Hamsters may be "easy" pets, but they are susceptible to cancer. Know the signs and symptoms ahead of time, so you can quickly recognize when something is going wrong. Quicker diagnosis leads to better outcomes, and it isn’t necessarily a death sentence.
Hamsters can develop melanoma depending on the amount of black pigment on their skin.
Hamsters have a reputation as a “starter pet”, and along with that reputation comes the assumption that they are low-maintenance, easy-to-care, and problem-free pets. However, none of that is true. Their cages require regular cleaning, food bowls and water bottles must be emptied, cleaned, and refilled daily, and the hamster must be kept entertained with a wealth of enriching activities, like chew sticks, tunnels, and toys.
I’m sure you already knew all of that. What you probably didn’t know is that as far as health problems are concerned, barring cancer, hamsters are generally good to go as long as proper sanitation is maintained. Yes, cancer is pretty common in hamsters, especially the kind that cause tumors.
Keep a close eye on your hamster, and examine him regularly. The more you’re used to his daily habits and routines, the sooner you’ll know when something is off. The sooner you get him treated, the better the outcome usually will be.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a professional veterinarian.