Ruling Out Other Health Conditions
1Check your hamster’s eye for foreign objects. One reason your hamster’s eye may be watery or closed is that something is stuck in the eye. If this is the case, there won’t be any crust present holding the eye closed, so you can gently open your hamster’s eye and look. If there is dust or sand in the eye, you can use a Q-tip or similar, dipped in lukewarm water to gently remove the debris. If an object has actually punctured the eye, don’t try to remove it or you could cause further damage. Take your hamster to the vet as soon as possible.
2Examine your hamster for pink eye. Animals, as well as humans, can contract conjunctivitis, commonly known as Pink Eye. The condition is usually not harmful to hamsters, but you should still see the vet to make sure your pet heals properly. Schedule a visit to the vet if your hamster exhibits the following symptoms.
- A watery eye discharge. This may become more pus-like as time goes on.
- Sticky eyelids.
- Swollen eyes.
- Redness around the edge of the eyelids.
3See if your hamster’s eyeball is protruding from the socket. It is possible for the eyeball to actually protrude from a hamster’s head. It can occur from an infection or trauma. This is a serious condition that requires veterinary attention as soon as possible. Don’t waste time if you see this condition in your hamster. The faster you get to the vet, the better the chances you can save the eyeball.
Treating a Sticky Eye
Hold your hamster gently. You’ll want to avoid hurting your hamster while cleaning out the eye. Being too rough while handling him for this procedure can cause injury that will require veterinary attention. Pick him up gently and don’t start cleaning until he’s settled down. Be sure the hamster is comfortable and has stopped struggling before you start cleaning out his eye.
2Wet a cotton swab or washcloth with lukewarm water. Either of these objects will work, as long as you use lukewarm water. Make sure the water isn’t hot, or you could burn your hamster and cause damage to the eye. 
3Hold the cloth or swab on the eye. You shouldn’t abruptly pull the eye open. The crust associated with the sticky eye will be holding the eye shut, and pulling it apart can cause damage. Instead, you have to break down and soften the crust that is keeping the eye shut. You can do this by holding the wet cloth over your hamster’s eye for a few minutes. This will help loosen up the eyelid. He may even be able to open his eye on his own after this without any further help. Try two minutes of this before taking any further action.
4Wipe away any crust from the eyelid. After you’ve held the cloth over your hamster’s eye for a few minutes, the crust should be soft and loose. Now you can gently brush it away from his eyelid without hurting him.
- If the crust doesn’t come away easily, don’t force it or you could hurt the hamster. Instead, go back to holding the cloth on the crust and let it loosen further.
5Open the eye gently. If a few minutes go by and your hamster is still unable to open his eye by himself, you’ll have to open it manually. After wiping away the crust, it should be easy to open the eye. Gently pull the lids apart until your hamster is able to open his eye on his own.
- Remember to stop right away if you have any difficulty doing this. Go back to holding the cloth over the eye and wiping away crust, then try again.
Visit the vet if you have any trouble. If you can’t get the eye open or suspect that anything else may be wrong, don’t hesitate to go to the vet. If there is a problem, catching it early is key for your hamster’s health.
7Wash around you hamster’s eyes regularly. If you hamster is prone to sticky eyes, you can prevent the problem with regular washing. Take a wet cloth and gently wipe around the eye to get rid of any fluid buildup. This will prevent crusting and help keep your hamster’s eyes from getting stuck together. You should especially do this if your hamster is getting old, since older hamsters are more prone to the problem.
What should I do if my hamster’s eye won’t open?
A newborn hamster’s eyes will be shut. But if your hamster is full-grown, and there is no crust, try taking him to the vet.
How do I clean my hamster’s sticky eye if he keeps attacking the swab?
Try distracting him by placing a toy or a piece of food near him. Also, hold him firmly but gently at the same time.
What do I do if my hamster’s eye is bleeding?
You should take your hamster to see a vet as soon as possible. Its eye generally shouldn’t be bleeding. In the meantime, you can try talking to a storekeeper at the pet store where you got your hamster. They should be able to give you some answers.
What other methods can help my hamster with sticky eye?
Try using warm water instead of cold to open your hamster’s eye.
My hamster won’t sit still, so it’s hard for me to hold the Q-tip to his eye. Every day, his eye(s) gets stuck.
Take your hamster to the vet, as you wouldn’t want things to get worse if you can’t help the hamster yourself.
My hamster bites me when I hold him! What can I do?
Always wash your hands before you attempt to handle your hamster. You may have food smells on your hands that your hamster might want to taste. Never try to pick up your hamster while it it sleeping. Gently blow on your hamster to wake it up first. If you have done these things and your hamster still bites you, try picking it up with a soft wash cloth and then give it a small treat like a piece of apple or a grape. This lets your hamster know that when you pick it up it gets a yummy treat.
Ask a Question
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- Keep the area around where your hamster lives clean because dust is another way your hamster’s eyes get irritated and infused.
- Wear gloves to prevent biting.
- Try to securely hold the hamster so he doesn’t fall out of your hand.
- Get someone else to hold the hamster while you wipe the eyes free of crust.
- Be careful! This process may hurt the hamster if you don’t do it carefully.
- Try not to squeeze the hamster at all, just use a light grip. Otherwise, you could hurt the hamster or he might bite you.
In other languages:
Español: ayudar a un hámster con los ojos pegados, Português: Ajudar um Hamster com o Olho Grudado, Deutsch: Einem Hamster mit einem verklebten Auge helfen, Bahasa Indonesia: Menolong Hamster dengan Mata yang Rapat, Tiếng Việt: Xử lý khi Mắt Chuột lang bị Dính, Italiano: Aiutare un Criceto con gli Occhi Appiccicosi, Nederlands: Een hamster met een dicht oog helpen, العربية: مساعدة هامستر ذي عين ملتصقة, ไทย: ช่วยหนูแฮมสเตอร์ที่มีขี้ตากรัง, 中文: 清理仓鼠眼睛结痂, Čeština: Jak pomoci křečkovi se zalepeným okem
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