Written By : M Samy

Do Hamsters die with their eyes open ?

Do Hamsters die with their eyes open?

Hamsters can die with open eyes but also with closed eyes; only rigor mortis, the absence of a heartbeat, and breathing signs are the real indications that a hamster is dead.

When the hamster’s eyes are open at the time of death, they will remain open after death because the levator palpebrae superioris muscle will stiffen preventing the hamster’s eyelid from retracting and thus its eyes from closing after death.

What do hamsters do before they die?

Before they die, like almost all creatures, hamsters will start to lose interest in food, stop grooming themselves, prefer to huddle in a corner of the cage, and ignore everything that is going on around them.

A few minutes before dying, the hamster will completely lose the use of its legs which will start to become rigid and cold, it will turn on its side in a fetal position, its head almost between its front legs, a back bent more than usual and its back legs brought almost to its chest.

do hamsters die with their eyes open ?

Its breathing and heartbeat will quickly weaken until they stop completely and the hamster will soon become completely stiff and cold sometime after death.

If the hamster’s death is due to illness, you will surely see before its imminent death, the symptoms of its illness such as possible bleeding from the eyes or ears, the total loss of balance and the inability of the hamster to stand on its legs. 

A hamster that will soon die will defecate in place, without moving to the usual places where it used to relieve itself.

What do hamsters look like when they die?

There are always reasons why hamsters die, and when that happens, the dead hamster will often be lying on its side, with no movement in its chest, mostly in a fetal position, curled up on itself, the head between its legs, and a feeling of cold and rigid body.

Do hamsters stink when they die?

You will usually notice the smell of decomposition if the hamster has been dead for more than 24 hours and maybe after just a few hours if the room temperature is high.

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Is my hamster dead or hibernating?

Unlike a dead hamster that shows no signs of life, a hamster that is just in torpor (hibernation) will show signs of life, you will be able to feel heartbeats spaced a few seconds apart, you will also see his whiskers move from time to time, a sign that he is still breathing.

Will a hibernating hamster be stiff?

A hibernating hamster will only feel limp, but not stiff. The body of a hibernating hamster will also just get a little cold, especially in the limbs and tail area, while in the vital organs, the blood will keep flowing and you will notice that the hamster is still warm in its belly and chest area.

A hamster that is already dead will never move again, while a hamster that has just entered torpor will wake up from time to time to eat and drink water and check if the temperature of the room has increased, a sign that it will break its hibernating state and return to its normal life.

Are hamsters’ eyes open when hibernating?

During hibernation, a hamster may leave its eyes wide open as part of its survival mode as a prey animal, on the one hand, to persuade predators and other rivals to attack it during this state of torpor, and on the other hand, open eyes always send images to the hamster’s subconscious that will quickly wake it up if a predator is nearby.

Can hamsters play dead?

Is my hamster just faking its death? , maybe. You know! , fear can quickly freeze a hamster and he will prefer playing dead instead of running away.

Since the hamster has almost no way of defending itself against predators, the only thing that will save it other than running away is playing dead, because many predators will decide not to eat an already dead hamster to avoid getting contaminated by whatever caused the death of the hamster.

Should you let a hamster die naturally?

If your hamster is in its last days or hours, all you have to do is make its life easier by helping it feed, drink, keep it warm and clean its cage and fur…. giving her/him love.

But if your hamster is suffering because of a disease, you should ask the vet if your hamster is not suffering because of it. You can ask the vet to prescribe painkillers but in some cases, the best is to help your hamster to go away by euthanizing him and just letting him go in peace.

What should you do with a dead hamster?

A dead hamster should be buried with dignity, deep in the garden for example, especially if you have other pets to prevent them from digging up its body.

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You can use a simple box, say prayers and think about the happiness he gave you when he was alive, and thank him for all the moments he lived with you.

You can then plant some flowers in this spot so that you will never forget him again with your prayers even if all the animals go directly to heaven.

Final Thoughts

Open or closed eyes are not a sign of life or death in hamsters, so you should check if their vital organs are still working, especially their heart and breathing.

If you have any doubts, the best thing to do is to take your hamster to the vet and he will check if the hamster is dead if it is still alive, he may even be able to save it and bring it back to life.

M Samy pet blogger and author at famillypet

About Author

Hey! Samy here , Welcome to my Blog I'm an animal lover, especially pets and Really concerned about their well being ; I've been around and caring for all my life and Now ; a full-time Pet blogger at your service . My motto here at Famillypet is: "Pets First" ... Read More