Do Hamsters Have Boogers?

By Dawn | Hamster Facts
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I have heard a lot of hamster owners talking about how their pet has had a snotty nose, and this got me a little concerned. I know that hamsters have a lot of bodily functions that are similar to ours, what with us both being mammals; however, nasal discharge is usually a sign of something wrong. Then I thought, do hamsters have boogers?

Hamsters should not have any discharge from the nose, whether this is dry or wet. If they do, this is likely a sign that there is an underlying problem and something that you should check out as soon as possible.

But what are the causes of hamster boogers, and what can we do to get rid of them? Let’s take a look at this in a little more detail. 

Should Hamsters Have Boogers?

Boogers are made up of dust and other dirt, which gets into the nose and is caught by nasal mucus. In humans, these can build-up at various points throughout the day, and it is your body’s way of preventing this dirt and debris from entering your respiratory system and wreaking havoc. 

They can range from wet and slimy through to very dry and crusty, and for us, this is entirely normal, so you might be forgiven for thinking that the same can be said for your pet.

However, in hamsters, this is not the case, and when you do notice any kind of discharge coming from the nose, it is usually not a good sign. 

It may surprise you to learn that hamsters can get the same infections that we can; the common cold, chest infections, and many others are all things that your hamster is susceptible to.  However, you are unlikely to notice anything unless your hamster is particularly unwell. 

The reason for this is that hamsters tend to be very meticulous in their grooming process. If they were to get any booger or snot, they would quickly clean this away, much in the same way that you would if you had a cold. 

When the hamster is feeling incredibly sick, they may not feel up to grooming, and this would be when you noticed the boogers and other types of discharge from the nose. 

There are several reasons why your hamster may be getting a runny nose or boogers and of course, having a cold is one of the most common reasons. However, much like in humans, there is no cure for this, so in all likelihood, your hammy will have to ride it out. 

However, it is a good idea to have your hamster checked by the vet as this could need treatment with antibiotics.

In addition to having a case of the sniffles, your hamster may have developed boogers as a result of an allergy. 

It may not be something that pet owners first think of since it is normally humans that are sneezing because of their pets. But hamsters can indeed have an allergic reaction to some of the things that we provide them with. 

One of the most common causes of hamster allergies is the bedding; this should be the first thing that you change to see if it makes a difference. However, your hamster may also be allergic to things like certain types of food and even cleaning products that are used in and around the cage. For this reason, it is worth investigating all avenues. 

How To Tell If Your Hamster Has A Cold

If you have noticed your furry friend has got a snotty nose, and you have ruled out an allergic reaction, it is possible that your pet has a cold. But how can you be sure?

The answer is simple; if the boogers are the result of a cold, it is likely that they will be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms. 

One of the first things you should look at is your pet’s behavior; when they don’t feel well, they will alter their behavior, just like we would. 

You may notice that your pet is a little more lethargic than normal and may even sleep more as she recovers. Furthermore, they might go off their food and seem disinterested in things that they normally enjoy, such as playing or interacting with you. 

A hamster with a cold will likely forego grooming in favor of getting their head down and resting. As a result of this, you will notice that their fur might appear matted, and may look a little less ‘presentable’ than usual. 

You should try to avoid handling your pet as much as possible when they are sick as this won’t be pleasant for them but do try to feel your hamster to see if it is warmer than normal as this can also be a sign of a cold. 

Eye Boogers

Hamsters don’t typically get crusty eyes unless there is an issue. This might be another sign that your pet has a cold, or it could be something else, so this is worth checking out. 

Your hamster may develop eye boogers if they have something stuck in their eye. The eyes will water to try and get rid of the foreign body, and as this dries, it can become crusty. 

Other reasons may include a condition known as sticky eye, which is more prevalent in older hammies. This is a result of sleeping more. While your pet sleeps, the eyes release moisture, and this can congeal if they are not opened. 

It isn’t serious, and your pet should be able to clean their eyes by themselves. However, if they need help, you can use warm water to cleanse the area. 

More serious eye issues like pink eye or even the loss of an eye will require medical attention, and you should have your pet seen as soon as possible. 

Related Questions

What’s the most common cause of death in a hamster?

There are many reasons why a hamster may pass away, but the most common cause of sudden death is heart failure. You should also remember that health problems due to old age are common and that these pets rarely live longer than two years

Why are hamster’s noses crusty?

Your hamster’s nose should not be crusty. If it is, this could be a sign of some kind of respiratory illness, and the problem should be addressed by a vet. It is quite common for hamsters to develop chest infections, which can cause a build-up of mucus.