If a hamster is dragging his back legs then there could be some issues behind this and it could be even more serious. It becomes important to take your hamster to the vet in few times to ensure that the pet is doing well. There could be a few things that are causing your hamster to drag its back legs. In this article, we are going to discuss the various reasons for dragging the back legs by hamsters and as a pet owner, you need to know all the things behind this.
One of the common reasons could be they are facing any kind of pain in their spine or back or maybe any kind of injury due to falling during playing or some serious health issues like arthritis. There could be possibilities of paralysis and it could be permanent as hamsters are so small that it becomes difficult to cure them. Therefore, it becomes necessary to take the pet to the owner as soon as possible to cure the problem immediately before it can cause bigger damage to your pet.
Reasons behind the dragging of legs by hamsters
1. Due to lack of exercise:
It could be the reason the hamster is not doing the exercises as much as they need because they mostly live in the cage. Hamsters require lots of movements otherwise they become dull and inactive and slowly many diseases can come to them. It could be called “cage paralysis to hamsters”. Doing exercises and regular movements keeps the muscles and bones fit and a pet healthy but cage life can affect the health of hamsters in many ways and cause them several dangerous health issues.
2. Any kind of injuries or accidents:
It could be the reason which causes damage to the spine of the hamster-like falling from a considerable height. This can cause paralysis in the hamsters. If the hamster falls from any elevated space and rolls down to a certain distance like from stairs then it could cause spinal trauma in hamsters. It could be serious and put hamsters serious problems.
3. Deficiency of vitamins:
Due to the deficiency of vitamins like D and E, there could be chances of paralysis in the hamsters. Vitamin D is responsible for the proper absorption of calcium and phosphorous in the body but the deficiency of calcium absorption can lead to the dissolution of bones in the body to fulfill the need for calcium in hamsters. This can also make hamsters weak from the inside and reduce their body weight also.
Generally, vitamin D is taken from the sun directly but hamsters mostly live in a cage so they cannot absorb it from there. Due to this calcium deficiency can cause serious health issues in them. Owners need to keep their hamsters in natural light for some time but you have to be very careful as a direct high amount of light can cause dehydration and heatstroke to them.
4. Due to bacterial infection:
One of the reasons responsible for the rear legs dragging of hamsters could be intestinal infections due to bacteria which is commonly known as Campylobacteriosis whose initial symptom could be diarrhea which later develops into some serious issue. In this it causes the immune system of the body to develop the antibodies that are helpful to fight bacteria but the cells already there in the body and newly generated antibodies generate due to Campylobactriosis are similar and attack the nerve cells of hamsters.
This excessive generation of the same type of cells in the body can cause paralysis in the hamsters. In some cases, it can be cured but left the hamsters with actually no movement of their rear legs and they have to bear this issue for the rest of their lives.
5. Due to obesity in hamsters:
Obesity which could be considered a minor issue in hamsters can weaken their muscles and make them overweight which makes them difficult to move their legs easily as they are already so small. In such cases, they are not paralyzed but they have to struggle literally to move from one place to another one.
It is a common disease that can affect all hamsters whether they are too young or old as it can damage their joints, create pain in their joints, reduce their movement of hamsters and cause stiffness in them. Another possible reason could be a tumor that may be developing in hamsters and putting pressure on the back of hamsters. In the case of arthritis, a hamster itself does not put the weight on their painful joints and starts dragging its legs.
7. Maybe stress:
Hamsters are very active and compassionate pets and they easily become upset about small things so they start to drag their legs as a signal for their owners that they are not feeling well and need their favorite things and food.
8. Age factor:
Age could be one of the factors that lead hamsters to move by dragging their legs. In old age, the muscles and joints of hamsters become weaker and it becomes difficult for them to move easily. In such conditions, you cannot do much for them but you have to be very careful for them and keep your eyes on them if they are good and have essential things near to them so they don’t need to move for their needs. But you can take them to the vet if they show different signs.
9. Due to stroke:
Stroke could be possibly one of the reasons as it can cause both temporary and permanent strokes in hamsters. It can create unsteadiness and tiredness in them and after some time, they collapse. A stroke occurs when hamsters are super active and then collapse in seconds.
Other signs shown hamsters for stroke could be tilting their head, running in a circular motion, falling during walking, and moving in forward and backward directions while they are sitting. Sometimes hamsters can survive the stroke but there is no guarantee that it could not happen again.
Things should be done to prevent paralysis in hamsters:
There are a few things you need to do earlier should you need to increase the size of the cage so that hamsters have proper space for their physical movements so they remain active and do most of the physical things like walk, and play inside the cage too. You should also provide some accessories in the cage that help them to do exercises like chew toys, hiding places, and tunnels.
A healthy diet could be another thing you should do so they have their essential components in their diet like calcium and other nutrients. You need to add some kinds of fruits and green veggies to their diet as a treat and some vitamin-rich things like spinach, collard greens, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, mango, etc.
Vitamin D should be provided from time to time by giving them green vegetables, fish, cod liver oil, and eggs. But be sure all these things should be offered in limited amounts and not very frequently served as there should be a balance of everything in their diet on regular basis.
There are many possible reasons why hamsters can drag their back legs like paralysis, nerve damage, stress, and so many other reasons. But the main thing is that you have to be very careful about their needs their diets, exercises, and their vitamin intake.
It is the owner’s responsibility to give them the best care and not avoid any unusual signs from hamsters. Provide your hamsters with all the necessary things and if they suffer from such things then you have to treat them very well.