You have recently noticed some differences in the symmetry of your hamster’s eyes. And you realize that either one or both of the eyes are protruding. Hamster eye-bulging needs immediate attention.
It can be an infection, an injury, or another critical issue. The source of the problem needs to be diagnosed and taken care of.
A hamster’s eye bulge can be the result of trauma, dental disease, or an eye infection. The most common cause is something that has damaged the eye socket causing pressure on the eye.
Never add additional pressure to the eye socket as this can cause further damage.
Read on to know more about this eye condition, the symptoms, the remedies, and the cure.
Hamster Eye Bulging (Protrusion of Eyeball)
What Is Hamster Eye Bulging?
The medical term for eye bulging is Exophthalmos or proptosis. Though it is a common issue and often occurs in hamsters, it needs immediate consideration.
Generally, in this condition, one or both hamster eyes protrude forward from the socket.
Sings of Eye Bulging in Hamsters
To recognize and confirm Exophthalmos, the most significant sign is the bulging itself. Secondly, the hamster will be experiencing fatal pain in the eye and slight enlargement of the eyeball. A watery discharge might also be exhibited by the hamster, including redness of the eye.
The Main Causes of Hamster’s Eye Bulging
Some hamster species can get the Sialodacryoadenitis virus (SDAV), which results in Exophthalmos.
Another cause of this disease is restraining the skin too tight from the back of the neck. The strain can cause trauma to the periorbital area resulting in bulging one or both eyes.
Clinical tests might be able to diagnose the underlying cause of the infection. Also, it is necessary to know the type of infection, to begin with. Usually, the veterans will need medical history.
If all of that rules out, the vets might also want to know about the hamster’s living conditions, surroundings, and members of the family. If trauma is the cause, it needs to be identified.
Hamster Bulging Eye Treatment
We recommend talking to a professionally trained vet online in regard to going forward with a diagnosis. After this, you can evaluate how you want to approach the treatment.
Further treatment procedures will be followed once the vet has diagnosed Exophthalmos and its cause. It cleans the eye with an ophthalmic wash and lubricates it with a sterile ophthalmic lubricator.
Medicines like pilocarpine relax the pupils and reduce pressure. The vet may try to pull back the eyelids to push the eyeball into the socket. Further suturing of the eyelids might approach to avoid recurrence.
If the main cause is an infection, then an antibiotic treatment via oral, ophthalmic ointment should continue for 10 days. If improper handling or trauma is the cause, proper care routines and learning about them should be observed.
It’s important to know that this disease can make your hamster lose its eye. Hence, immediate care is very vital to save the eye.
In the worst case, removing the eye through surgery becomes the only solution.
Hamster Eye Infection Home Remedies
Eye infections are usually quite easy to spot. Watering of the eye, oozing of pus, or some discharge are signs of an infection. If not cured, the pus might even dry out and stick on the eyelids, resulting in a complete shutdown of the lids.
Once you realize the hamster cannot open its eyes, the dried pus will need to be cleaned with a sterile solution. The eyes can be wiped off to remove the nasty deposit for the hamster to open its eye/s.
In any case, a vet is always the best option to approach. They are certainly aware of the current infections and are trained to handle the situation.
But since eye infections are quite common in small pets, you might want to apply a remedy yourself. Having some knowledge from any previous occurrence or your research may help.
The easiest and safest way to tackle an eye infection is to wipe off the eye with saline water. Usually, normal saline is available over the counter, but you can also make the solution at home.
Just add one tablespoon of salt to one glass of warm water, and your solution is ready. Wipe off the eye gently with this prepared solution with a new piece of cotton or tissue every time.
- Do not repeat the piece of cotton or tissue already used
- Do not dip the used cotton or tissue into the water again
- Always use gloves
- Discard the remaining saline water and make a new one every day
- Quarantine the animal from other pets.
It’s always either bacteria or a virus that may be causing the infection. It can be due to some foreign body in the eyes in some cases. The point is that if it’s viral, it can spread to other organs, so the cleaning has to be managed carefully.
However, if the condition prevails and the eye does not get better, it’s best to seek medical advice. A vet will know better and might have the situation under control. Also, your pet might be needing more than just saline water sterilization.
Whatever it is, if your remedy does not work within 3 to 4 days, then take your hamster to a vet to eventually save the eye.
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Can a Hamster’s Eye Pop?
Hamsters can have either permanently their eyes popped out or due to a disease called Exophthalmos.
The former may be due to a congenital disability where the eye sockets are shallow. The eyes appear to be popped out, but of course, it is how the hamster always looks. In the case of Exophthalmos or hamsters, eye-bulging can result from an infection or trauma.
Is It Common for Hamsters to Become Blind?
Hamsters can suffer from a variety of conditions that can result in blindness. To deduce whether your hamster is blind, you need to observe closely. It is reluctant to very bright light if it walks into things and falls off easily.
One of the most common causes of blindness in hamsters is cataracts. However, it is an aging disease but is quite common in hamsters. Some other serious eye infections too can lead to blindness if not treated on time.
Why Has My Hamster’s Eye Turned Red?
Hamsters that exhibit red eyes can be due to two reasons, an eye infection or trauma. Usually, redness around the eyelids along with watery eyes can be an indication of an eye infection.
Either this or your hamster might have poked something in the eye or bumped headfirst into something. In either case, the redness of the eye should be dealt with immediately.
What Causes Cataracts in Hamsters?
Change in the tissues of the eye lens with age is the main cause of cataracts. With age, hamsters develop cataracts, making them lose partial or complete vision because it is untreatable.