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Old 07-16-2005, 12:17 AM   #1
WolvesRaven
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Default 4 week old babies losing hair

My hamster had 8 babies. 2 dissapeared and then there were 6. Well four of them have gone off to find wonderful new homes. But the two smallest ones are losing hair and are still small. I have moved them to a different cage and none of the other babies or mom have lost hair. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 07-16-2005, 12:45 AM   #2
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A bit more information might narrow it down...



What is the diet of these two? What is the pattern of hair loss (generally or patches in certain places?) What is the skin like (pinkish, hot, crusty etc?). Is it bothering them - are they scratching? Are they actually losing fur - were they fully furred before, or are they being slow in growing their fur in the first place?



The 2 things I'd suspect most in hamsters losing fur this young would be mites (especially if they're runts more likely to be immunocompromised) or dietary deficiency. I'd boost their nutrition (offer porridge/baby cereal, small pieces of ham, mild cheese, boiled/scrambled egg, tofu, cooked beans etc) and add a good vitamin supplement to it. That may be enough by itself but if possible some ivermectin treatment from the vet may help things along if it is mites.



Being me I'd also add a pro/prebiotic supplement to their water (I use probiotic with anything remotely ill!) as they're so young, something is obviously going on with them and if they came down with stress-related diarrhoea at this age it could be very serious. Probiotic may help prevent that.



By 4 weeks these little ones should also be sexed and separated - I'm sure you have done but just checking that these two are the same sex if they're still living together.



Em x
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Old 07-16-2005, 03:28 PM   #3
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diet - hamster mix everyday. (they have a bowl), lettuce or grapes twice a week, and every other day, they get a mixture of bread,chicken,canned dog food, and KMR.



The hair loss is mostly on their undersides and around their neck and head. The skin is pink and normal, but bald. They got fur with thier brothers and sisters, but it was longer and tufty looking. It always stuck up and looked ruffled. But now it is falling out. If I pull it it doesn't come out easily, but they look more bald everyday. I don't think it's mites, because they aren't itchy and none of the other animals have them. Thier mom is fine.



Both babies are females.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:33 AM   #4
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What bedding are they on? Sounds like perhaps an allergy/sensitivity thing if it's mostly their undersides.



Often mites in hamsters isn't so much a contagious thing. They have some mites all the time that don't bother them unless their immune systems are low anyway (because they're ill, stressed or just very old or very young) so it could still be mites and their mother and litter mates just have stronger immune systems - you mentioned these two were the smallest? Mites can be tricky cos they don't always itch either.



Diet sounds ok to me...I think I'd still add a vit supplement, maybe change the substrate to see if that helps. The fur not coming out when tugged means fungal infection is unlikely (and you would expect that to show in the other hamsters too). Failing vits & bedding helping then a trip to a decent vet would be in order - they can rule in mites with a positive skin scrape, but not rule them out with a negative one as it's possible to miss the mites.



Hope they get furry again!
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:49 PM   #5
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They are on Aspen bedding.



Could they be hairless hammies? Does their hair grow and then fall out?



My vet fund just got drained because Spudz, my resident male(not the father), got an abcess and it had to be drained and such. SO it could be a while before they get to the vet.
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Old 07-23-2005, 11:24 AM   #6
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I tried aspen with Bandit and he started going bald so I removed it and now his hair has grown back so it might be the aspen. None of my hammies seem to do well with aspen
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Old 07-24-2005, 02:04 PM   #7
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I've kept all my furries on Aspen with no problems. Well I started giving them "wet food" (KMR, canned chicken and rice dog food, chicken, boiled eggs, and breadcrumbs all mixed together) and their hair started growing back. However, yesterday I found them both dead . I have no idea what happened. I feel so bad...But I guess they were happy when they died since they were spoiled so much when they were alive.
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Old 07-25-2005, 08:56 AM   #8
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That's a shame WolvesRaven I'm sorry



It sounds like there was something a but 'funny' going on with them, both being runty (you said they were the smallest?) and losing their fur. Without a PM it would be impossible to tell. It may have been some kind of genetic defect, I seem to remember that these were pet hamsters that you bred, so you don't know the ancestry if this has happened in the line before? My only advice now would be to not breed from the parents again.



I don't think they'd be hairless, the hairless gene in hamsters is "true" hairless, where there is a default in the skin so they don't grow fur, unlike the double rex "hairless" in rats when they can sometimes have fur and then lose it.



Like you said at least they were spoiled whilst they were here, it doesn't sound like you did anything wrong with them.
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