Oh boy! A hamster that falls is no joke. How far can a hamster fall? Serious injuries can occur if the landing spot was hard or too far down.
Will a hamster die from a fall? What could happen if you drop a hamster? What should we do when a hamster falls?
In this article, we will try to prevent hamster accidents such as falls from great heights, but we should first find out, “How far can a hamster fall?”
How Far Can A Hamster Fall?
It doesn’t take much of a distance for a hamster to get injured from a fall. Here are some distances generally considered to be the range limit for hamster falls:
- 6-10 inches
If the surface is hard, these distances are the absolute limit, but injury can still result. Anything further can lead to death or permanent injury.
Softer surfaces can offer more cushioning and the distance can be increased depending on what your hamster fell on.
What Could Happen If I Drop My Hamster?
First of all, you would be very concerned if your hamster was dropped. Hopefully this accident will not occur again and your hamster can recover. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Scoop your hamster up very carefully and slowly. Do not overreact or else you will alarm the hamster and cause further stress. Relocate your hamster to a soft surface on a cushion or pad. Move slowly. Stay low to the ground.
Here are some things that could happen to a hamster if he or she is dropped:
- fracture a leg or two
- fracture a neck and perish
- bruise or break ribs
- suffer from internal bleeding
- play dead and bounce back up shortly
Remaining calm and alert for the next one to two minutes of careful supervision will allow you to figure out how bad the hamster is feeling or reacting to being dropped. Quickly picking up a hamster can worsen any possible fractures.
How High Can A Hamster Fall From And Survive?
A hamster can fall from great heights as long as the landing spot is soft and padded. Hamsters can fall from heights up to 1 meter or 3 feet and still survive. This usually happens when a surface is carpeted, padded or very fluffy.
The safest limit for a distance that a hamster can fall without getting injured is about 6 to 10 inches or 15-25 cm.
If your hamster has fallen on tiles or hardwood you might notice now that their limbs are dragging. The older the hamster, the more likely these injuries will not be recoverable.
If a female hamster is pregnant and falls, there’s a very good chance the young inside her belly has not survived.
How Did My Hamster Get Hurt?
Hamsters are bound to spend many hours of the day unsupervised. When you find out that your hamster is lying on one side or dragging their hind legs, you might be genuinely concerned.
Usually, hamsters are resilient and able to recover without the need to visit a vet right away. This is a crucial time where we supervise and watch to see if our hamsters are dealing with any type of injury and not recovering from it on their own.
Your hamster could have been hurt in the following scenarios:
- falling off a hamster wheel
- falling of ladder, toys, steps or balls in the cage
- two hamsters fighting
- clumsiness at night when hamsters can’t see very well
Will My Hamster Die If I Drop It?
We are hoping for the best and reacting to the worst. It is unlikely that your hamster will die from a fall that is less than 6 to 10 inches.
If your hamster has fallen onto a hard surface and landed on their head, chances of survival are quite low. Sometimes hamsters are able to fall, tumble and roll.
They do this in the wild when fleeing from predators and jumping off great heights like trees. In this case, they may have been able to survive the fall.
In our homes they can fall so far from the bed, sofa or from our own hands. Fractures, paralysis or sudden death can result.
My Hamster Fell. What Should I Do?
Remain calm if your hamster falls. Your reaction can trigger sudden stress inside your pocket pet.
- Move slowly.
- Do not try to pick up your hamster by of course.
- Instead, choose to scoop up your hamster gently with both hands.
- Wait first and see if your hamster can get up on its own.
- Look for any bleeding, limping or paralysis.
- If your hamster is not moving for a minute, it might be frozen or playing dead. Wait for another couple of minutes before reacting.
- Your final option is to take your hamster to the vet for x-rays.
When To Go To The Vet If A Hamster Falls
The first 24 to 48 hours is a crucial time period for you to assess your hamster’s condition after a sudden fall. If you can see these following symptoms, then you know that it’s time to visit the vet:
- a leg or two not being moved
- legs are being dragged
- labored breathing
- lethargy or lack of movement
- turning in circles
- lying on one side
- bone is seen through the skin of feet
- not eating or drinking
The vet will be able to perform X-rays and choose the course of action ranging from medication to bandaging the wound. Bone corrections may also occur and we hope that your hamster recovers from this ordeal.
Recommended Reading : Do you have a guinea pig and are wondering if you can keep them in the same cage as your hamster? Take a look at this article I wrote to find out the answer.
Can Hamsters Die From Falling?
There are direct and indirect consequences from trauma such as falling. A hamster that falls a short distance within 6-10 inches can survive. Instant death will not occur, but there could be complications.
Let’s run through some of them:
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive hiding
As you can tell, if you see your hamster struggling to walk afterwards, there could be an actual injury that is visible.
Emotional or internal effects from the cause of falling down can be seen afterwards when they refuse to eat or stop interacting with you. They may retreat, become lethargic and suffer from PTSD or stress from the fearful trauma that occurred.
A fall over 10 inches can lead to irreversible trauma that may prove to be fatal. If your hamster fell, tumbled and rolled off to resume regular motions, then you have a warrior who will move on from this encounter.
Pay close attention to your hamster for the next few hours to days to make sure they are not acting or moving out of the ordinary.
Can a Hamster Die From a Leg Injury?
Yes. We are concerned about these delicate rodents who possess tiny organs and limbs that can easily be affected by injuries such as fall. A leg injury in an animal can prove to be fatal.
Some caregivers see no choice, but to put down their animals who are suffering from complex leg fractures. Hopefully this is not the case for your hamster.
Here are some possible complications that result from a leg injury:
- Internal bleeding
- Bone stump infection
- Tissue infection
- Blood poisoning
- Lack of appetite
What if your hamster retreats and refuses to be touched? What if they stop eating? Could we blame the leg injury as the cause or can we intervene to separate the effect from the cause?
A vet can identify any causal damage from a leg injury and also determine if the effects you are noticing from refusal to eat or interact can also be treated with medication or some lifestyle changes in their cage.
How Can I Avoid Hamster Falls?
Avoiding hamster falls are easier said than done. This is because hamsters are playful and active. They also have poor vision and are not able to determine how far these distances actually are.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Try not to use cages with bars.
- Get an enclosure without bars instead.
- Remove ladders.
- Set up more shredded paper bedding or aspen shavings to break its fall.
- Scoop up your hamster while seated on the floor.
- A stressed or new hamster that hasn’t warmed up to you shouldn’t be picked up yet.
This article today is intended to help you handle that potentially frightening situation where a hamster falls. Your initial reaction might be a sudden burst of adrenaline or stress, but your hamster may pick up on it.
Stay calm and see what happens for the first 1 to 2 minutes. Your hamster might pick itself up and act like nothing is wrong. You might need to step in by scooping up your hamster gently and visiting the vet for some X-rays.
Thank you for visiting PocketPetCentral.com for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.