Hamster Broken Leg – What to Do

As you may already know, hamsters are fragile animals. Therefore there are numerous ways of getting themselves hurt, especially their legs. So, in this article I am going to educate you on how the hamsters could get their legs hurt,  the symptoms they may indicate when their legs hurt and the things you should do when you come across siltation like this.

What could be the possible reasons for the hamsters to get their legs hurt

If you are a hamster owner, it is quite normal to provide wire wheels for the hamsters to keep them occupied. So, this is one of the prime ways how the hamsters can get their legs hurt. Once the hamsters simply catch their legs into the wire wheel, they would end up hurting their legs.

Therefore I don’t really recommend using wire wheels with holes. Your hamster’s legs would end up trapped in those small holes.  Whenever the hamsters go through a situation like this, it is very likely that they will have fractures in the end. Fractures are the worst experience that your hamsters may experience. So, you need to avoid using wire wheels and instead try to use a plastic wheel so that it would help you to avoid this from occurring.

In addition to that, falling is another commonly spotted reason for the hamsters to break their legs. In fact, if the hamsters happen to fall from great heights, chances are that they may break their bones without doubt. Suppose that you have placed the cage somewhere in an elevated place, then there will be a high potential for the hamsters to experience this.

Hamsters don’t have great vision like humans. This means they may jump without knowing what lay ahead. However, if they happen to jump like that, chances are that they may end up damaging themselves. Besides, if they landed on a hard surface such as concrete, it would result in much more adverse effects.  Apart from concrete floors, wooden floors, and carpets may also hurt the hamsters.

If you have placed more than one hamster in a cage they will end up fighting. Those fights may also result in issues with the legs. Apart from that fighting can become aggressive and result in broken bones. So, if your hamsters happen to fight with each other, you need to act swiftly to separate them.

Apart from the above facts, nutritional imbalances may also occasionally cause bone problems. For example, if the hamsters deprive themselves of calcium and phosphorus it would make their bones brittle and prone to breaking. Therefore, try to feed the hamsters with the right meals.

How to tell if a hamster broke its leg?

Hamsters rarely indicate any signs of weakness simply because they are prey animals and whenever they show signs of weakness, predators would try to reach them. So, you need to ideally know what you should do when your hamster’s leg is broken. So, this literally means you need to identify the signs they may indicate when they are hurt. Hamsters will not speak and just tell you that they hurt. Instead, you need to observe their symptoms and try to remedy them.

Limping

Limping Hamster

If you happen to see the hamsters limping, it means they have broken their legs. They would avoid placing any weight on that leg or avoid using it at all. It may be a major issue for them if their front leg is suffering from a fracture.

Moving slowly is one more symptom for you to assume that the hamsters are suffering from a broken bone. it is very unlikely that they will climb or use their wheels if they have a limp. In addition to these factors, hamsters who suffer from broken legs may tend to lay on one side.They would tend to sleep awkwardly or unusually as well. However, you can easily spot this when they sleep on the floor.

Hamsters are energetic animals in general. That being said,  if your hamsters tend to be lethargic or don’t want to move around, it could also be due to their broken legs.

Can a hamster’s broken leg heal on its own?

Hamsters’ broken legs can heal on their own. Hamsters are hardy animals and they can recover from injuries quite faster. So, if there are minor cuts, the best would be to let them heal on their own. In fact, hamsters may tend to lick those and let those heal on their own. However, make sure that you keep monitoring them closely for some time as they may probably develop abscesses and result in infections.

How long does a hamster’s broken leg take to heal?

Usually, it would take about two weeks to heal the broken legs. However if the break is somewhat severe chances are that it could take longer than that.

How do you treat a hamster injury?

As aforesaid, if the injury is minor you could either treat them at home or allow them to heal on their own. However, if the injury is severe, it would be best if you could get a doctor to check on the hamsters. So, if you spot any broken limbs and a lot of bleeding, I suggest you take the hamsters to a doctor as soon as you can. Further, if the injury is severe they may develop other symptoms such as raspy breathing, and excessive squeals. Besides, they may tend to be somewhat more aggressive than they usually are.

So, considering that the hamsters’ injuries are major, then you need to consult a veterinary doctor. Before you go there, inform them that you will be arriving there in a short while. Besides, ensure that you are going to the right doctor as not all veterinarians can treat hamsters. Once you reach there, first let them know what first aid you provided for the hamsters at home.

On the other hand, if the hamsters tend to have minor injuries, you could start treating the hamsters at home. So, to do that, you need to first gather the treatment supplies. For example, you need to arrange clean towels, Q tips and several 10 cc syringes as well. Besides these supplies, you need to arrange a bottle of sterile saline and some sterile gauze too. Further, you need to arrange some disinfectant solution and an antibiotic ointment. You can easily find these elements at the local pharmacy. If you wish to know what ointments you need to use, you could simply contact the doctor and get their opinion.

In addition to that, you could restrain your hamster to treat a minor injury. You simply have to wrap the hamsters in a small clean towel and that will restrain the hamsters. Furthermore bear in mind that hamsters may become grumpy when they are suffering from injury. Thus, ensure that you are protecting yourself from getting hamster bites. However, when you wrap them, make sure that you can still get to his wounds. Hamsters may suffer from skin sores due to these injuries too. There will be open wounds where there will be inflammation as well. So, if you spot them bleeding lightly, you need to treat those as well.

Thereafter you have to clean the wound whilst using the syringe with some sterile saline in it. Gently squirt the saline around the wound. Next, let the wound dry with some gauze. Keep doing this until you ensure that the wound is all clean.

As the next step you should disinfect and treat the wound. Once the wound is dry, you should get one more syringe and draw some betadine into it. Thereafter apply it onto the wound and let it dry by applying some gauze onto it. After that I suggest you apply some antibiotic ointment to the wound whilst using a Q tip. The purpose of disinfecting the wound is to kill the microorganism in and around the wound. If you leave the microorganisms to be on the wound, it would result  in an infection. Ensure that you are wearing gloves when you do this as betadine may stain your skin.

Now you can place the hamsters back in the cage. It is important that you allow the hamsters to rest irrespective of the severity of the injury. Once you put them back in the cage, you need to provide it with sufficient food and water. Furthermore, make sure that there is no obstruction from any loud noise around their cage too. Best is to provide a cage which doesn’t have any bars for them to rest so that you could avoid any further injury. Aquarium would be ideal here. That said, if you can’t find an aquarium you need to make sure that you are closely monitoring them.

Once you complete all these steps, now you need to determine what caused their injury. It is important that you determine the underlying issue for this so that you could rectify it. Chances are that there could be sharp edged toys that have cut the skin of the hamsters. Further, there could also be loose wires in the cages which could result in this. Furthermore, if there is one more cage mate, chances are that they would have probably bitten the hamsters. Last but not least, if the hamster’s nails are too long, there is a probability for them to hurt themselves.

Can a hamster survive a broken leg?

Yes, hamsters can survive a broken leg. If you properly reinstate the hamsters and allow them some time to rest would make them feel good and survive as well. Provide them nutritious food and plenty of rest and theory would heal quickly. Keep in mind do not let them out of the cage for long when their leg is still broken. If you let them out, keep close watch and do not let them jump or run fast.

What happens if your hamster breaks its leg?

If your hamster breaks their leg, they tend to move slowly at first or not move at all. Besides, they may tend to drag one foot as well. If there are light or mild breaks, it would take about two weeks to heal. That said if the break is severe, it could take longer than that to heal.

How much does it cost to fix a hamster’s broken leg?

Sometimes it will be free of charge. The charges depend on the severity of the injury. If the injury is very small you do not have to send any money and it will heal itself. If the injury is mild you need to buy some medicinal supplies from the pharmacy and treat the hamster a bit. It will cost you less than $10. But if the injury is severe you have to go to a veterinarian and treat your pet appropriately. The starting cost may be around $50.

Hamster broken leg bone sticking out

If the hamsters happen to suffer from a major fracture, chances are that their actual bone would stick out of the hamster’s skin. However, if you happen to come across this situation, you need to take the hamsters to a doctor as soon as you can. If they are suffering from this, they may undoubtedly be having severe pain as well.

What are the types of fractures the hamsters may suffer from

There are two types of fractures that hamsters may suffer from. Name them open fractures and closed fractures.

Open fractures  – it is very easy to spot open wounds. Here they may suffer from bones sticking out of the skin and make the hamsters go through distress. It is noteworthy that this is the worst kind of fracture your hamsters may come across.

Closed fractures – Closed fractures are less obvious. This literally means the bones are not sticking out and you can not see the injury. This is hard to locate and most probably less severe than an open wound.

Conclusion

So, trust that I was able to answer all your questions and doubts you had with regard to this topic. We have covered here what you should do whenever you come across a situation like this, how to figure out if your hamster has a leg problem and how it has been caused. Lastly, we have elaborated on the difference between the open fracture and closed fractures as well. Always bear in mind to consult a doctor if the fracture is severe.

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