Skip to content
Home » What To Do When a Hamster Has a Broken Leg

What To Do When a Hamster Has a Broken Leg

  • Hamsters

It’s always a sad day when a furry friend gets injured, especially if it’s something so severe as a broken leg. However, it’s important that you know what a broken leg looks like, what to do when that happens, and whether healing is possible.

Hamsters have tiny little legs, so unfortunately broken legs are fairly common. If their leg gets stuck and they try to remove it or they break it from a fall, you may notice them dragging it or moving more slowly throughout their cage. You may also notice some vocal whining and when you do it’s important to take the right steps to get the issue solved as soon as possible.

So let’s talk about hamster’s and broken legs in the following article. As always, feel free to use the dynamic table of contents below to be taken directly to any individual section. Otherwise, just jump right into the first section where we talk about how to know if your hamster has a broken leg.

Table of Contents

    Does My Hamster Have a Broken Leg?

    There are a few ways to know if your hamster has a broken leg:

    Does My Hamster Have a Broken Leg
    • They are dragging their leg around: If you notice a hamster dragging one or more legs around as they move throughout their cage, they may have a broken leg. This is the most obvious sign because they’ll stop using that leg almost entirely if they’ve substantially injured it.
    • Playing or moving less: When hamsters are injured, they will likely play and move around less often. This one seems fairly obvious, but it’s important to note because any unusual behavior is often a sign of an injury or sickness. If you ever notice unusual behavior, it’s better to be safe than sorry and schedule a trip to your veterinarian.
    • Whining or crying: Another sign of a broken leg or injury is if you notice your hamster whining or crying more than usual. This is often an indication that they’re in pain and hurt. If you notice them crying and any of the other signs on this list, then it’s likely they’ve injured themselves.

    If your hamster exhibits any of the 3 common signs above, especially if more than one at a time, you should take them to a veterinarian for a full check-up. The sooner the issue is diagnosed, the more likely a full recovery is possible.

    Now these signs are some of the most common, but they aren’t all that indicate a broken leg. The most important thing is to remain diligent in being aware of issues and injuries. Your hamster obviously can’t tell you what’s wrong, so it’s your responsibility to look for any unusual behaviors or other signs of a broken leg.

    What to Do When a Hamster Breaks Its Leg?

    If a hamster breaks its leg, you should never touch or move the leg since doing so can cause more damage. The first thing you should do is take your hamster to the veterinarian so they can provide a full checkup, diagnosis, and treatment plan.

    What to Do When a Hamster Breaks Its Leg

    Often times when a hamster is injured or breaks a bone, we want to check it out by physically touching it. However, this is one of the quickest ways to cause pain and further injury to your furry friend. You should never attempt to touch or move a hamster’s potentially broken leg since their bones are so small and delicate, even a gentle touch can cause extreme pain.

    If you suspect your hamster has a broken bone, do your best to make them comfortable by building a soft bed out of approved hamster bedding and removing any obstacles from moving around in their cage. While cages are generally structured to give your hamster lots of room to move and explore, when they have a broken leg, you will want to make their cage more accessible and easy to move around.

    Once you’ve done that, you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as you can get an appointment. Only a trained vet will be able to diagnose the broken leg and recommend a treatment plan.

    Often times that treatment plan is just rest and natural healing, but they may have additional recommendations and suggestions to your specific situation. That’s why it’s always best to consult with them ASAP.

    Why is My Hamster Dragging Their Back Legs?

    Hamsters drag their back legs because they are in pain, potentially from bruising, a sprain, or a broken leg in extreme circumstances. If you notice them dragging their back legs, don’t attempt too much movement in their legs and get them to a veterinarian ASAP.

    Why is My Hamster Dragging Their Back Legs

    If a hamster starts dragging their back legs out of the blue, it’s likely that they’ve injured themselves and are trying to avoid further pain. Hamsters have delicate bones and legs and can often injure them by falling down or getting stuck in a cage or toy, such as a hamster wheel.

    When this happens, hamsters don’t have a ton of medical experience or tools to rely on, so they default to the most obvious behavior: keep weight off their legs to prevent further injury. There’s a little bit of joking here, but it is important to remember that hamsters don’t have the ability to tell you why they’re doing something, so it’s important to remember that they can only do what they can. And often times that is the simplest solution, which in this case is dragging their legs.

    If you notice your hamster dragging their back legs, the first thing you should do is make their cage more accessible for reduced agility and then make a vet appointment to get them fully checked out.

    Your hamster will do what they can by dragging their back legs, but it’s up to you to get them the additional treatment they need to get fully healed. And talking about that, let’s discuss whether a hamster can heal a broken leg.

    Can a Hamster Heal a Broken Leg?

    Hamsters can heal a broken leg over time as long as the injury is a simple and small break. If the bones have a serious break or have been displaced, natural healing may become more difficult and require a trip to the vet and a cast.

    Can a Hamster Heal a Broken Leg

    Whether a hamster can heal a broken leg completely depends on the severity of the break. A simple sprain, hairline fracture, or clean break will heal a lot more easily and faster than something more serious. More serious injuries include serious breaks, displaced bones, and multiple breaks.

    Unfortunately it’s nearly impossible to tell what is a simple vs. serious break with an untrained eye. That almost always means when you suspect that your hamster has broken their leg, the best advice is to take them to a veterinarian to get a professional opinion.

    A vet will be able to take an x-ray and recommend the safest and most effective course of action to set and heal the the bone. That could result in setting the bone and putting it in a cast for a set period of time. Or they could recommend just taking the hamster home and removing any toys or items that could potentially worsen the scenario, such as a hamster wheel.

    So while a broken leg may heal naturally over time, you always want to get it checked out by a vet to prevent further injury from the broken leg.

    Additional Reading

    While we never hope for a hamster to get a broken leg, it does happen and the content in this article hopefully gives you the tools and information necessary to take the proper next steps. If you’d like to continue reading about other hamster related content, check out the following articles:


    And there you have it! When a hamster starts dragging their back legs, you may suspect the worst of a broken leg, but it’s important to know how to diagnose potential leg issues and what to do next.

    Because this is a health related issue, the best course of action is to consult a veterinarian for a professional opinion. Only a trained professional can diagnose the situation and recommend the proper course of action to get the leg healed and your furry friend back to 100%.

    Just remember to never touch a suspected broken leg and remove any toys or items that could potentially make the situation worse right off the bat. A broken leg may heal, but you never want to make it harder to do so.