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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 21210
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My hamsters ear is infected? 1.5, hair around the ear has

Customer Question

My hamsters ear is infected?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. How old is ear?
Customer: 1.5
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about ear?
Customer: hair around the ear has fallen out, ear is irritated and crusty. Hamster has a smell (bad smell). No puss coming from ear. Have used shampoo to clean, but is not getting better
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Poor wee lad!

Now if you do smell an odor from the ear and its crusting, this supports bacterial or yeast infection. This could be primary or if this has been ongoing for a while its possible that it is secondary to an ear mite infection. With this in mind and since we can only put medical treatments in the ear so long as we are sure the ear drum is intact (since otherwise ear medications can sometimes cause deafness or seizures), we'd really want him seen by the local vet for a hamster safe antimicrobial ear drop.

In the meantime though, one option you can use at home is to flush the ear with salt water (1tbsp salt to a pint warm water). This is safe to use even if the drum is compromised and can flush out discharges/mites and has a mild antimicrobial effect. This can be done 2-3 times daily. Don't be tempted to use an OTC antibiotics, as hamsters tend to groom those away and then ingest them (which can damage the gut bacteria leading to fatal diarrhea). As well, just to rule out mite involvement, you can also use an OTC Ivermectin based spot on (used on the skin as it will absorb and help in the ear) to treat for mites.

Overall, the signs you are reporting support a bacterial or possibly yeast infection. So, the above would be our supportive care options just now. Though if this is persisting and severe, then we'd want his vet to check him so that antibacterial ear drops can be started to nip this in the bud.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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