Hamsters are extremely cute and cuddly with their fluffy hair and distinct color patterns. This is why it can be extremely alarming if you notice your furry friend is losing his hair.
If your hamster starts losing his hair, it’s paramount that you determine why they’re getting bald spots.
Hair loss in hamsters can be a telling symptom of several health conditions—ranging from minor to major concern. In many cases, hair loss is caused by the things found in your pet hamster’s environment. In this article, we’ll discuss the five most common reasons why your hamster is losing hair and what you can do about each one.
The 5 Common Reasons Hamsters Lose Hair
1. Nutritional Deficiencies
One of the most common reasons for hamsters to lose their hair is due to nutritional deficiencies. If your hamster’s diet does not include the proper nutrition—particularly the right amount of B vitamins—it can cause hair loss.
A lack of protein in their diet can also cause problems with their fur. When consulting your veterinarian, one of the first things they’ll ask about is your hamster’s diet with regards to their hair loss.
The presence of parasites can cause a lot of health problems in your hamster. And one of the most common symptoms they cause is hair loss. If your hamster has fleas, ticks, ringworm, or mites, it can lead to incessant scratching. This will then damage their skin, which can wind up in hair loss accompanied by lesions.
It’s also extremely important to not just treat your hamster for parasites, but also their surroundings and environment.
Parasites not only infest your pet, but they can also infest your hamster’s habitat and your home.
As you clear their environment of the parasites, you should simultaneously start the medication for your pet’s skin. And once your hamster’s skin is healed, their hair will likely grow back just as fluffy as it was before the infestation.
Friction can also cause hair loss in hamsters. If your hamster spends a lot of time rubbing its body against its toys or cage, the excessive friction might cause its hair to fall off. This is particularly common in hamsters with really small cages as they have very little space to move around.
Yes, hamsters shed regularly. This phenomenon happens during the spring and tends to peak during the fall. When hamsters shed, you will notice their fur coat becoming thinner. However, they normally won’t acquire full-blown bald spots.
Certain breeds like Russian and Syrian hamsters tend to shed more than the Roborovski and Chinese dwarf types.
5. Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions and diseases can cause hamsters to lose their fur. Kidney inflammations and T-cell lymphoma are two causes that are commonly associated with hair loss. Another medical condition that often coincides with hair loss in hamsters is hormonal imbalance.
Hair loss from medical conditions can be very worrisome. However, it’s often a good indicator that something’s not right.
Treating Hamster Hair Loss
Seeing your hamster slowly losing its hair can be quite alarming. But chances are that there is no huge need to worry. Most causes for hamster hair loss are extremely treatable and easily corrected so you won’t end up with a bald hamster.
Working together with your vet, you can give your hamster the best treatment possible. Just be sure to trust your vet and follow their instructions explicitly, and your little hamster will be furry again in no time.
Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock