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What To Do When Your Hamsters Eye Is Bulging!

Hamsters are seeing a spike in their popularity right now due to a number of viral videos of hamsters acting cut on social media. As with most pets, once a large number of people new to keeping that particular pet experience relatively common issues, they reach out for help and hamsters are no different.

One of the more frequently asked sets of questions that we have noticed asked more frequently over the last few months is about a hamsters eye bulging.

We are fully aware of how strange this looks for someone new to keeping pet hamsters but it is a surprisingly common condition and can occur due to a number of different reasons.

After seeing so many hamster owners reaching out and panicking due to their hamster having a eye bulging or having both of their yes swollen, we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over the subject.

Our hope is that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible better understand the causes and treatments that cause their hamster’s eyes to bulge up and to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Why Does My Hamster Have A Bulging Eye?

The two main conditions that can cause your hamsters eyes to bulge are exophthalmos and proptosis with both having a number of causes. The most popular cause is an infection behind the eye but pressure on the eye, eye trauma, and even too much pressure applied to the back of the hamsters head can cause its eyes to swell.

Due to both exophthalmos and proptosis having a wide range of severities, we would highly recommend that you try to book a quick video call with an online vet so they are able to better assess the situation for you.

These online video calls with fully qualified veterinarians tend to work out considerably cheaper than a trip to your local vets and you can often be on in the video call with the vet within minutes too.

Most of the time the vet will be able to prescribe something to help reduce the bulging and swelling in your hamsters eye if they dem the cause of the problem to be an infection.

There is a small chance that your pet hamster may require surgery though and if surgery is delayed then you can risk the condition getting worse in your hamster and it leading to more serious problems.

How Do You Treat A Bulging Hamster Eye?

As the most common cause of a bulging eye in a hamster is an infection, the easiest way to treat the bulging eye is the use of anti-biotics with doxycycline or enrofloxacin usually being prescribed by your veterinarian.

There are a number of effective anti-biotics that work well when treating a bulging eye in a hamster though with most being asministered once or twice per day.

Depending on the severity of the infection or if the bulging eye on your pet hamster is due to trauma to its eye, your pet may actually require surgery and potentially to have the eye removed.

Although this may sound scary, the surgery is quite common in hamsters due to exophthalmos and proptosis, the leading causes of swelling in hamsters eye being so common.

There are also a number of situations where your pet hamsters eyes may swell up and bulge but may not require anti-biotics or surgery.

This tends to be when the swelling is due to the application of pressure to the back of your pet hamsters head but this does tend to be harder to diagnose in most cases as not all infections that cause hamsters eyes to swell will also cause the eye to go bloody.

My Hamster Eye Is Swollen Shut!

Both exophthalmos and proptosis can cause your hamsters eye to swell up so much that it will shut but thankfully, once the infection that is causing your hamsters eye to bulge has been treat, the swelling goes down and your hamster will be able to reopen its eye without issue in most cases.

There is a small number of cases where your pet hamster may need to have its eye removed if the infection is particularly bad but this is rare.

It can be common for your hamsters eye to leak a watery fluid or even blood when suffering from these infections too and the more swollen the eye gets, the more serious the problem can become.

This is why we often recommend a quick video call with a vet to get a professional to check your pet as it can be difficult to diagnose the specific condition with your hamster.

Although rare, your vet may advise you to just leave your hamster alone or separate it from any other pets until its eye naturally returns to normal.

There are countless hamsters who have had swelling in their eyes so bad but returned to normal once the infection has passed so try not to instantly think the worst will happen to your pet hamster.

Why Is My Hamster’s Eye Bloody?

If your hamsters eye is bloody and bulging then it is probably due to an infection, if your hamsters eye is just bloody without any bulging or swelling then it is probably due to trauma to the eye.

Due to hamsters eyes being so small, it can be difficult to diagnose these problems easily though so it is best to check with a vet.

Either way, if your hamsters eye is bloody, its a good sign that it will require professional help to heal or prevent the issue from getting any worse.

Depending on where the blood is coming from, anti-biotics may be enough to prevent the issue from getting worse as the blood can often come from behind the eye ball where the infection has taken hold.

In rarer cases, you will have to have a vet perform surgery on the eye of your hamster with the eye ball sometimes having to be removed, especially if the bleeding is due to trauma to your hamsters eye.

As a rule of thumb when it comes to issues with your pet hamsters eye, if there is blood involved, get a professional veterinarian’s advice as soon as possible.

What Causes Glaucoma In Hamsters?

Glauoma is surprisingly common in some breeds of hamsters and can occur due to sialodacryoadenitis virus, septicemia, bacterial infections, and parasitic diseases.

In addition to the glaucoma, it will also be common for your hamsters eyes to swell up and sometimes bleed.

A vet may be able to treat the glaucoma in your hamsters eyes with some hamsters being able to make a full recovery.

Unfortunately though, some hamsters will end up going blind due to their glaucoma and in some very rare circumstances, they may need to be put to sleep.

The earlier you catch the glaucoma in your pet hamster the better so this is why we have recommended that our readers seek assistance from a vet if possible.

They will be able to offer a professional diagnosis for the condition in your hamsters eyes and be able to offer you the best possible treatments for moving forwards.


That brings our article going over hamster eye bulging to an end. As we have touched on throughout the article, there are actually a number of different things that are able to cause your pet hamsters eye to bulge up and swell but thankfully, most of them are easy to treat. If you do notice your pet hamsters eye starting to swell, seek assistance from a vet as soon as possible and try not to worry as the odds are in your favour for your hamster to make a full recovery.