Yep, they sure can. Unfortunate, right? I mean, I get colds a lot and so does my entire family. And the last thing I’d want is for my little ball of fluff to get sick from me. But, it can happen. What a bummer for these little guys. At least I can blow my nose.
The most common signs that your hamster came down with your cold are sneezing and runny nose. The basics… I mean, symptoms are pretty similar to human ones. However, in more severe cases, runny eyes, weight loss, lethargy, labored breathing and refusing to eat or drink can occur. If hammy is only showing the “normal” signs, sneezing and runny nose, keep them in a warm room. No drafts… this can worsen symptoms. Put some extra bedding in the cage to make them feel more comfortable. They’ll appreciate it, and should recover in a couple of days. If they’re not feeling more chipper in a few days, you should head to the vet, as antibiotic treatment may be recommended. Even if it’s not, go and get the advice. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
However, if you notice more severe case symptoms, you need to head to your exotic vet. Immediately. Antibiotic treatment is needed. And just like in humans, colds can lead to much, much worse if we don’t treat them. Bronchitis. Pneumonia. It’s a lot harder to recover from these illnesses. Like human, like hamster.
It’s pretty obvious. If you have a cold, don’t handle your hamster. But, cages will still need to be cleaned, water will still need to be fresh and food will still need to be replenished, because as we all know, life goes on, even when you have a cold. (I wish it would take a quick pause so I could feel sorry for myself on the couch with some NyQuil and chicken noodle soup.) And make sure you’re over-washing your hands when even going near your hamster to take care of their physical needs. Don’t handle them. Wash your hands. That’s really what you do.
So, yeah, your hamster can catch your cold. But as long as you take precautions to keep yourself away from them as much as possible and keep an eye on their symptoms, ya’ll should both be fine in a few days. Achoo. Good luck.