My Experience With Caring For A Hamster’s Sprained Limb

Written By Laura Grace January 12th, 2020

Quite some months ago Beanie came out of her cage like usual for her free roaming time in the evening. Everything was business as usual, until I saw Beanie quickly hobble under my desk on three legs.

It freaked me out, for a few seconds I thought maybe I saw something else, and Beanie was probably perfectly fine. Nontheless I decided to find her, just to be sure. When she emerged a few moments later she was limping, very badly.

Diagnosing a Sprain or Break

If you see your hamster like this, carefully put them in an flat surfaced area and watch the affected limb. If it’s broken the hamster will most likely be dragging the limb, if it’s sprained then they will be able to hold it up off the ground.

Broken Limb

If it’s broken call an exotic vet immediately. Hamsters will gnaw off their own broken limbs in an attempt to stop the pain. A vet will prescribe a pain killer for the hamster until the limb heals. Ask the vet about other ways to help your with your hamster’s recovery.

Adjusting Beanie’s Cage

Beanie had a sprain, so this is how I went about adjusting her cage to suit her needs:

  • Removed everything from the cage
  • Shredded a ton of toilet paper; put an inch deep layer all over the cage floor
  • Put lots of tubes and boredom breakers around the cage
  • Didn’t put the wheel back in the cage
  • Scatter fed her to make up for the lack of wheel

I have no experience with broken limbs, so if the limb is broken please ask an exotic vet for further intructions.

Caring for the Sprained Limb

Since it was a sprain I needed to keep Beanie in the downgraded cage setup for 1-3 weeks.

During this time Beanie came out for a minute everyday to walk on a hard surface, so I could see how the limb was doing.

It was her back right leg she sprained, and she couldn’t balance properly to drink from her bottle, so I put a piece of wood under the bottle so she could lean on it to drink.

I checked her daily, and tried not worry to much.

Beanie was incredibly bored, but I had to resist the temptation the let her out of the cage for free roaming.

Diagnosing the Healed Limb

Six days later I took Beanie out for the daily minute on a hard surface, and checked her leg. Beanie was pretty much normal!

I did wait an extra day just to make sure she was completely healed, and on the seventh day from the incident she was reunited with her wheel.

Every hamster is different, so some may take longer to heal, and it also depends on how serious the injury was.

When the hamster is walking completely normally again you can change the cage back to normal.

This post is written purely off of my own experience and research, so if you handled a similar situation differently that’s totally okay!

If you’re interested in more hamster-related content be sure to like this post and follow the blog, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with more small pet care, DIYs, recipes, cage setups, stories and more, have a ham-tastic day!

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