Hamsters are happy little rodents that have a lifespan of around two to three years. They make excellent pets for apartments, are easy to handle, and are loved by children and adults alike. Unfortunately, they do have a few health concerns, and bleeding from their bottoms is one of the first signs that something is wrong.
Your hamster may be bleeding from its bottom because of a urinary tract infection, wet tail disease (proliferative ileitis), pyometra, gastrointestinal issues, injury, tumors, or labor. Some of these problems aren’t serious, but most of them require your hamster to see a veterinarian.
Why Is My Hamster Bleeding From Its Bottom?
In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at what may be causing your hamster to bleed from its bottom, other symptoms to look out for, and some care tips.
1. Urinary Tract Infection
Like humans, hamsters are prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are common in hamsters because their little bodies are close to the ground. When they walk around, they can easily pick up bacteria, which climbs up their urethra and into their bladder, causing infection. Bacteria can also enter their bodies through bad food or water.
UTIs are very uncomfortable and can even be painful, but if you spot the symptoms early and take your hamster to the vet, they can bring them back to good health in no time.
UTIs can go away naturally, but it’s a dangerous risk to take because if they don’t dissipate, they’ll worsen and turn into a kidney infection.
Symptoms to look out for with a UTI include:
- A wet bottom
- Frequent urination
- Battling to urinate
- A loss of appetite
- Blood in the urine (occasionally)
A hamster’s bottom and private parts are close together, and the blood may look like it’s coming from its bottom, but it’s actually flowing out with the urine.
If you think your hamster may have a UTI, make sure they’re drinking plenty of fresh water. Give them unsweetened cranberry juice to drink to flush out the bacteria, and make sure to take them to the vet that same day. Your vet will examine your hamster and most likely put them on an antibiotic.
2. Wet Tail Disease (Proliferative Ileitis)
Wet tail disease is all too common in hamsters. It’s a serious disease, and if not treated quickly (by your vet), it can be fatal. Wet tail disease is caused by bacteria in the small intestine that causes it to become inflamed and results in watery and intense diarrhea.
Death isn’t a definite outcome with this disease if treated quickly. Unfortunately, you can do nothing to help your hamster except take them to the vet immediately in the United States of America. Your vet will likely give your hamster oral medication, along with antibiotics.
If your hamster has blood coming out of its bottom, along with diarrhea, it may have wet tail disease. Other symptoms that you’ll notice are:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- A wet bottom
- Bad smell coming from your hamster
If your hamster is bleeding from its bottom, it might have pyometra; however, this is only a possibility if your hamster is a female and has recently been pregnant or mated.
Pyometra is an infection in your hamster’s uterus, which can be fatal. The two types of pyometra are open and closed pyometra.
If you’ve noticed blood coming out of your hamster’s bottom, they most likely have open pyometra. This type is less dangerous because the pus and blood can leave the body, indicating that the cervix is open.
Symptoms to look out for in open pyometra are a foul smell, pus, blood, frequent urination, and excessive drinking. If your hamster has these symptoms, immediately take them to the vet.
In closed pyometra, blood poisoning can occur because the cervix is closed, trapping in all the blood and pus. It also keeps the illness “hidden” because you’ll see fewer symptoms, preventing your hamster from getting treated in time.
A protruding stomach, loss of appetite, unusual behavior, and a hunched posture may be signs that your hamster has closed pyometra. Unfortunately, due to all the trapped toxins in your hamster’s uterus, it’s likely to rupture, resulting in death.
4. Gastrointestinal Issues
Your hamster may be experiencing gastrointestinal issues for many different reasons. It could be caused by wet tail disease, intestinal parasites, food changes, medication, and more!
Giving your hamster too many vegetables may even be the reason for their sudden onset of diarrhea. Diarrhea or constipation may result in your hamster bleeding from its bottom.
If your hamster has been straining while experiencing severe diarrhea or constipation, it may end up with rectal prolapse. If your hamster has constipation or diarrhea, take it to your vet so they can regulate the problem before rectal prolapse occurs.
Rectal prolapse is when the large intestine comes out of the anus. It’s very painful for hamsters and can be fatal. Bleeding also occurs with this.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal issues can include:
- Unusual behavior
- Poor appetite
Accidents happen, and so does fighting. Look over your hamster and check where exactly the bleeding is. Blood coming from the skin near the anus may be from an injury brought on by your hamster or its cage mate.
Unfortunately, when hamsters fight, scratching and biting can occur, often targeting the genitals. If your hamsters are frequent fighters, they may feel threatened or stressed by each other.
They’ll also fight if their enclosure is too small. You may need to get them a bigger cage or their own enclosures to keep them safe and happy.
If your hamsters haven’t been fighting, then check their enclosure. Look for anything sharp that your hamster may have cut itself on, and be sure to remove it.
Also, make sure that your hamster can’t escape the enclosure. Your hamster may have cut itself on something while trying to squeeze through a gap in an attempt to explore.
If the cage is safe and secure, your hamster may have injured itself. If your hamster is excessively scratching itself to the point of bleeding, it may have an allergy, dry skin, or mange. Rub Vaseline on the raw areas and watch if the scratching stops or improves. If it doesn’t improve, take your hamster to the vet.
Other reasons your hamster may be injuring itself could be due to pain, neurological issues, and illness.
If your hamster does have a cut, clean it with warm water. Monitor it and make sure it is healing. However, take your hamster to the vet to avoid a serious infection if it gets worse.
If your female hamster is bleeding from its bottom, it may not be a bad thing at all but rather very exciting! Whether you just thought your hamster was gaining weight or knew she was pregnant, you may be meeting her pups very soon!
Hamsters are pregnant for around 16 – 22 days, which might be much sooner than you expected, considering humans are pregnant for nine months. When they’re in labor, hamsters become very active and bleed from their bottoms.
Provide your hamster with nesting materials to make her birthing process more comfortable. You can put toilet paper, strips of paper, or smaller pieces of towels into her cage to burrow under.
Don’t put anything in her cage that has ink or toxins in it. Also, avoid materials that are hard to digest, such as cotton balls.
Additionally, be sure to read up on hamster baby safety to ensure you take the necessary steps to protect them after they’re born. Because hamsters are solitary animals, it’s not a good idea to leave them all in the same cage after a certain point. If you do, they’ll likely begin fighting and may even kill each other.
It’s quite common for hamsters to get tumors, and as scary as that may be, the good news is that they’re not all dangerous. If you find a lump or mass on your hamster or feel it when you hold them, don’t automatically assume the worst and rather be on the lookout for symptoms.
A natural response would be to get the mass removed surgically just to be on the safe side. However, surgery is never the safest option when it comes to pets as small as hamsters. Their small size and mass mean that they can’t go under anesthesia for long periods, making the surgery high risk.
Instead, keep an eye on the mass, and if you think it has gotten bigger, then the surgery is worth the risk because the masses that grow are typically cancerous.
On the other hand, if the mass doesn’t grow, it’s most likely benign and not something you need to worry about. Thankfully, malignant tumors are much less common than benign tumors.
Monitoring the mass is vital because the earlier you catch any disease or malignant tumor, the better and the higher the chance at treatment. Problems left untreated often result in death.
If you’re worried that your hamster may have a tumor, look out for other symptoms such as lethargy, poor appetite, diarrhea with blood, and pain. If you notice these accompanying symptoms, take your hamster to the vet.
Related Hamsters articles:
- How Big Is a Hamster?
- Why Is My Hamster Not Moving?
- How Long Can You Leave a Hamster Alone?
- Why Is My Hamster Trying To Escape?
- What Does Hamster Eat?
- Why Is My Hamster So Hyper All of a Sudden?
- How To Tell If Your Hamster Is Blind
There’s a range of different possibilities that may be causing your hamster to bleed from its bottom. Take them out of their cage and examine them, looking for cuts or masses. Handle them with care because they’ll most likely be in pain.
If your hamster doesn’t have any clear indication of why they’re bleeding, look around their cage. You may see that your hamster has had diarrhea, hasn’t been eating, and is acting out of character. It’s essential to take them straight to the vet if this is the case.
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