How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 30325
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
55012488
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

I have a 3 month old syrian hamster that lives alone. She is

Customer Question

I have a 3 month old syrian hamster that lives alone. She is fed on quality hamster food recommended by the pet shop and we have no other pets. She comes out to run around but is always supervised. She is occasionally given treats. I have just read on an american website that hamsters carry tapeworm that can infect children and adults and I am now freaking out as the vet in the pet shop seemed to think this was not a problem as we have no other pets. I do not know how she would acquire this but am really worried now that she should be wormed. She is showning no signs of mites or itching and her cage is kept clean and dry and she only drinks from a water bottle. Please can you help as I am really worried now
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.

Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
You're correct. Hamsters carry tapeworms more so than the other common rodents kept as pets and some of the tapeworms can infect humans. Tapeworms are contracted when the hamster comes in contact with contaminated water and/or feed. A solitary hamster is unlikely to be exposed because other (infected) hamsters aren't contaminating the water and/or feed but it's certainly possible that she was exposed prior to your bringing her home.

Nevertheless, because infected hamsters are most often asymptomatic, we would need to collect a few grams of her feces and perform a microscopic ova and parasite exam looking for the characteristic tapeworm eggs. If found, treatment is highly effective; I inject or dose orally praziquantel at a dose of 6-10mg/kg and repeat the dosing in 10 days.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

You may receive an inappropriate follow up from the site ostensibly from me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Please disregard the info request.