Broken Limbs

Occasionally a hamster may break a limb or its tail from a fall, even whilst in its cage. Often the accident that resulted in the broken limb occurs in the evening or night and is not witnessed but the following morning the hamster may be limping or have a bent tail.

If a hamster does fall or injure itself it may also be in shock and if so this will need treating immediately.

Unfortunately, because of their small size, it is not possible to plaster a hamster's broken limb (and the hamster would chew it off anyway!) and so it is left to heal naturally. It will help the hamster if exercise is kept to a minimum whilst the limb is healing and so any wheel should be removed from the cage, and if possible the hamster should be placed in an aquarium to prevent climbing up cage bars, etc. Feeding some bread soaked in milk or dog biscuits high in calcium will help the bone to heal.

Occasionally, a broken limb may result in the bone breaking through the skin and becoming exposed. In this event the hamster should be taken to a vet as antibiotic treatment may be needed to prevent infection and the vet may consider that it is necessary to try to move the bone and/or stitch the skin in order that the bone does not remain exposed.

The limb or tail will heal within a week or two, although the hamster may be left with a slight limp or crooked or bent tail. This is nothing to worry about and does not usually cause the hamster any distress and it will learn to adapt.