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Old 06-20-2019, 09:44 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: California
Posts: 13
Exclamation Syrian Hair Loss!

Hello everyone,

It's been a long time since I've posted! My Mary passed away last month with very little warning which was so difficult, but something good did come out of it. With an empty cage just sitting around, I was able to adopt a young black Syrian male from a nearby animal shelter (who they were going to "get rid of" the following day).

Some info about him:
- male Syrian named Frodo
- 14 weeks old
- was living in a critter trail at the shelter
- was never handled by anyone at the shelter (not tame)

With that, I noticed the day I brought him home that his feet were enlarged, inflamed, and covered in crust/scabs. He also began to lose fur on his back and on his face, and his ears are crusted shut. I immediately made a vet appointment and was sure that it was mites, but the vet found none. We are currently waiting on results from a ringworm test but tonight I saw that his feet seem to be healing on their own with no treatment, which had me thinking that all of these symptoms could possibly be credited to all the stress he's been going through? He was living in a tiny cage in a loud front room at the shelter with dogs always barking and people shouting, and maybe the transition to his new home with me caused the symptoms to worsen?

This may be premature as I haven't heard back from the vet as to whether he has ringworm, but I just wanted input as to whether or not stress could cause such a severe reaction in hamsters.

Sorry for the long post, any help or advice at all would be much appreciated!
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:38 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Posts: 3,121
Default Re: Syrian Hair Loss!

The foot problem sounds like bumblefoot maybe? Was he on a wire wheel or with wire levels in the cage he was in previously? If he was climbing the wire walls of the crittertrail compulsively that could be enough to cause that.

Stress can cause all sorts of illnesses to flare up that otherwise their immune system might have dealt with easily so that could definitely be a factor. It could also be cushings disease which seems common enough in hams, could be a poor diet catching up with him, could be an allergic reaction to old bedding or new bedding. Could be an infection from his injured feet. You're doing the right thing continuing to consult a vet but it can't hurt to give them some possibilities to look into.

Hopefully if his feet are healing up the rest of his little body will follow suit. Got fingers crossed for him.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:23 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK but my heart lies in Scotland!
Posts: 26,690
Default Re: Syrian Hair Loss!

It's good to hear you have adopted him. It could well have been the conditions he was kept in and also his diet which may have been lacking in proper nutrients. They can get urine burns on the feet.
I would supplement his food and see how he goes. Sometimes poor nutrition causes a lapse in their growth and especially the coat growth and this does show up but goes once that phase has grown out. He is only 14 weeks so that should be in his favour.
Well done for adopting him and with lots of TLC I am hoping he makes a speedy recovery.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:29 AM   #4
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: California
Posts: 13
Default Re: Syrian Hair Loss!

Thanks for the responses! I just heard back from the vet that he does not have ringworm which is great news. That's a great point about his previous conditions- I doubt he was being fed proper nutrients and he definitely did not have any toys or hideaways so bar climbing wouldn't be unheard of. His wheel was solid though, albeit much too small for him. It was the typical plastic critter trail wheel.

I didn't know about urine burns, that sounds awful! Poor guy if that's part of what's going on. I am just glad he is healing up but I will definitely consult my vet about the other issues he may have that you brought up!

Thank you both, hopefully his healing feet are the beginning of his fully recovery!
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