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Do Hamsters Shake?

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Shaking and quivering behaviors are usually an indication that something is amiss, whether you're a human being or a hamster. In the case of hamsters, shaking can point to anything from the medical condition diabetes to coming out of a hibernation episode. In any situation, a shaking hamster is never something to write off.

Hibernation Shaking

Hamster do indeed shake, and it occasionally is related to exceptionally cold weather. In times of inordinately cold temperatures, hamsters sometimes go into a kind of low energy state similar to hibernation. This condition of reduced activity aims to save precious energy, not unlike hibernation behaviors in other mammals. A "hibernating" hamster may look to be lifeless, but will also still be breathing. If hibernation occurs, it is your cue to immediately take your hamster to a warmer space. To encourage warming up, gently stroke his body. As the wee rodent warms up gradually, you may observe his vitality and alertness returning to him. Once he ceases lying down, you may even notice his body shaking a little bit. The whole process of exiting hibernation mode and elevating the body temperature may take around an hour for your hammie. Closely monitor him as he reverts back to his normal state and contact your veterinarian if you notice any difficulties at all.

Nervous System Issues

Shaking in hamsters isn't always associated with hibernation. Irregularities within a hamster's nervous system can also lead to shaking, according to SmallAnimalChannel.com. If you touch a hammie, excessive stimulation of the system can sometimes trigger unusual muscle motions -- think uncontrolled bodily shaking or abrupt turning over of the body. If a hamster's shaking is indeed a result of a nervous system problem, the most appropriate solution might be to always handle the little one in as delicate a manner as possible.

Medical Conditions

Shaking in hamsters also occasionally is a symptom of various medical conditions, including diabetes. Apart from diabetes, shaking can also by a symptom of stroke, congestive heart failure, skin parasites or heatstroke. Make sure your tiny pet's shaking isn't a sign of a potentially serious health ailment by taking him for a veterinary checkup as soon as possible -- no excuses. Shaking is a very typical indication of a health problem within the hamster world, according to the ASPCA. Other common signs of health issues to look out for are watery stools, nasal discharge, weight loss, glazed over eyes and rough, tangled coat appearance.

Frightened and Anxious Behavior

People occasionally shake when they're feeling extremely frightened or nerve-racked, and the same thing happens to hamsters. If you're touching a hamster who is brand new to your household, for example, shaking may occur. You may just have an especially shy little rodent on your hands. However, with a little patience and time, your hamster will probably get used to you just fine -- and therefore stop shaking. To play it especially safe, though, take your fluff ball to the veterinarian to make sure his health status is A-OK.