. It is, however, okay to provide first-aid treatment for minor injuries at home.
Sometimes, you simply can’t prevent these types of “accidents” no matter how well you hamster-proof your home.
These injuries can result from fights between hamsters and are usually small cuts, abrasions, or bruises.
But whatever you do, it is vital to see a vet immediately during emergencies. A hamster emergency refers to severe injuries and illnesses.
Do not treat serious injuries or broken limbs at home. Take your hamster to a vet as quickly as possible if you see lots of blood! Also, it is best to see a veterinarian if your hamster becomes overly aggressive or squeals too much when you examine its injury.
Keep in mind that your hamster may have a severe health condition if it has labored breathing. Your best bet would be to see a veterinarian at such times.
Hamsters are so adorable! And many people buy them from pet stores on a whim.
While that isn’t bad in itself, it is usually a good thing to carefully consider whether the animal is the right pet before bringing it home.
Here’s one glaring sign that a hamster is not the right pet for you at the moment: you are not willing to take it to a vet for its overall wellbeing.
One of the common mistakes many first-time hamster owners make is to wait until their pets show signs of illness before visiting a vet.
After all, why see a doctor if your hamster is not ill, right?
The expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t apply when it comes to your pet’s health.
Here’s the deal.
A hamster can hide the signs of ill-health so well that it can be tricky to notice subtle changes in its behavior.
Unfortunately, the animal’s condition could worsen if the owner isn’t observant enough to know the pet’s normal behavior and appearance.
Things might be too serious when the signs of illness become obvious. For this reason, regular vet visits are important.
You should take your hamster to see a vet at least once a year. Routine veterinarian visits are a crucial part of hamster care. You should do it even if the animal is in good health. Vet visits may cost extra money, but they will save you money in the long run.
Spending $50 on a vet exam may seem like an unnecessary expense, especially if your hamster looks healthy.
But a vet can detect a potentially severe health problem during a routine checkup and save you a couple of hundred dollars in vet bills down the line.
As any pet owner will quickly agree, it is cheaper and better to prevent illnesses than treat a sick animal.
No matter how well you train your hamster, it isn’t likely to walk up to you one day and say, “I’m feeling sick!”
In other words, routine checks are essential to keep tabs on your pet’s health. Plus, you will increase your chances of noticing abnormalities before they get out of hand.
Here’s a quick rundown of what to do:
Checking your hamster every day is a good thing. Cuddle time is a great chance to look your pet over.
However, daily inspections may not be practical for every owner. If that’s you, it is okay to create a special day for your hamster’s physicals. Remember to do this at least once a week.
The eyes and nose are two of the easiest parts to notice if something is off with your hamster.
Discharges or persistent tears in the eyes might indicate an eye infection. You also want to check for swollen or droopy eyelids. These signs could also mean your pet has an eye disease.
A runny or abnormally wet nose could be an allergic reaction to something in its cage. A runny nose can lead to breathing difficulty in hamsters, so consider seeing a vet if the symptom persists.
Hamsters enjoy petting. Seize the chance to examine your pet for lumps by gently running your hands over its body.
Schedule a vet visit if you notice any unusual swelling or lumps on your hamster’s body. These may not be serious, but they could be signs of cancer. Only a vet can make that call.
You can use a kitchen scale to keep tabs on your hamster’s weight. Make sure to weigh the animal twice or more in a month.
Malnourishment or an underlying health condition can cause your cuddly pet to lose weight. Conversely, feeding the wrong diet can lead to obesity, especially in older hamsters.
Talk to a vet to figure out the best diet for your hamster.
Hamsters may be low-maintenance, but the cost of vet bills can start to add up if you neglect preventive care.
You can reduce the amount of money you spend on treating common hamster illnesses by making sure your hamster is healthy and happy in the first place.
Thankfully, it doesn’t cost too much to provide preventative care. All you need to ensure that your pet has its basic needs is listed below:
Hamsters may be small, but they need a spacious cage to remain happy and healthy. A small cage can stress your hammy and make it susceptible to illnesses. Avoid small cages, regardless of how colorful and fanciful they look. Hamsters don’t see colors, anyway!
Provide good-quality store-bought hammy foods. Ensure the diet consists of roughly 10% vegetable, fruits, and seeds and 90% hamster-specific foods.
Avoid store-bought hamster foods with plenty of colors. These foods usually have a higher level of chemicals and additives that can affect your hamster over time.
Finding the right type of food for your hamster shouldn’t be difficult since they are available in many pet stores in nearly all the states in the US.
Boredom can lead to stress in hamsters, and that’s a fast lane to health problems.
Add a few different toys in your pet’s cage to give it something to play with and gnaw.
Also, remember to add an exercise wheel in the cage. Hamsters are runners and can spend an entire night running on their wheels! This activity keeps obesity in check and makes your hammy happy.
Your cute little hamster can do a thorough job of cleaning its fur. But it can wash, clean, and sanitize its cage – these duties are your sole responsibility as the pet parent.
Make sure to change the bedding, remove leftover foods, and provide clean water during spot-cleaning and weekly cleaning.
Keep an eye on your pet when you let it play outside the cage. Make sure to hamster-proof the environment before letting your hammy out of its cage. Doing this will minimize the chances of broken limbs or injuries.
Also, teach your children how to properly handle cute pet to prevent accidents.
Related Hamster articles:
- Why Does My Hamster Smell Bad?
- How Long Can a Lost Hamster Survive?
- Why Is My Hamster Running Around Like Crazy?
- Is Silica Sand Safe for Hamsters?
- Why Do Hamsters Pull Their Poop Out?
Hamsters have a relatively short lifespan, with some only reaching their second or third birthdays at most.
Make those years count!
One of the best ways to do that is by taking your cute little friend’s health very seriously. Try to establish a relationship with a qualified vet, preferably an exotic animal specialist, in your area or region.
Thankfully, there are about 32,000 veterinary practices in the United States, so finding a vet near you is not too difficult.
My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more