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How Long Do Diabetic Hamsters Live?

Diabetes often isn’t the first disease you think of hamsters having, but it does occur and can affect the lifestyle of your furry friend. However, the severity of the effects can vary as a result of the type of diabetes, other health conditions, and their diet.

The condition is a result of fat deposits in their circulatory system and while diabetes often won’t lead to a hamster’s death by itself, it often complicates more simple illnesses and makes their diet so much more important to lead a healthy life.

In this article, we’re going to focus on the lifespan of diabetic hamsters, the causes, and whether or not hamsters can survive diabetes at all. There’s a lot of good information in the sections below, but if you’d like to jump to any specific section, feel free click any of the links in the table of contents.

Table of Contents

    With that being said, let’s jump right into the lifespan of a diabetic hamster.

    How Long Do Diabetic Hamsters Live?

    Hamsters with diabetes are often more susceptible to various health issues, but they can be expected to live for anywhere from one to five years depending on their health issues diet.

    Diabetes Hamsters Can Live One to Five Years
    Hamsters can live one to five years with diabetes

    Hamsters are small animals with delicate immune systems and unfortunately diabetes can exacerbate a small sickness into something far more severe. It is a chronic condition that can turn an otherwise healthy hamster sick very quickly.

    Without a proper diet and attentive care, a hamster with diabetes can experience organ failure or other more severe health conditions as a result of the condition. Poor circulation is another common side effect of diabetes because fatty deposits can build up in the circulatory system.

    But having diabetes doesn’t immediately condemn a hamster to a life full of sickness. There are many factors that can affect the lifespan of a hamster, including their diet, type of diabetes, and severity of the condition. Some hamsters with diabetes that maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet can live full lives. That’s why diet is such an important part of any hamster’s life, even those without diabetes.

    Another important note to consider is trips to the veterinarian. Hamsters should take regular trips to the vet, which can cost anywhere between $25 and $100, but hamsters with diabetes may need to see a vet more often to account for any irregularities in their health or sicknesses that are common, but more severe in diabetic hamsters.

    In the next section, we’ll talk about what causes diabetes in hamsters and what you can do to prevent it.

    What Causes Diabetes in Hamsters?

    As mentioned earlier, diabetes is caused when fatty deposits build up in the circulatory system of your hamster and the cause is either genetic or the result of a poor diet full of unhealthy foods.

    Diabetes in hamsters is similar to humans in that it is either genetic or the result of an unhealthy diet. Some hamsters are genetically prone to diabetes and unfortunately there is nothing you can do about that. If a hamster is genetically prone to diabetes, they will be born with it and there’s no way to get rid of the condition.

    What Causes Diabetes in Hamsters
    Genetics, poor diet, and lack of exercise cause diabetes

    On the other hand, diabetes can develop in a hamster from an unhealthy diet of foods that can cause fatty build up in their circulatory system. This generally happens when hamsters are food foods that are high in sugar, such as fruit, which is why fruits should be reserved as an occasional treat. When excess sugar is consumed, it can lead to higher insulin production, which is a main cause of diabetes in hamsters.

    In rare occasions, diabetes can develop from other environmental factors, such as a lack of exercise of stress. When a hamster doesn’t exercise, their muscles don’t get the activity they need to regulate blood sugar levels. Also, hamsters have a very high metabolism, so when they don’t work out, they can get obese, which leads to higher unhealthy blood sugar levels.

    Finally, there are other more genetic factors that can lead to diabetes, such as pancreatitis, kidney or liver disease. Essentially, the unfortunate health condition is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle in your hamster and if that unhealthy lifestyle not addressed quickly, it can lead to diabetes.

    Can Hamsters Survive Diabetes?

    Hamsters can survive diabetes if the condition is appropriately addressed with a healthy diet and regular exercise. While diabetes may result in a shorter lifespan, it’s not a death sentence if you give your furry friend the sufficient attention they need to beat the condition.

    Can Hamsters Survive Diabetes
    Hamsters can survive diabetes

    While diabetes is a serious condition when gone unchecked, if it is given sufficient attention it’s certainly survivable. Diabetes can be genetic, but it often becomes more severe when it is accompanied by an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. When the appropriate actions are taken, a hamster can live a long and healthy life with the condition.

    The most important thing is that the condition is caught early so any necessary steps can be taken as soon as possible. If you notice your hamster exhibiting excessive thirst, weight loss, or excessive tiredness, you need to take them to a veterinarian so the condition can be diagnosed and addressed as soon as possible. The sooner it’s addressed, the more likely the chances of survival.

    For example, fruits are a common treat and should be given to your hamster in moderation, but if your hamster has diabetes, fruits should probably not be given because they can contribute to higher blood glucose levels. And those higher levels can cause the diabetes to result in more severe health conditions that cannot be easily treated.

    When diabetes is diagnosed, it can be treated with a combination of a healthy diet and medication. Because sugar can cause complications, your vet may recommend a diet that is low in sugar and higher in fiber and simple carbs. A diet like this can help keep sugar levels under control and prevent more severe health complications. In extreme cases, insulin injections may be necessary to keep your hamster happy and healthy.

    As with all health complications, early detection can help your hamster lead a full and long life. As a result, it’s important to keep an eye on their behavior and overall health.

    Additional Reading

    If you’re interested in reading more about the health of your hamster, check out the related articles:


    And that’s all you need to know! Diabetes is a health condition that affects hamsters, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Hamsters with diabetes can lead full and happy lives as long as the condition is caught early.

    Hamsters with diabetes can live for anywhere from one to five years as long as their diet is low in sugar and high in simple carbohydrates. It’s generally caused by genetics, a poor diet, or lack of exercise.

    Hamsters can survive diabetes, but it’s important that the condition is addressed early with a healthy diet and sufficient exercise. Monitor your hamster’s behavior for any abnormal activities and always consult a veterinarian for the latest and advice specific to your situation.