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Hamster hair loss advice

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by Natrc, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. Natrc

    Natrc PetForums Newbie

    Jan 6, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Hi everyone.

    My Syrian hamster (Gus) has developed bald patches in his fur. I'm concerned for his welfare and want some advice. These bald patches are over his head, back, side and underbelly, there are 4 large patches in total.

    He is a 2 year 2 month old (roughly) Syrian who has been happy and healthy throughout his life. About 4 months ago we had a flea outbreak in our house (new kitten) and unfortunately he had been using his playpen whilst we were unaware of the outbreak. He got fleas. We treated him with two vet provided treatments and one PAH topical treatment (and monitored very closely to ensure no reaction). We are very nearly eradicated of fleas (after two intensive flea treatments we have found the occasional dead flea in our living room, but Gus stays in our spare bedroom where the cats are not allowed for obvious reasons).

    Our vets overall have not been very interested, they are great with our cats, but don't seem to have much small pet experience.

    His fur is generally thin and has been increasingly thinning over the past few months and he has become thinner. These bald patches have developed over the past few weeks. I have noticed him scratching at his skin, but the underlying skin is not red, irritated or dry.

    My question is, is this likely old age? Or is this something worth getting seen to by the vets? At his age I don't want to put him through any excessive stress, but I don't want him to be in any pain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    #1 Natrc, Mar 15, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
  2. Hi, fur loss is natural when hamsters get older but if he seems thinner he could be ill. And I am not an expert but if he is losing large amounts of fur it may be due to an illness. If he is scratching an unusual amount, if he loses weight- I suggest weighing him and keeping track or his weight, if he does not eat or drink much and seems lethargic I would go see a vet.
  3. Engel98

    Engel98 PetForums VIP

    Oct 7, 2018
    Likes Received:
    I'd get a second opinion. Also please don't use shop bought parasite stuff for rodents, they're always a lot weaker than what you can get at the vets and just a waste of money.
    Another thing to consider is central heating as it dries out the skin. it may just be dry and he's itchy like our skin can get. Apply a little olive oil to the areas and add some flaxseed (linseed) to his diet as these will help IF it is just dry skin.

    General thinning is an age thing but not patches. Have you thought about Cushing's disease? the most obvious symptom of this is hair loss typically starting from the hind end and works its way up.

    stress is another issue as well as change. Do you or your family use air-fresheners or other sprays in or near the room? this includes plugins and reed/oil diffusers
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