Mastitis is a bacterial infection that causes a nursing female hamster to develop inflamed mammary glands. The bacteria, which are often a Streptococcus variant, can enter the mammary glands when young pups break the surface of the skin with their teeth or claws while suckling. Mastitis is painful for the nursing hamster and can also be dangerous for the pups, as the infection can impact milk supply and the pups can quickly starve. Additionally, the infection can enter the nursing hamster's bloodstream and lead to complications, such as sepsis, which can be fatal. So, if you have a hamster nursing a litter of pups, it's important to be aware of the signs of mastitis and understand how the infection is treated.
Signs Of Mastitis
Common signs of mastitis in hamsters include inflamed mammary glands that are warm or firm when touched and a blue hue on the skin covering the glands. Your hamster may wince in pain or become agitated when the glands are touched or when you handle her, and you may notice a mucous or blood-tinged discharge coming from the glands. Your hamster may be lethargic and stop eating or drinking, and some hamsters will also begin to reject their pups if treatment isn't sought quickly.
Your vet will ask you to describe your hamster's symptoms and they will examine your hamster. Blood samples and a swab of any discharge will be taken for analysis and can confirm the strain of bacteria present, which will allow your vet to formulate an effective treatment plan.
Mastitis must be treated with antibiotics that are effective against the strain of bacteria causing the infection. Your vet may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to speed up the healing process, and they will show you how to clean and apply antiseptic ointment to any areas of broken skin. Your vet will also want to examine the pups to ensure they are not malnourished or dehydrated. It may be necessary for your hamster and their pups to stay at the clinic for a few days for observation, and your vet may recommend the pups receive some supplementary formula while their mother recovers. You will need to attend a follow-up appointment to ensure your hamster has fully recovered, and your vet will also check on the health of the pups at that appointment.
If your nursing hamster has any signs of mastitis, have them examined by your vet immediately.Share
3 February 2021
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