Health Care

Just like your dog or cat, hamsters occasionally need veterinary care. Even though they are small, and their lives are short, it is our responsibility to ensure they are healthy and not suffering. If finances are a concern, I recommend prospective hamster owners put away $200 in a hamster veterinary emergency fund. Your regular vet who treats dogs and cats may not see hamsters. Typically, exotic and avian vets are most prepared to treat hamsters. 

Although vets are highly trained in medical care, they often spend under a day learning about hamsters in veterinary school. For that and other reasons it is common that veterinarian recommendations on food and housing may conflict with care recommendations from other trusted sources. If this happens, please consider the possibility the vet’s information may not be up-to-date and do your own research. Also, veterinary nutrition classes are often taught, in part, by representatives from large pet food manufacturers which may skew their perspective. The hamster community strives to keep abreast of findings from research about hamster care. This page will be updated to reflect changes in care recommendations to the best of our knowledge.

For a list of common health ailments and identifying and dealing with emergency health issues, check out the Ontario Hamster Club

~ Finding an Exotic Vet ~

Ideally, your exotic vet would have specialized knowledge of small exotic mammals. To find a highly qualified vet checkout the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians’ “Find A Vet” page.

Avian vets also frequently treat exotics. To find an avian vet check out Avian Vet Association’s “Find A Vet” page

~ Portland Area Vets ~

If you live in the greater Portland area try Avian and Exotics Veterinary Care

For immediate or emergency care go to Dove Lewis

For simple issues you can also see the following vets. Keep in mind these vets have limited knowledge of hamster specific care and their nutrition and husbandry information is outdated.

For those willing to travel for affordable veterinary care try the Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon