Dwarf Hamster girl of about 2 months old losing fur behind ears. The bald area is pink-coloured but no crust or flakiness. I have another dwarf girl in the same cage but she is very normal. I use paper-based bedding and clean the cage weekly. What is the problem here? Please help!
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: <1
Type of Animal: Dwarf Hamster
Name of Animal: Sesame
Hello,I'm sorry to hear that Sesame is having this problem. There are a number of possible causes. If the area is somewhat circular and dry, this could be ringworm. There may also be mites which simply haven't spread to the other hamster yet. Check for tiny black dots that move. They're barely visible. It isn't safe to use over-the-counter mite sprays or other products on hamsters. You would need a vet to treat any of these conditions.There are some dietary problems that can lead to hair loss. If you're feeding agood balanced hamster diet, that si unlikely. There are inherited endocrine imbalances that can lead to symmetrical fur loss. a vet could diagnose them through blood work. Here's a link where you can read about all these causes of hair loss:http://www.hamsterific.com/IllnessGuide.cfm#RingwormFinally, watch the hamsters carefully. Dwarf hamsters groom each other, and sometimes they groom too vigorously, causing fur loss. If that seems to be happening, they'll need to be separated.Unless you can determine that the other hamster is licking Sesame too much, I would recommend that you take your hamster to a vet. Because there are so many different things that could be causing this, it would be very hard for you to figure out what it is. Other than watching for over grooming, there isn't much you can do at home. A vet can also give you the best treatment for whatever it is he/she finds.I hope you can quickly get the problem under control. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY.AnnaIf you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to ask! Please remember to only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either "Helped a little" or "I expected more", please stop, and instead reply to me via the REPLY button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.Thank you.
Hi Anna,Thanks for the reply. I checked Sesame thoroughly, the furless area is not circular or dry. It looks more like a shape made from her scratching. I also see another small area on her back with a bit of fur missing.Her cagemate is actually a little older, they don't interact much but they don't fight. Sesame actually got into more fights with the hamsters that I bought together with her. I originally thought it was the fighting that caused her to lose some fur. But she continued to lose fur even now. By any chance, do dwarf hamsters shed? Sesame has dark grey fur all over and I noticed she has a small area of white fur on her back that I didn't see before. Also, what do you suggest I add to her diet? Currently, I give all my hamsters "Forti Diet" pellets that my vet recommended before and "Nutriphase" seeds as treats once a week. Some vegetable leaves every 5 days or so.
Hi,Hamsters do shed, but it is not normally noticeable. It is not normal to shed so much that bald areas appear. This could be a bacterial or fungal infection. If you want to try something before seeing a vet, you can apply a very light layer of plain Neosporin (no added pain relief) to the bald areas twice a day. If this is bacterial, that should clear it up. You're right that the fur loss may be related to scratching, but hamsters scratch when they itch, so something is going on. Fur can grow in with a different color for several reasons. Some color varieties don't reach their full development until an older age. Some, such as winter whites, have different colors for summer and winter. An injury to the skin can cause lighter fur to grow in. Regardless of the cause, if the fur looks thick and normal, it's nothing to worry about.A good brand of commercial food is the beginning of a healthy diet for hamsters, but they should also have some fresh food each day. Because of their small size, they don't need much. A bit of carrot or a few pieces of clover or grass from an unsprayed lawn are good choices. A little piece of cooked chicken or boiled egg would also be good; in nature, hamsters do eat insects, so the additional protein is good for them. Just be sure to feed these supplemental foods in tiny amounts. This reputable website has a good section on feeding and nutrition:http://www.hamsterific.com/Nutrition.cfmIf you need anything else, let me know.Anna
40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.