My hamster is losing its hair

? " Hamster Care " My hamster is losing its hair
Photo of author
Published by Julie

Have you noticed one or two hairless areas on your hamster? If so, read on to find out if this is the case. hair loss is benign or more serious.

Hamsters can lose their hair through repeated rubbing against bowls, pots and other objects. toys and other abrasive objects in their cage. This may include litter. In other cases, disease, parasites, excess humidity, nursing or nutritional deficiencies may be to blame.

Why is my hamster losing its fur?

There are many reasons why hamsters lose their hair. These include :

  • Rubbing against hard surfaces such as cage walls or worn plastic objects.
  • Exposure to moisture caused by a leaking water bottle.
  • Parasites such as mites, ringworms, parasites chips and ticks that cause itching and hair loss.
  • Nutritional deficiencies.
  • Illnesses such as hormonal imbalances or kidney inflammation.
  • Natural processes such as moulting or nursing babies.
  • Old age

Rubbing against abrasive objects in the cage

Hamsters engage in many activities that involve rubbing. They can dig deep into their enclosures, hiding under their bedding. Their toys are not just for playing, but also for rubbing. The worst is when your hamster starts rubbing against harder surfaces, such as cage walls, bowls or worn plastic toys.

All these behaviors can lead to the appearance of patches or hairless areas. The best way to know if hair loss is due to the environment is to look, physically, where it occurs.

If you always see your hamster rubbing one side of its body against its cage and that same side is bald, you've probably found the culprit.

Exposure to humidity

If you've got an old water bottle in the your hamster's cage and she's started to run away, this could also be another reason for baldness. Humidity affects hamster fur in the same way as it does human hair. All that excess water is detrimental to healthy hair growth.

Parasites

When your friend is infested with mites, ringworm, fleas and/or ticks, he'll do anything he can to relieve himself, including scratching himself until he loses some of his hair.

If your hamster sheds due to parasites, treatment prescribed by a veterinarian should help regrow the coat. Nutritional deficiencies causing hair loss may require dietary changes and supplements recommended by a veterinarian.

Nutritional deficiencies

What do you feed your hamster? A bad power supply can have an impact on your hamster's weight, but not only. It can also affect his overall health. If your hamster lacks protein or B vitamins in its diet, you can expect it to lose some of its fur.

Eight vitamins from the B family can stimulate natural hair growth. These are folate or folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine.

Diseases and conditions

Hormonal imbalances, kidney inflammation and T-cell lymphoma can all lead to hair loss. If you suspect a more serious health problem, don't wait to consult your vet. In fact, in the case of prolonged "balding", a visit to the vet can rule out more serious problems and put your hamster on the fast track to a healthier coat.

Breastfeeding after birth

Your female hamster recently gave birth to a litter of adorable little ones? You may have noticed that her fur seems to have all but disappeared. It's not just the stress of a new mother. When female hamsters nurse their young, it's common for some of their fur to fall out.

In this case, you need to give it time. When the babies start eating foods other than their mother's milk, your hamster's fur will start to grow back.

Age!

The main reason hamsters start to lose their fur is their age. Just as some people go bald as they age, so do our hamsters. So, if your hamster is at least two years old, it's natural and normal for it to lose its fur.

Is it normal for a hamster to lose its fur?


Hamster hair loss is not always a cause for concern and depends on the breed. Chinese dwarf hamsters don't shed very much, but the Russian hamsters and Syrians.

Bear in mind, too, that hamsters moult and shed more fur, whatever the species. During moulting, they make room for new fur by getting rid of the old. This is a biannual process that takes place in autumn and spring. If your hamster loses fur at these times, it's probably because it's moulting. There's nothing to worry about.

Another way to tell if your hamster is shedding or molting is to observe the amount of hair it sheds. When shedding, fur loss should be minimal and limited to small quantities. If there are thick tufts of fur in your hamster's enclosure, there's probably a more serious problem.

How to prevent it?

The first thing to do, as you've already understood, is to find the cause of the fall, from among those listed above, by observing your pet. By observation or deduction, you're bound to find the source of the problem. The next step is to treat it properly.

If you think it comes from food

It's also important to monitor your hamster's iron and protein levels. Dried fruit, iron-enriched cereals and small portions of hard-boiled eggs provide iron. Protein comes from hamster food, as well as baked beans, tofu and raw, unsalted peanuts. As always, consult your vet before making any major dietary changes.

You should also be careful not to give your hamster too much protein. This could damage his kidneys. Your hamster's entire diet and food should be made up of a little protein, around 16 %, but no more.

Not all nutritional deficiencies are linked to what you don't give your hamster. Sometimes, giving your hamster too much of a food can also lead to a deficiency. For example, sunflower seeds, when consumed in large quantities, can contribute to hair loss.

A balanced diet is essential for your hamster's overall health, including the health of its coat. Make sure you :

  • Provide food specially designed for hamsters, containing all the necessary nutrients.
  • Add fresh, healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables in moderate quantities, to diversify your hamster's diet.
  • Avoid foods that are too fatty, sweet or salty, which can cause health problems.
  • Check with your veterinarian whether a nutritional supplement is required.
  • It's best to replace cheese with dried fruit, barley, carob, corn or dried peas.

If you think it's coming from one of the cage components

  • Replace bowls and toys

If the hard edges of bowls and your hamster's toys cause it to lose its coat, change them. Look for smoother, rounded edges. This doesn't mean your hamster will stop rubbing his favorite objects, but at least it will cause less damage.

  • Friction on the cage

Another unavoidable behavior is rubbing against the cage. This behavior is due to the hamster's scent glands, which are located in the hips. To spread its scent, your hamster will want to rub against anything and everything, including sometimes you. This phenomenon is more common in some hamster species than others, such as Syrians. Females are also more likely to do this than males.

This behavior is normal and natural, but it can lead to a little hair loss. Therefore, the best thing you can do is to keep an eye on how much your hamster rubs against its cage. If this behavior leads to the appearance of hairless areas, remove the hamster from its cage for a while.

  • Its environment

If you're using cedar or pine shavings for your hamster's bedding, you need to switch to a softer material. These shavings can easily come loose and cause infection or injury to your hamster. What's more, this litter is not soft at all. Whether you're sleeping, digging or using it regularly, your hamster could lose its fur.

If you have to use wood shavings, opt for wood from aspen. It is softer than cedar or pine shavings.

Improving your hamster's environment and lifestyle can also help prevent hair loss. Here are a few tips for creating an optimal environment for your companion:

  • Make sure the cage is large enough to allow your hamster to move freely.
  • Clean the cage regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt and moisture, which can cause skin and coat problems.
  • Provide shelter and hiding places to reduce stress.
  • Offer appropriate toys to keep your hamster entertained, so it can claw without hurting itself.

Hair loss in hamsters: don't panic!

As you can see, minor hair loss is normal, but a large tuft of hair that falls out abundantly is not!

 Simple changes to your pet's environment, diet and lifestyle should help put an end to this problem. If hair loss persists or worsens, don't hesitate to consult a veterinarian for a precise diagnosis and appropriate treatment. While some hair loss is natural and nothing to worry about, really peeling areas merit a visit to the vet.

Photo of author
Published by Julie

Passionate about hamsters since I was young, I share with you all my knowledge about them!

Leave a Comment