Animal health advice and resources


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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Drugs rarely have medicinal licenses for use in hamsters, and yet veterinarians have to prescribe them for their everyday treatment. Here is a list of suggested dose rates for commonly used drugs. 

The table has been derived from several published sources, and not all drugs are available in all countries. Different sources often vary greatly in their recommendations and caution should be exercised when administering high doses to hamsters.  Whenever possible veterinarians should use drugs that are licensed in their country for use in hamsters, and they should follow the manufacturers current data sheet recommendations.. Provet can not accept liability for any errors or omissions and readers are advised to check dose rates with drug manufacturers or recognised specialists in rabbit medicine before proceeding to administer them.

Administration Codes :

IM - intramuscular injection

IP - intraperitoneum injection

IV - intravenous injection

SC - subcutaneous injection

Hamsters are highly susceptible to some antibiotics and the following types are NOT recommended because they can cause sometimes fatal gastrointestinal damage with enterotoxaemia. :


Drug Name Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 Source 4 Clinical Indications
Acepromazine (acetylpromazine) 0.5-1 mg/kg  IM 2.5mg/kg IM, IP 1-2mg/kg IM 0.5-1mg/kg IM Sedative or pre-anaesthetic drug
Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) 240mg/kg orally       Analgesic, antipyretic anti-inflammatory drug
Alphaxalone/alphadolone       150mg/kg IP (deep sedation and analgesia) Anaesthesia
Atipamezole   1mg/kg SC, IM, IV, IP     Reverse medetomidine sedation
Amikacin 10mg/kg 2-3x daily SC or IM       Aminoglycoside antibiotic. Can induce acute renal failure especially in dehydrated animals, animals with renal disease or electrolyte imbalances
Amitraz Prepare according to manufacturers instructions then apply topically for upto 6 times 14 days apart       Antiparasitic
Atropine 0.04mg/kg SC or IM 40 micrograms/kg SC, IM 10mg/kg every 20 mins  SC (for poisoning)

0.1-0.3mg/kg SC (for preanaesthesia)

0.1-3.0 mg/kg SC Used in the treatment of organophosphate poisoning . 
Buprenorphine   100 micrograms/kg SC     Analgesia
Butorphanol         Analgesia
Carbaryl 5% powder Light dust once/week    5% dust   Insecticide. Low doses may inhibit breeding. Care in young hamsters as susceptible to toxicity

Listed in publication but HIGH RISK 

      10-25mg/kg/day IM for 5-7 days Antibiotic
Chloramphenicol palmitate 50-200mg/kg three times daily orally   50mg/kg/day for up to 7 days orally 50mg/kg orally for 5-7 days Antibiotic. 
Chloramphenicol succinate 30-50mg/kg twice daily SC or IM 30mg/kg twice daily SC  30mg/kg/day for up to 7 days IM 30mg/kg/day for 5-7 days SC IM Antibiotic. 
Chlorpromazine     3-5mg/kg IV

3-35mg/kg IM

25mg/kg IM Tranquilliser, anti-emetic
Chlortetracycline 20mg/kg twice daily SC , IM       Antibiotic. High calcium, magnesium or iron supplemented diets may inhibit the absorption of this drug.
Cimetidine 5-10mg/kg 2-4x daily       Inhibits gastric secretion
Clopidol         Coccidiosis
Dexamethasone 0.1-0.6mg/kg IM 600 micrograms/kg SC     Anti-inflammatory
Diazepam 5mg/kg IP 5mg/kg IP   5-10 mg/kg IM Sedative and pre-anaesthetic agent (used with ketamine)
Dichlorvos     500mg/kg food for 24 hours   Antiparasitic. May inhibit breeding. 
Dichlorvos strip Hang 1" square in room for 24hrs once a week for 6 weeks   Leave in cage for 48 hours repeat at 7 day intervals   Antiparasitic - hung as strips in the environment to kill arthropod parasites May inhibit breeding. 
Dimetridazole 0.5mg/ml drinking water     0.025-0.1% in drinking water for 5-7 days Antimicrobial. 
Diovol plus 0.1-0.3cc orally       Antacid, anti-flatulant. Decreases gas production in gastrointestinal disorders. Do not use in hamsters with renal disease or alkalosis. Do not use with tetracyclines or iron compounds.
Doxapram 5-10mg/kg IV 5-10mg/kg IV   10-15mg/kg SC or IM Respiratory stimulant

Listed doses but HIGH RISK

2.5mg/kg twice daily orally       Long-acting tetracycline which is efficient against anaerobes and intracellular bacteria. It is safer in animals with renal problems as it is excreted via the intestine.. 
Enrofloxacin   50-100mg/L drinking water

5mg/kg twice daily orally or SC

    Fluoroquinolone antibiotic 
Fenbendazole 20mg/kg/day orally for 5 doses       Anthelminthic.
Fentanyl citrate /fluanisone   0.5ml/kg IM, IP     Neuroleptanalgesia
Fentanyl citrate /fluanisone/diazepam   1ml/kg and 5mg/kg IP    1ml/kg IM or IP and 5mg/kg IP Neuroleptanalgesia
Fentanyl citrate /fluanisone/midazolam   4ml2/kg IP     Neuroleptanalgesia
Frusemide 5-10mg/kg twice daily       Diuretic
Furazolidone 30mg/kg/day orally        
Gentamicin 5mg/kg/day SC or IM 2-4mg/kg twice daily SC     Aminoglycoside antibiotic especially effective against gram-negative organisms. May induce acute renal failure.
Griseofulvin 25mg/kg orally once daily for 14-28 days 25-30mg/kg/day orally for 21 days   25-30mg/kg orally Dermatophytosis
Halothane As required       General anaesthesia
Innovar-Vet 10% solution

(droperidol and fentanyl citrate) 

0.66ml/kg IM       Sedative and analgesic.  Used with xylazine for anaesthesia.
Isofluorane As required       Inhalant anaesthetic of choice 
Ivermectin 200-400 micrograms/kg orally.  Two doses 8-10 days apart 200-400 micrograms/kg SC


200-400 micrograms/kg SC, IM   Ectoparasiticide. 
Ketamine 44mg/kg IP 200mg/kg IM, IP 60-90mg/kg IM 100mg/kg Dissociative anaesthetic. Irritant by IM route. Must be diluted and injected with care to avoid the sciatic nerve.
Ketamine and Diazepam         Anaesthesia
Ketamine and Medetomidine   100mg/kg and 250micrograms /kg IP     Anaesthesia
Ketamine and Xylazine 80mg/kg and 16mg/kg IP 200mg/kg and 10mg/kg IP     Anaesthesia
Meperidine 10-20mg/kg/4x daily SC , IM , IP       Short-acting narcotic analgesic
Methoxyfluorane As required       Anaesthesia
Metronidazole 7.5mg/70-90g BW 3x daily orally        Antibiotic and antiprotozoal
Nalorphine     2mg/kg  IV   Reversal fentanyl 
Naloxone 0.01-0.1mg/kg IP or IV 0.01-0.1mg/kg IM, IP, IV   0.01mg/kg IV IP IM  Reversal of narcotic toxicity
Neomycin 100mg/kg/day orally 250 mg/kg/day in divided doses     Aminoglycoside antibiotic. 
Neomycin/ methyscopolamine       Dilute 1:3 water and give 1 drop/100mg BW twice daily Wet tail
Niclosamide       100mg/kg orally repeat after 7 days Hymenolepis nana
Oxytetracycline 16mg/kg/day SC 5g/L drinking water

20mg/kg/day SC

  20mg/kg SC for 5-7 days

0.5% in drinking water  for 5-7 days

Oxytocin 0.2-0.3 IU per kg  SC, IM 0.2-3 IU/kg IM 0.2-3 units/kg SC, IM 0.2-3 units/kg SC or IM Induction of parturition and milk letdown
Pentobarbital 40-60mg/kg IP 50-90mg/kg IP 10-20mg/kg IV, IP in young hamsters

60-90mg/kg IV, IP adults

Not recommended Anaesthesia. 
Pethidine       2mg/100g BW Analgesia
Piperazine adipate 3-5mg/ml in drinking water for 7 days, then 7 days off, repeat for 7 days 10g/L drinking water for 7 days 3mg/ml in drinking water orally 2mg/ml drinking water for young hamsters

3mg/ml drinking water for adults

Piperazine citrate 10mg/ml drinking water 7 days on, 7 days off, 7 days on.   3mg/ml in drinking water orally 200mg/kg orally for 7 days (for pinworm) Anthelminthic. Used to treat ascarids and some nodular worms and pin worms.
Praziquantel 5.1-11.4mg/kg orally, SC or IM . Repeat dose in 10 days.       Anthelminthic . Used to treat cestodes
Prednisone 0.5-2mg/kg orally       Anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid. Use with caution to avoid overdosage.

Listed in publication but HIGH RISK

  25mg/kg/day SC     Antibiotic
Sulphamezathine 1-5mg/ml drinking water   1g/L drinking water for 5 days

1mg/ml drinking water for upto 60 days

  Antibiotic. Long term use can cause changes in gut flora and malnutrition - resulting in vitamin (eg vitamin K) deficiency.
Sulphaquinoxaline 1mg/ml drinking water   0.025% in drinking water for 30 days.

0.1% in drinking water for 14 days.

  Antibiotic for pasteurellosis and coccidiosis
T-61 0.3ml/kg IV       Euthanasia

Listed doses but HIGH RISK

10-20mg/kg orally, 3x daily 10mg/kg/day orally 0.3-2mg/ml drinking water

5-50mg/kg orally, IM

  Antibiotic. For Tyzzers disease, pasteurellosis, mycoplasmosis
Thiabendazole 100mg/kg/day orally for 5 days   100-200mg/kg

 0.1% in food - orally

100mg/kg orally (for pinworm) Anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and fungicidal drug.
Thiamylal     25-50mg/kg IV, IP   Ultra-short acting barbiturate anaesthesia
Thiopental 40mg/kg IP       Ultra-short acting barbiturate anaesthesia
Trimethoprim and sulphadiazine 30mg/kg/day SC 48mg/kg/day SC   0.2ml/kg SC (24% solution for injection) Antibiotic. 
Trimethoprim and sulphamethoxazole 15mg/kg twice daily orally       Antibiotic
Tylosin 2-8mg/kg twice daily orally , SC or IM   66mg/L in drinking water for 21 days 10mg/kg SC IM for 5-7 days Antibiotic. Chronic use can result in bacterial overgrowth in the large intestine.
Vetatix (pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide) Shampoo weekly for up to 4 weeks       Insecticide (pyrethrin-based)
Vitamin K 1-10mg/kg   1-10mg/kg   Vitamin K deficiency (eg following oral antibiotic use and malabsorption) or poisoning with vitamin K antagonists eg warfarin.
Xenodyne Swab as required       Antibacterial iodine solution
Xylazine     4-8mg/kg IM 3mg/kg IV Sedative, analgesia


Updated October 2013

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