Cleaning a Dwarf Hamster’s Scent Gland: 3 Easy Steps!

Dwarf hamsters are the most adorable little things, but they can be quite a handful. 

And if you have a dwarf hamster, you must be aware of their scent glands. But you must also know that those glands need cleaning from time to time.

So, are you wondering about the methods for cleaning a dwarf hamster scent gland?

To clean your dwarf hamster’s scent gland, you must first identify it. Find out where it is located and what it normally looks like. Now, all you’ll need to clean that area are Q-tips and some warm water. But also remember to clean your hamster’s cage to prevent any infections.

Now, look no further. Because we have all that you need to know mentioned in detail in this article.

Just keep reading and we’ll help you out!

What are the Scent Glands in Dwarf Hamsters?

What are the Scent Glands in Dwarf Hamsters

For any hamster, their scent glands are responsible for releasing chemicals known as pheromones. These pheromones allow hamsters to communicate with other hamsters.

To us, however, the scent comes off like a strong and musky odor. But where are hamster scent glands located? Dwarf hamster scent glands can be found on the lower abdomen of their bodies. But not all scent glands appear the same.

So what do hamster scent glands look like? Sometimes they appear hairless and other times they could seem to be protruding out. But it’s not uncommon for them to be flat either.

However, they might also appear to be pigmented and greasy. And occasionally, hamster scent glands tend to get wet and oozy. Which means they’ll end up collecting the ooze and grease in the glands over time.

So it’s a good idea to clean that area time-to-time. And that should be a part of the regular hygiene you maintain for your pet.

But besides this, are there any other reasons why their sweat glands need cleaning? Keep reading!

Importance of Keeping a Dwarf Hamster’s Scent Glands Clean

Now, it’s easier to identify these scent glands in male dwarf hamsters compared to females. This is because male hamsters tend to lick, rub and scratch these glands. Especially if they feel any irritation down there.

As a result of all that scratching, the scent gland area gets easily accessible to pathogens. And their scent glands can get abscessed or plugged with pus.

The issue here is that a clogged scent gland is a sign of a bacterial infection. And this collection of pus can turn out quite painful for the little creature. And that’s why it’s important to keep your hamster’s scent glands clean.

Now, how to clean a hamster scent gland? Let us move straight onto the next segment!

3 Steps to Clean your Dwarf Hamster’s Scent Glands

Generally, hamsters tend to clean their scent glands, being clean animals themselves. But sometimes you’ll catch your hamster constantly scratching at that site. And something you can’t possibly miss is the strong odor that they give off.

Well, these are the cues for you to know that their scent glands require cleaning. 

Here are 3 small steps to help you in the process!

Tools you’ll need:

Step 1: Locating the Scent Gland

First, you have to know exactly where your hamster’s scent gland is located. It’s also important to know what it normally looks like.

Because it won’t look the same when it isn’t clean. 

Step 2: Cleaning the Scent Gland

Next, grab your little pet carefully and try to hold them in one hand securely. Dip the cotton swab in water and use it to gently rub the scent gland.

Now, sometimes dwarf hamster scent gland have scab. Basically, upon becoming very dirty, the site tends to become crusty as well. In this case, you need your patience.

Keep gently scrubbing at the scent gland area with the cotton swab until it is clean. 

Step 3: Cleaning the Cage

Keeping the hamster’s cage clean is an essential part of its hygiene. That’s because their cage will also play a role in keeping their scent glands clean. This especially applies to dwarf male hamsters.

Dwarf male hamsters tend to rub their scent glands against the cage. They do this to basically “mark their territory”. But with a dirty cage, it becomes more likely for them to catch an infection.

Therefore, make sure to clean their cage from time to time, and its surroundings too. That way you can make sure that your hamster remains healthy!

Identifying an Infected Scent Gland

Identifying an Infected Scent Gland

If you’re not cleaning your hamster’s scent glands or their cage, they could easily get infected. But how can you identify an infected scent gland?

Here are some symptoms you should keep an eye out for:

  • Scent glands look swollen and inflamed. Localized inflammation is a good sign of an infection. 
  • The hamster doesn’t want to move or is hunched over. These are signs that your little pet is in pain. 
  • Your hamster keeps constantly biting and scratching at its scent glands. This means that the infected area feels irritated. 
  • Behavioral changes in your pet. They might become more aggressive than normal and won’t like being picked up anymore. 
  • The scent gland is bleeding. Or you notice breaking skin or ulceration in that area.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your hamster to the vet immediately. They’ll require expert attention and you can prevent the infection from getting worse!


What is causing my dwarf hamster to smell so much?

Different reasons could be causing your dwarf hamster to smell so much. For instance, female dwarf hamsters smell bad when in heat. But, male dwarf hamsters usually smell bad if they are sick. However, your hamster could simply be soaked in its urine. And that’s causing the stench!

How to clean a bad-smelling hamster?

To clean a bad-smelling hamster, you must first learn to put them on its back. Do that on an even surface. Then, pet them near the base of their tail gently. And you can do that using the tips of your fingers. This will make them stay still and allow you to clean their lower parts easily. 

Do female hamsters menstruate?

No, female hamsters do not menstruate after they mature. However, when they do reach reproductive maturity, they are capable of mating. And every month they have cycles where they are “in heat”. This is also called the estrus cycle. Now, if you catch your hamster bleeding, take them to the vet asap!


That covers all that you needed to know about cleaning a dwarf hamster scent gland. Hope it helps you with your little pet!

Besides pus accumulation, scent glands are also open to malignant cancers. So keep an eye out for any bumps in the area.

Have a good day ahead!

Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan

Ryan Dugan is a dedicated pet care professional who offers top-notch services for a variety of pet species. He has a soft spot for my own feline companion, Sophie. He is passionate about animals He shares his knowledge and experience on his blog to help other pet owners understand and care for their own beloved companions. Whether you need a pet-sitting service or advice on pet care, He is the go-to expert.

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