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Old 10-01-2020, 04:50 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Default Treating a hamster ear infection


I have come here for some advice.

I have a winter white dwarf hamster around 18 months old and I have noticed a problem with her ear.

She is fine in herself eating and drinking and active as usual but her ear looks uncomfortable. There seems to be some brownish looking discharge which has hardened on the outside and have noticed her scratching at it, and its caused the ear to swell a little too.
I really want to get this off, I have tried giving her her favourite treat to get her to sit still but she wouldn't let me as its quite fiddley.

I have read that its quite common in hamsters to get ear infections and when taken to the vets they are commonly given baytrill.

Seen as she seems fine in herself I would much rather try and fix this for her first myself before giving her the stress of a car journey etc. I want to try and clear the ear by softening the scab (if this is what is it) and hopefully she will get better after that.

Could anyone offer me any advice? How I can keep her still while I try and clean it up, and how you would go about doing this?

Has anyone done this before?

Many thanks,

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Old 10-02-2020, 04:57 AM   #2
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Location: West midlands, UK
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Default Re: Treating a hamster ear infection

I would honestly take her to the vets to get this checked rather than trying to fix it yourself, especially if there is swelling and discharge as this could indicate a possible infection which won't clear up without medication unfortunately. Not only that, if it is sore, she might well need some pain relief too. You can definitely bathe the area with a saline solution but it wouldn't be fair to not seek treatment if she's in discomfort.
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Treating a hamster ear infection

I agree it’s by far the best thing to take her to the vet & get it checked as soon as you can, there’s little you can do & it may clear up very quickly with a course of antibiotics if that’s what the vet prescribes rather than giving it time to get worse while you wait.
I wouldn’t worry about the stress of a car journey & going to the vets, make sure you have a carrier with some substrate in so your ham can burrow down during the journey. Vets visits can be stressful for some hams but a bit of stress is better than being unwell & in pain.
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Treating a hamster ear infection

Ok, I was just hoping to hear that others had had the similar issues and it hadn't been much of a problem.

I have arranged an appointment but it isn't until Monday. It doesn't appear to be getting worse so hopefully he will be ok until then.
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:23 AM   #5
Ria P
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Treating a hamster ear infection

I also agree with aforementioned advice.
I've recently taken one of my hamsters to the vet three times involving a car journey and he didn't appear stressed by it.

I put him in a large transport box with plenty of substrate, his spare house and food scattered around to give him something to do. He was fine.

Keep in mind that trying to treat an infected ear yourself could actually make it worse. If you were in disconfort with an infected ear, would you treat it yourself or see a doctor or nurse is the question i'd be asking myself.
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Old 10-05-2020, 05:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Treating a hamster ear infection

We managed to get to the vets on saturday and she wanted to sedate him to clean his ear and then prescribe antibiotics. It was a lot of money so I asked if I could just try some medication (which was still a lot of money!). They offered me some drops caneural 3 drops twice a day. I have sat with him and been really patient to try and soften the 'plug' in his ear as the vet advised, before i put the drops in i use some warm salt water and touch his ear to try and loosen it and then i give the drops.

Every time I apply the drops I wait patiently for him to sit still in a 'hospital box' I bribe with treats and then do this because I don't want to cause him any stress by trying to restrain him, but as soon as this happens he starts trying to clean it off and rubs it everywhere. And then just as he's clean again I have to apply more. I feel awful doing this I just really hope they work.
Has anyone used these ear drops on hams before? Its making him quite greasy, he had a sand bath but i removed it because he would jump straight into it after the drops and i didn't want sand getting in his ears. Im trying so hard to help and its been a very stressful weekend. I feel that the ear is going down in terms of swelling and the mass is starting to get small so hopefully it will come off soon finger crossed he continues to improve.

Ham has been so good through all this, i have been so upset but ive had no reason to be. he wakes up when he hears me and lets me do what i need to do with no problems hes such a good boy! i thought he would get sick of me messing with him, but i feel he knows i am trying to help.
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