Do you have a hamster that can’t seem to open his eyes? If so, you’re not alone. Closed hamster eye is also known as sticky eyes. It is a result of the hamster’s eye being glued shut. It happens when the hamster secretes too much tear fluid when sleeping so that the eyes can stay moist. The fluid hardens and dries, causing the eyelids to stick together.
In this blog post, I will discuss the most common causes of this issue and what you can do to help your hamster open his eyes.
Why are the Eyes of My Hamster Closed?
The hamster with closed eyes may be suffering from the sticky eye. The sticky eye is a common condition caused by over-secretion of tears.
The sticky eye is a very frequent condition in hamsters, and it is merely one of the drawbacks of one of their normal biological processes.
Even though the sticky eye is merely an inconvenience, your hamster’s life will be made much more difficult since it won’t be able to see. That is why you should learn more about sticky eyes to assist your pet if it develops a problem in the future.
Another reason could be the hamster is a baby and hasn’t opened its eyes yet. If this is the case the baby hamster will just need more time to do it on their own but if they are not a baby then read more about sticky eye.
What Causes Sticky Eye?
When a hamster sleeps, its eyes must produce a fluid to keep its eyes moist since dry eyes may lead to major health problems. However, the fluids released by their eyes will dry up and harden around their eyes with time.
When this occurs, the dried-up fluid has the ability to glue the hamster’s eyelids shut.
This condition is more common in older hamsters. As they age, their tear ducts may not function as well, which can lead to an overproduction of tears.
In addition, hamsters with diabetes or other health issues are also more susceptible to the sticky eye.
However, when you see your hamster’s eyes closed, do not immediately conclude that it is suffering from a sticky eye. There are other possible causes of closed hamster eyes that you should consider.
For example, if your hamster is experiencing a cold or some other form of respiratory infection, its eyes may be closed due to the congestion. In this case, you will likely see other symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose.
If you are unsure whether your hamster’s closed eyes are due to a sticky eye or another condition, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian.
How To Help a Hamster with Sticky Eye?
If you think that your hamster’s eyes are glued shut due to sticky eyes, there are a few things that you can do to help.
Hold The Hamster Gently
You need to be careful when handling a hamster with a sticky eye. If you are not gentle enough, you may cause the hamster pain or injure its eyes.
You should hold him firmly but gentle enough to prevent the hamster from escaping or falling.
Soak a Cotton Ball or a Q Tip in Warm Water
Once you have taken the necessary precautions, you can soak a cotton ball in warm water. You should then use the cotton ball to apply pressure on the hamster’s closed eyelids.
The warm cotton ball will function as a compress and help to loosen the dried tears.
Gently Rub the Stuck Substances from Your Hamster’s Eyes
You may be wondering why you can just open the hamster and then rub the crusty substances. The crusty substances would have become something like glue, and pulling the eyelids apart would be causing harm to the hamster.
The warmth of the water will help to loosen the dried tears, and the pressure will help to release the glue-like substance. The moisture from the wet q tip or cotton softens the dried material, making it simpler to wipe it away from your hamster’s eyes.
Gently break down the material till wiping it away becomes simpler and easier.
Holding the q tip or washcloth over your hamster’s eyes for a few seconds may be enough to soften the material enough for the hamster to open his or her eyes again. If the hamster still doesn’t open its eyes after a few minutes, gently brush the material out of its eyes with a soft brushing stroke that won’t damage the little hamster.
Use a Clean Cloth to Wipe the Area Around the Eyes
Once you have successfully freed your hamster’s eyes, you should use a clean cloth to wipe the area around its eyes. This will remove any dried tears or other substances that may be irritating the hamster’s eyes.
Gently Open the Hamster’s Eyes
If the hamster does not open its eye after you have wiped away the dried-up secretions surrounding its eyelids, you may have to do it manually. Believe me when I say that some hamsters are reluctant to open their eyes because they believe the dried-up stuff is still there.
In this scenario, gently pull the upper and lower eyelids apart using your fingers.
However, if you’re having trouble or the hamster is resisting, you should stop right there. Get another Q tip or washcloth and repeat the procedure many times more since there may be some stubborn dried-up fluids that you missed the first time.
Repeat the procedure until it becomes simpler for you to open the hamster’s eyelids with your fingers or until the hamster is willing to open his eyes on his own.
Observe Your Hamster’s Eyes
After you have helped your hamster to open its eyes, you should closely observe its eyes for any signs of irritation or infection. If you notice that the hamster’s eyes are red or swollen, it is important to take him to the vet as soon as possible.
A sticky eye can be a symptom of a more serious condition, so it is always best to err on the side of caution and take your hamster to the vet if you are unsure.
How Can You Prevent Sticky Eye?
The best way to prevent sticky eyes is to keep your hamster’s cage clean. A dirty cage can cause secretions to build up around the hamster’s eyes and lead to the sticky eye.
You should also make sure that your hamster has access to fresh water at all times. A lack of water can also cause secretions to build up and lead to a sticky eye.
Can Sticky Eye Kill a Hamster?
The good news is that sticky eye is not a life-threatening condition and can be easily treated. In many cases, it is just a condition that will prevent your hamster from seeing you because the hamster is unable to open its eyes.
However, if left untreated, the sticky eye can lead to more serious problems such as corneal ulcers or blindness.
However, this might be a sign of more severe issues, such as your hamster being unable to eat or drink water because it is blind. Because of their poor vision, your hamster may even run into items.
That is why, although the sticky eye is often not highly dangerous, let alone deadly, you must treat it as quickly as possible.
A hamster may not be able to open its eyes for many reasons. The most common one is because it is suffering from a sticky eye.
I hope this article helps you understand how hamsters suffer from the sticky eye, how you can help them recover, and how you can prevent them from suffering again.