Why Hamsters Can Lose Their Hair

If you happen to be a hamster lover, then you realize they are a unique and delightful pet. Like humans, hamsters can suffer from a wide variety of maladies as well, including alopecia.

That is why some hamsters will lose all of their hair or lose it in spots. On a hamster, it usually happens in the hindquarters or face.

It is not difficult to pick up the fact that a hamster is suffering from alopecia. It is all about hair loss, and typically the patches will be completely free of hair for the most part. It can happen anywhere on the body, but you are likely to see it on the tail or face.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

At times, the hamster may suffer from severe itching and red skin. This can also cause hair loss and is typically due to an infestation of mites or ticks. Nutritional deficiencies can also lead to hair loss, and that is usually seen along with a dull coat.

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

If your hamster is losing hair and has difficulty urinating, kidney problems may be the issue.

Hair loss may actually occur for a wide variety of reasons in hamsters. Here are some of the reasons why it can take place.

Photo: flickr/Alex Santosa

Overcrowding can lead to wounds from fighting and other hamsters in the cage chewing on their hair.

Hair loss around the face can occur from rubbing on a metal cage or excessive burrowing.

General hair loss may be associated with a nutritional deficiency.

T-cell lymphoma is a rare reason why hair loss is a problem.

Thyroid hormone imbalance or kidney issues may also cause hair loss.

If they are itching and rubbing excessively, they may have an infestation.

Photo: Pixabay

If you feel that your hamster is suffering in some way or another, a veterinarian should be consulted. They can run tests to determine if it is alopecia or if there is another cause.

If it is found that it is alopecia, they will likely receive antibiotics and a special shampoo. That may vary, depending upon the reason why they are losing hair in the first place. For example, nutritional deficiencies may just require a change in diet.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If you do get some type of ointment or special shampoo, then it should be administered according to the veterinarian’s prescription. You may also have to care for the cage and toys to ensure that they are properly cleaned and disinfected. As the hamster starts to recover from the problem, regular checkups may be necessary.

It is also possible to prevent hair loss in many cases by separating hamsters that fight or avoiding overcrowding. Feeding your hamster a balanced diet and ensuring that they are clean and free of any mites will also help to curtail the problem in many cases.

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!