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Itchy hamster with scabs vets are clueless

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by SkylaLark, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. SkylaLark

    SkylaLark PetForums Newbie

    Jun 25, 2020
    Likes Received:
    56601038-0E83-4314-9EE9-991440E403DD.jpeg Hello everyone! I’m in desperate need of advice bc my little baby Spook is not well

    Info: Female Russian dwarf hamster 18 months old, carefresh as bedding, clean cage, doesn’t run too much in wheel anymore, but still very active (she likes building little bunkers for herself and likes being out to run around). She’s very affectionate and has a close bond to me. She is handled daily.

    I noticed a scab on Spook over a week ago. On her back. About the size of a pea. And a smaller one about 1/5th of the large one, a little higher up on her back. There was nothing in the cage that could have caused it. But just thought well something must have I’ll just leave her alone and it’ll heal. However, next day and the day after it was just getting worse, bc she kept on scratching off the large scab (the small one as well but I’m less worried about that one atm), making it bigger and deeper, then I realised that it’s a self-inflicted wound. And it’s bc she gets real itchy....

    (She started getting itchy about 3-4 months ago. I treated her with anti flea/mites cream, bathed her, cleaned cage etc. Wasn’t getting better so took her vet who also prescribed her anti mite topical meds. To no avail.
    So I started using coconut oil on her to treat her for dry, itchy skin. Which seemed to have helped. But she freaks out from the strong smell of coconut oil on her. So I now switched to olive oil which she tolerates more.)

    After waiting two days for the scab to heal, I took Spook to the same vet who few months back gave her anti-mite medication (dumb me), she gave her hibiscrub (disinfectant) and sent her home saying it’s probably food allergy, change her food. But she performed no skin scraping or even thought that clipping nails may help!?

    So anyways, I changed her food 6 days ago, after I saw this vet. Going from Harry hamster muesli mix to pet shop brand muesli. But again it didn’t seem to make any difference (thought maybe it’s corn or sunflower she’s allergic to??) so I’ve put her on a diet of oats, rice (dry), chia seeds, flax seeds as her “muesli” few days ago. And cleaned her cage so she can’t continue eating hidden muesli. She also gets tiny bits of mild hard cheese, natural yoghurt, boiled egg, and cucumber, salad leaves, blueberry or strawberry (very small amounts). Oh and dried mealworm as treats (her fav).

    However, I thought that I need a second opinion and took her to another vet few days ago. This vet also said it could be allergy, and prescribed Isaderm (fuciderm) for the scab, which is a steroid/antibiotic cream. I’ve been using this cream 4th day was today, and I’m not sure if it’s making any difference, maybe the scab is little bit smaller? Hard to tell when you look at it several times a day. But she still scratches it off at least 2x/day. She actually loves me rubbing in the cream, she’ll lick me like crazy, nibble me, brux for me and shake in my hands whilst I’m rubbing in the cream, she does love it. I’ve now started taking more time to rub it in and will brush her fur till it dries completely before putting her back in cage.

    However, I can still see her getting really itchy! And she continues to take off the scab. What do I do???

    • Why do you think she’s itchy?
    Does it take a while for allergy from food to pass? Or should I get a skin scraping in case it is actually mites? They just resistant to treatment?
    • Should I get her nails cut? I attempted today myself but they’re way too small!!! She seems to use them regularly so no excess to cut and super hard to cut them as they’re so small anyways.
    • Have you had any experience with scabs on hamster? What can I do to make her stop picking on it?
    • Have you used Isaderm before? How long did it take to heal the wound?

    Any suggestions would be super useful I’ve been an absolute mess since this started bc I love her to bits and I was sure Spook has another 1,5-2 years in her and will live super long bc she’s generally super healthy, been so well looked after and loved, fed a real healthy diet and kept in outstanding environment. Please help me find out what’s wrong and what else I can do, don’t let this scab take her from me!!!! On this pic I just rubbed in her med so she got wet fur but you can see her wound there. Let me know what else I can do
  2. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

    May 2, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hello. Sorry to hear about Spook

    It does look and sound like a possible allergy to something. Thing is it could be food, but it could also be the carefresh.

    Personally I would stop giving treats for now, just feed the muesli and see if that helps.
    If it helps, then slowly (one treat at a time over a few days / weeks) start to introduce treats again and keep an eye on her, if she starts to get itchy again then you know what food to stop giving.
    If it doesn't help then I'd try changing the bedding. Or you can do this the other way round and try different beddings first)
    Engel98 likes this.
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