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Advice on hamster bad skin (see photos)

Discussion in 'Small Animal Chat' started by Ted359, Oct 17, 2019.


  1. Ted359

    Ted359 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi. Advice from hamster owners. My Robo hammy has started getting dandruffy clumps and red bald patches. His tale also is a bit shabby and his ear looks tatty on the end. He runs about and eats and drinks and doesn't seem distressed but I'm worried it's itchy or sore--im reluctant to take him to a vet unless it seems to bother him because he is almost 3 years old and he never liked travelling or strangers so I'm worried the stress would be worse for him than the skin. Also I wonders if it's just because he is old? He also runs round in circles sometimes but I've read this isn't unusual in robos and he can stop and doesn't show any distress or aggression etc. Any one seen anything like this before and know if it is something to do with his age or if a vet would be best after all? Looking for advice I know your not vets but maybe you've had this before :)
     

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  2. Smolmaus

    Smolmaus PetForums Member

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    Sometimes hams do lose fur as they age but this doesn't look like that at all. It looks scabby and sore :(

    Skin problems can be a variety of things, can be mites (usually most affected on ears but his ears seem clear?) or an allergy to bedding (have you changed this recently?) or an infection.

    I am not one to rush a hamster to the vet for any old thing but in this case I think he needs it. This can't be comfortable for him and although he is old he does deserve to be comfy in his retirement.

    As for stress, you can ask for the vet to do a skin scrape, which is minimally invasive to see what it might be. He'd only need to be held still for a minute. Topical creams to soothe it could also be applied with cotton buds etc if you give him something tasty to eat so he sits still. You can scoop his whole nest into a carrier to get him to the vet and bring plenty of his fave treats to distract him. There are steps you can take to minimise stress.
     
  3. Ted359

    Ted359 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice! I think that's a good idea. I don't want him to be sad and uncomfortable so best to get it looked at I think. Thank you :)
     
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  4. Smolmaus

    Smolmaus PetForums Member

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    Best of luck to the little old man! I hope it's something can be easily fixed.

    Do let me know what happens if you can, I've never seen that kind of skin affliction personally. Also, if you want hamster specific advice consider hamstercentral :)
     
  5. Ted359

    Ted359 PetForums Newbie

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    So they said they are not sure but it looks like either a reaction to his new bedding or just because he is old. (he is almost 3 which apparently they only expect them to last until 2 so it's not unusual for him to be a ratty/have fur loss) the scabby skin is probably just dead skin (because he's so old he probably isn't producing enough sebum to keep his skin and fur moisturised) I'm giving him 2 drops of cod liver oil a few times a week and I have some tea trea aloe vera cream to put on his back to sooth it/help any irritation/stop infection. Then I will also try find the old bedding he used to have before I switched and hopefully he will look a little better.
     
  6. Smolmaus

    Smolmaus PetForums Member

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    I think a bedding switch is a very likely cause! What was he on before and what is he on now?

    Glad to see you have some treatment options. I hope he's more comfortable soon :) Did the vet recommend the tea tree cream?
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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