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My hamster has two bald patches on his fur, and his left ear…

Customer Question
My hamster has two...

My hamster has two bald patches on his fur, and his left ear seems to be black and leathery. Slight lethargy, but he is still food motivated and calm.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help your hamster. What is the hamster's name and age?

I'm not sure of his age, he's an adult Syrian and his name is Scotch.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Scotch?

I got him about three months ago and his water bottle was leaking...I'm thinking it could be mites?

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Pet
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Answered in 17 hours by:
11/29/2017
Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 12,273
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago

I am very sorry to see that none of our other Experts have reached out to you before now. I just came online and found that your question had not been addressed. How is your companion at this time? Can you share pictures of what you're seeing?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I can, give me a minute to get my hammy out of his cage.
Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago

No rush.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Oh gosh haha it didn't show the images as I uploaded. There are the ears..
Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago

Are the ears itchy?

Are the patches missing in the coat symmetrical?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I will say though, he's a very bonded hamster for as long as I've had him. I clean his cage with a vinegar water mixture at least twice a week, and his cage is huge. I can sit with him on the couch for a while and he tries to "burrow" behind me and seems super comfortable. Wondering if this is a medical issue or if he isn't getting enough stimulation (I take him out every day).
Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago

Are the ears itchy?

Are the patches missing in the coat symmetrical?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The ears don't seem to be itchy from what I've observed, but the transformation happened quickly which concerned me. The bald spots are almost entirely symmetrical.
Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago

I believe you're seeing two different conditions here, one moment while I type a reply for you.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No rush, thank you very much.
Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago

I agree with your concern about mites given the crusting of the ears. I am also concerned about the potential of ringworm, as well, though I expect you'd have seen this before now since you've had him for 3 months.

While mites can cause fur loss on the skin, as well, I have to wonder if Scotch may be stimulating his scent glands and, thus, causing the fur loss. If so, this would be on either side of his body and you'd see a dark pigment on the skin. It looks like this on a lighter hamster: http://78.media.tumblr.com/8cc02c46fc516670b3efea2eb53e59b7/tumblr_inline_nvzf9uujs71siwf7s_500.jpg This happens when they reach sexual maturity.

It will be quite difficult to be certain that these symptoms are due to mites without a vet visit. Your vet will want to take a skin scrape or fur pluck to evaluate microscopically to determine if mites are present. Treatment will be dependent on what they find but may involve oral or topical meds dosed down to a size Scotch can receive.

Do you already have a pocket pet vet or do you need help finding one in your area?

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Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago

Checking in. How is Scotch today?

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Pet Specialist: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 7 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

PitRottMommy
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