9 Common Reasons Why Hamsters Lose Hair & Ways To Treat it

Causes of Hair Loss in Hamsters

Hamsters are adorable and attractive pets whose beauty can be credited to their fur. The condition in which the hamster’s hair is can be used to determine how healthy and happy your pet really is. 

However, as the pet grows old, the hair condition loses attractiveness, and you may notice signs of hair loss. Hair loss in hamsters is identified by patches on the hamster’s body with less or no hair at all. While age is an inevitable reason why hamsters lose hair, there are other causes for premature hair loss. 

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why hamsters lose hair and the ways you can prevent it.

why hamsters lose hair, causes for hair loss in hamsters

Common reasons why hamsters lose hair

Some of the reasons why hamsters lose hair include aging, excessive grooming, malnutrition, pest infestations, and allergies.

a). Age

Old age is a common reason why hamsters lose hair. Hair loss should therefore not come as a surprise to you if you have been with your pet for a couple of years.

Older hamsters may lose hair due to lower protein levels responsible for healthy hair growth. Hair loss in old hamsters is identified by bald patches on the head, back, or belly.

b). Rubbing against rough surfaces

Friction is an obvious cause of hair loss in hamsters. The pet can suffer from hair loss when it rubs its body parts against rough surfaces within the cage. This could be the walls of a small cage, toys, and other available tools. 

Some reasons why hamsters rub against surfaces include pest infestations, allergic reactions, and an attempt to acquire scent from an object.

c). Excessive grooming

Hamsters are generally clean pets that love to keep their fur clean even without extra grooming. Although you may occasionally groom your pet when you notice matting, you should be careful to avoid hair loss in hamsters.

Excessive grooming can result in thinning and eventually bald patches on the hamster’s body.

d). Poor diet

A diet that lacks essential nutrients for hair growth is one of the reasons why hamsters lose hair. Nutrients responsible for hair growth include zinc, Vitamin D, and iron which can be found in protein foods. Lack of these nutrients results in thinning and poor hair growth.

e). Shedding

It is common for some hamster breeds to lose hair during the spring or fall seasons.  During this time, the weather is relatively warm compared to winter which is the coldest season. 

Breeds such as the Syrian hamsters will naturally have thinner hair during the warm months of summer. This should not be a concern because, like other pets, hamsters will grow their hair before the colder months begin. 

f). Ringworms

Ringworm is a common fungal infection that attacks the skin of a hamster leading to hair loss. The infection is identified by a circular bump on the hamster’s body. Ringworms cause inflammation and when hamsters scratch the bump, a chemical is released on the skin. This wipes out the hair around the affected part. 

g). Pest infestation

Pest attacks are a common reason why hamsters lose hair. When pests such as ticks, fleas, and mites attack a hamster in large numbers, the infested part is likely to suffer hair loss.

Hamsters with poor hygiene are likely to get pests from the dirty environment which is their breeding ground. 

h). Kidney infections

When a hamster has a kidney infection, a lot of protein is lost through urine rather than being retained in the system. This leads to protein deficiency which is directly responsible for hair growth in hamsters.

Kidney infections are fatal and their causing hair loss in hamsters should be the least of your concerns. You should therefore consult a veterinary when you notice other symptoms of kidney inflammation.

i). Allergies

Allergies can cause skin irritation making your hamster scratch its skin and causing hair loss. Allergic reactions can be triggered by environmental factors such as poor cage hygiene, and paint. Some medicines and foods can also allergies in hamsters and eventually hair loss.

How to treat hair loss in Hamsters

Hair loss in hamsters is not a sign that your hamster will die. As a matter of fact, depending on what caused the hair loss, the situation is completely reversible.

You could start by increasing the size of the cage if the reason for the hamster’s hair loss is rubbing against the walls. You could also clear the space and remove the toys that could cause hair loss in hamsters.

Improving your hamster’s diet could also reduce the chances of baldness in hamsters. Feed the pet more protein and iron-rich meals and watch the hair grow back. When choosing the hamster meal, make sure you get the ones that will not trigger allergic reactions.

You should also keep the hamster’s cage clean to eliminate other causes of allergy. Cleaning the cage will also double as a pest elimination formula.

If hair loss continues even after taking the necessary measures, you should visit a vet for more treatment.

FAQs

Why does hamsters’ hair fall out?

Hamsters’ hair may fall out due to a lack of nutrients and vitamins responsible for healthy hair growth. These nutrients include iron and zinc which can be found in protein foods. 

What can I feed hamsters for proteins?

Nuts are the most preferred source of proteins for hamsters. You can also feed your hamster boiled eggs or mealworms for high proteins.

How do I know if my hamster has mites?

Patches of bare skin are one of the signs of mite attacks in hamsters. You may also notice the hamster scratching its neck area, shaking its head, and dandruff. 

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