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Understanding and Addressing Circling Behavior in Hamsters

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Spotting Signs, Seeking Solutions, and Ensuring the Wellbeing of Your Furry Friend

Understanding and Addressing Circling Behavior in Hamsters
Feel like your hamster might be circling? We are here to help

Hamsters are known for their lively and energetic nature, but when you observe unusual behaviors like circling, it’s essential to take notice. Circling in hamsters may indicate an underlying issue that requires attention and veterinary care. This guide aims to shed light on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures for circling behavior in hamsters.

Causes of Circling in Hamsters

Circling in hamsters is often associated with a head tilt, typically stemming from an inner ear infection caused by bacteria. Other potential causes include neurological problems due to trauma or brain diseases such as epilepsy. Recognizing these causes is crucial for providing timely and effective care.

Diagnosing the Cause for Circling

While circling behavior is noticeable, precise diagnosis requires thorough testing. For ear infections, microscopic examination of debris from the hamster’s ear can confirm the presence of bacteria. Neurological issues, such as head trauma or epilepsy, may need close observation and, in some cases, video documentation of unusual behavior for the vet.

Your vet will give you all the information you require to preform any needed tests at home. Are you aware of other diseases and illnesses hamsters can get? Make sure you know the signs to look out for to ensure your pet hamster lives a full and happy life.

Treatment of Circling in Hamsters

Seeking veterinary assistance is crucial for persistent or severe circling. If an ear infection is identified, antibiotics safe for hamsters are prescribed to prevent permanent damage. Pain medications may be necessary, along with gentle ear cleaning if debris is present.

Neurological problems may pose more challenges, and treatment options depend on the specific condition. Brain damage from seizures or head injury can be permanent, and some circling may resolve over time, while others may persist. In extreme cases affecting the hamster’s quality of life, euthanasia may be discussed.

Spotting Signs, Seeking Solutions, and Ensuring the Wellbeing of Your Furry Friend

Preventing Circling in Hamsters

Prevention plays a vital role in ensuring your hamster’s health and minimizing the risk of circling:

  1. Regular Observation:
    Stay attuned to your hamster’s normal activities. Regular observations can help detect early signs of a problem, especially when they may be hiding subtle changes.
  2. Cleanliness is Key:
    Maintain a clean cage environment by regularly cleaning and washing accessories. Proper hygiene helps prevent ear infections that can lead to circling.
  3. Safe Handling Practices:
    To avoid head trauma, only allow children to handle hamsters while sitting on the ground. Supervise interactions closely and ensure a secure environment during playtime.
  4. Pet Safety:
    If you have other pets like dogs or cats, ensure a safe distance when your hamster is out of its cage. Keep the cage secure and locked to prevent accidents.

Circling behavior in hamsters is a potential indicator of underlying health issues, demanding attention and care. By understanding the causes, seeking prompt veterinary assistance, and implementing preventive measures, you can ensure a healthier and happier life for your beloved furry friend. Regular observations, proper hygiene, and safe handling practices contribute to a thriving and content hamster companion.


Here at Can My Hamster we help people learn all about their fury little friends. What foods they can eat, what things they can do and how to look after them. Please note though, we are not trained Vets we have just looked after Hamsters for many years. So if your hamster is showing any health concerns ensure you get them to a vet as soon as you can.

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  1. Pingback: Wet Tail in Hamsters: Identifying, Treating, and Prevention

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