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Why is My Hamster Shaking and Breathing Heavy?

Why is My Hamster Shaking and Breathing Heavy?

Hamsters are beloved pets for some of us, and there’s nothing as bad as seeing them in pain. Regarding pain, shaking, and heavy breathing is considered the topmost issues for Hamsters.

Now, if you wonder, “why is my hamster shaking and breathing heavily”, you should first look out for wheezing and sneezing with nasal discharge. This might indicate a bad cold or pneumonia. If it’s shaking, there’s a chance of heart failure or heatstroke too.

Should you be worried? If you’re lucky, it’s just a bad cold. But it’s better safe than sorry. Read on to know more about symptoms and what steps you should take to best treat your Hamster.

Why is My Hamster Shaking?

Hamster’s shaking can be both normal and abnormal. It’s truly based on the situation the Hamster lives in. Shaking in a hamster can only be a sign of its nervousness or a sign that they’re in real danger.

It’s a symptom of various complex medical conditions, including occasional diabetes. In addition to diabetes, seizures can also be caused by symptoms of stroke, congestive heart failure, skin parasites, or heatstroke.

Whatever the situation, shivering and shaking means that your Hamster is going through a stressful time – whether it’s normal or not.

Possible Reasons Why Your Hamster is Shaking and Its Solutions

As a hamster owner, it’s essential to identify the root causes of why your Hamster is trembling. Some reasons are not as critical as others and can be corrected very easily. However, being able to distinguish between an emergency and a low-threat quake is crucial.

  • Temperature

One of the most problematic reasons for your Hamster to shake is due to room temperature, and Hamsters find it challenging to control their temperature.

So keep them in a moderate temperature, at least around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Fear and Anxiety or stress

This one is common for new hamsters, which means you brought them home earlier or recovered them later.

It’s essential that you don’t force them to go along with you or that you don’t want them to play and run around suddenly.

Let Hamster familiarize with the new environment. Although they can’t see very well, they try to remember the pathways so that they can move away.

  • Nervous System

Shaking is when a hamster stands on its feet, until they move on their backs. After the fall, they will continue to do the same thing. Often, you notice the Hamster is shaking and seems tired.

However, stargazing isn’t the only neurological disorder that’s associated with convulsions. It’s a sign of neuro disorder.

If the problem has something to do with the Hamster’s nervous system, there’s not much you can do with first aid. The best for you and your Hamster is to take them to the vet and help with the treatment.

  • Respiratory Infection

Another reason that causes shaking in Hamsters is a respiratory infection. It’s rare to be seen, but not impossible.

Respiratory infections and allergies are seen when there’s a major change in the Hamster’s environment. If you change the hamster bedding frequently, it can cause respiratory problems. Plus, Hamsters can easily breathe in the dust if there’s any on the bed, and it can cause an infection.

Before replacing a bed or sand bath with the bed, give a thorough check for dust. If you see dust, it’s best to use a separate bed or sand bath. After that, even if the shaking continues, better see a vet ASAP.

  • Serious Medical issues

After all, tremors in the Hamster can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Some of the known medical problems that can cause hamster tremors are diabetes, stroke, heatstroke, skin parasites, or congestive heart failure.

Other common symptoms to determine if your Hamster has a condition are runny nose, watery stools, weight loss, rough appearance, and shiny eyes. If any of these tremors occur, it may mean that your Hamster needs emergency medical attention.

Why is My Hamster Breathing Heavily?

It isn’t uncommon for hamsters to have difficulty breathing under certain conditions. Although some sneezes are normal, persistent sneezing is a warning sign of a respiratory infection, which can lead to pneumonia in severe cases.

Other behaviors should be noted, including shortness of breath, heavy breathing, and discharge from the eyes or nose.

Possible Reasons Why a Hamster is Breathing Heavily and Its Solutions

  • Allergy

Hamsters are susceptible to their surroundings. A small speck of dust or even slight weather changes can be enough to cause respiratory infections.

So, it’s crucial enough to keep the hamsters’ living place always clean and your home as well.

  • The Cage

Another specific cause of heavy breathing is using the wrong bed type for Hamsters. Cedar chips and pine bedding are highly fragrant, which can easily irritate the eyes, nose, mouth, lungs, and even the skin. 

Fortunately, these changes aren’t difficult to make, so your Hamsters will become lively once again if you make the required changes.

  • Wet Tail

Probably the most common hamster disease besides respiratory infection is the wet tail. This occurs in hamsters from stressful environments. It can weaken their immune system and cause them more breathing problems.

It’s always best to contact your doctor if you are anxious or after trying home remedies if nothing changes with you.


Does a heavily breathing hamster mean it’s going to die?

No, you needn’t be worried about that. A sign of death is a slower rate of breathing, so it’s quite the opposite of heavy breathing.

Can my Hamster get anxious and start shaking?

Yes, anxiety or fear is a common reason for hamsters to start shaking just like humans. They’re similar to us in a lot of ways, and this is one of them.

What should I do if my Hamster is cold?

Your Hamster might start shaking if it gets too cold. To avoid this, you might first change the hamster box to a warmer area. If you’ve a heater in your room, turn it on and keep your hamster box beside it. Placing it next to the kitchen stove at a safe distance for some time works too.

What do I do if my Hamster catches pneumonia?

There isn’t much you can do at home. Your safest bet is to take it to a vet as soon as possible. Don’t worry, there’s medication, and with proper care, it’ll get okay.

Do hamsters breathe heavily while hibernating?

No, it’s quite the opposite — they breathe much slower. If your Hamster is lying and breathing heavily, it doesn’t mean it’s hibernating. It might indicate something much serious like a heart problem or pneumonia.

Your safest bet is to take it to your nearest animal clinic right away.

Final Тhought

We hope you found the appropriate solutions regarding, “why is my hamster shaking and breathing heavy”? Now you can take better care of the Hamster than before.

A token of advice is to spend time with your Hamster regularly. You’ll get to know about your Hamster in a better way and about their health conditions as well. With quick action and some preventative measures, your Hamster is living a long and happy life with his BFF – that’s you!

John Thompson

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