A hamster is unlikely to infect you with tetanus because their bites rarely penetrate far enough into your bloodstream; However, hamsters can carry tetanus germs; no human cases of tetanus have been reported in medical history due to a hamster bite or scratch. Tetanus is spread through deep, difficult-to-heal wounds.
This article explains what happens if a hamster bites you and whether or not you’ll get tetanus from the bite.
What Should You Do If a Hamster Bites You?
Biting is a natural hamster behavior that serves as a means of establishing boundaries. If the hamster bites you again, don’t make sudden movements or noises, and don’t hold the hamster because it may frighten or excite it.
Gently press your thumb against the side of their mouth while keeping one hand flat in front of your chest to prevent future biting on that hand. Once the hamster has stopped biting you, open the hamster’s mouth and let the hamster explore the surroundings.
The hamster may be startled or agitated initially, but it will usually calm down after a few minutes. If it still won’t go to sleep, gently pick it up with one hand while closing the other’s lips.
Then slowly open their mouth by placing your thumb against the side of their mouth.
Is a Tetanus Shot Necessary After a Hamster Bite?
A tetanus shot isn’t always necessary when it comes to hamster bites. If you’ve received a tetanus shot or been bitten by a hamster before, you must be carefully clean and disinfect the bite site.
It’s good to keep an eye out for tetanus symptoms whenever possible. Symptoms include muscle spasms, severe headaches, exhaustion, fever, and discomfort.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should get medical attention as soon as possible.
If a hamster bites you, you should respond quickly. You should be fine if you’ve already started or finished the tetanus vaccination series.
A tetanus vaccine can protect you from a hamster bite in five days.
The protection period is determined by the immunity and size of the injection. If you’re unsure what to do, it’s advisable to seek medical advice.
If a hamster bite is treated with an antibiotic injection, a tetanus vaccine may not be required.
Before beginning any therapy, carefully clean the taste region to prevent bacteria from entering the inoculation injection site and ensure that your immunization is not jeopardized.
What Happens If a Hamster Bites You And It Bleeds?
The bite of a hamster can be so powerful that it shreds the skin and leaves a small cut. A hamster’s teeth aren’t designed to pierce the skin, but its saliva contains bacteria and an antigen called lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
When LPS penetrates a wound, toxic shock syndrome (TSS) occurs, which can be fatal. TSS is frequently treated with intravenous fluids in humans while the patient is monitored in intensive care.
TSS-producing bacteria do not thrive in cold environments. Your chances of contracting TSS are small if a hamster bites you, and quickly wash the area with soap and water.
If a hamster bites you and licks your injury, there is no treatment for any illnesses that may have been transmitted (and possibly bites it yourself).
Salmonella, E. Coli, and pneumococcus are just a few diseases that a hamster’s bite can spread. These infections are less likely to be contracted due to a hamster bite than TSS.
Wash your wound with soap and water or apply an antiseptic lotion if you’re worried about bacterial infection. After getting bitten by a hamster, it’s also good to avoid scratching the bite area for two weeks.
Is It True That Hamsters Bite Without a Reason?
Hamsters bite for various reasons, including physical pain, overstimulation from being around too many stimuli (e.g., people), and the need to establish dominance in their territory (e.g., cage).
Biting on items like wires may result in a cracked tooth due to the strain put on the hamster’s jaw due to the hamster’s small and pointed teeth. Giving your hamster a variety of chew toys made exclusively for hamsters is the best way to keep their teeth from breaking.
Examples include wood chews, plastic tubes (straws), and cardboard chews with paste inside.
If you enter their cage, your hamsters may become overstimulated and bite you out of fear. Giving your hamster a lot of attention can make it fearful of people because hamsters are inherently shy creatures.
They may bite in self-defense if they don’t recognize you or are frightened by your sudden presence.
Hamsters have been observed to establish dominance when their territory is threatened. They may bite to show their dominance over other hamsters, resulting in formerly calm hamsters biting new family members.
What Are the Best Methods for Getting Your Hamster To Stop Biting?
- Make sure she’s comfy and relaxed before picking up your hammy for a cuddle or a photo session. So please make sure there are no loud noises in the area, give her plenty of time to adjust to her surroundings, and let her examine everything before approaching her.
- Handle your hamster with care; hold the hamster gently but firmly.
- Handle your hamster only when you’re in a relaxed state of mind. You can inadvertently damage your small pal if you’re irritated or anxious.
- If you want to play with your pet, choose a specific time of day and stick to it. They’ll know it’s playtime and not feeding time, bedtime, or any other vital part of the day.
- Cleaning your hamster’s cage will relieve stress, making her less trusting of her surroundings and more inclined to bite anyone who comes into touch with the germs.
- Looking for any indications of illness (e.g., drooling, not eating, breathing heavily)
- Modifying his eating patterns (e.g., switch hamster food with a rodent-safe option like oatmeal or hay)
- Ensuring that he has the tools and space he requires to play (e.g., an exercise wheel)
- Supplying additional cuddling
- Reducing the amount of time he spends in his cage – for example, by giving him more opportunities to play:
- Allowing him to run about in a larger area
Hamster Bite FAQs
What does it feel like to have a hamster bite you?
Nips or nibbles of skin near the mouth account for the bulk of hamster bites. They may bite if they become frustrated or feel trapped in their cage.
These bites, which are usually very light, seldom cause injury to humans. Your hamster may irritate your skin and cause small sores on your hands that bleed easily if this happens regularly.
It’s important to remember that hamsters are rodents who bite out of curiosity, making them highly aggressive. As a result, it’s best to leave these pets alone when they’re not being watched.
It’s worth noting that a hamster bite might cause swelling and redness on the skin, but this normally goes away after a day or two.
Is it possible to get sick from a hamster bite?
One of two things could be the solution. Either the animal has rabies and could infect humans, or it could spread other zoonotic diseases.
If no other zoonotic illnesses are present, they will not cause human illness. However, if the hamster has rabies or another zoonotic disease, a hamster bite can make you sick.
Is it possible to become infected after being bitten by a hamster?
A hamster bite can lead to infection, which may surprise you. The bacteria in a hamster’s mouth are identical to ours, and diseases can enter your skin quickly because no saliva is involved in the biting process.
Infections are more frequent in children’s skin because their pores are smaller than in adults. Children’s immune systems are also reduced, making them more vulnerable to sickness.
Biting is a favorite pastime of hamsters. If they do, you could acquire a cut, a scab, or an infection.
Skin infections are microorganisms that penetrate deep into the skin and produce blemishes. The color, shape, and size of these pus-filled patches may vary.
They spread germs up your arm and into your body when they rupture.
Is it necessary to be concerned if your hamster attacks you?
You don’t need to be concerned about a hamster bite, but you should take the necessary measures.
If they feel threatened, hamsters will use their teeth to defend themselves; however, they usually bite if they are handled too much or if their cage is dirty. Even though hamster bites are uncommon, you should be cautious if your hamster incisors puncture the skin and cause bleeding or illness.
Clostridium tetani are the bacteria that cause tetanus. Muscle spasms and stiffness are prominent indications of the bacterium’s toxins-induced illness.
If you’re bitten or scratched by a tetanus-infected animal, you’ll have a rash that spreads across the rest of your body over a few days. Your muscles will feel “dead” and rigid, making movement difficult.
However, it would help wash any wounds your hamster has left so you don’t become infected with whatever insect lurks around.