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Old 08-16-2017, 03:31 PM   #1
JOYRIDING
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Default Unexplained fur loss.

Hi there,
In the last month or so my female syrian hamster, Beau, has been gradually losing fur. She has patches of fur thinning or missing altogether all over her body, near her shoulders, on the top of her head, on her chest and a little near her hips. Her skin looks quite sore and dry (not just where the hair loss is, but all over), and we noticed a little cut in one of the hairless patches on her back where she must have scratched herself. She doesn't seem to be in any pain or discomfort, and she's still eating/drinking/playing normally except we have noticed her getting tired a little faster when playing out of her cage. She is around a year and a half old though so I'm not sure if she's just getting a little tired as she's getting older.
We took her to the vets around 2 weeks ago when we noticed her fur thinning and the vet we saw thought it was either mites or old age, so she gave us a mite treatment and told us to come back if it got worse.
The treatment didn't seem to help at all and Beau's fur was continuing to fall out, her skin looked a bit worse than before and we noticed the little cut she had on her back. We took her back to the vets yesterday and the vet had no idea what the problem was. She doesn't think it's mites because the treatment made no different and the hair loss isn't in the usual areas for mites. She also put Beau under a lamp to look for signs of ringworm and everything looked fine. She didn't seem to think the hair loss would be so quick if it was merely down to old age. She did mention skin cancer as a possibility, but at the moment Beau doesn't seem to be in any distress and she's still very lively so she wasn't sure about that either. In the end, we left with antibiotics just in case she has an infection (which the vet also thought was unlikely).
I know there are lots of very knowledgable hamster owners on this forum and was just wondering if anyone had any ideas? I was also wondering if there is anything I can put on her bald patches to help if its sore for her?

Annie.

Edit: I forgot to mention that she does seem a little thinner to me, and between the first and second vets appointment she went from 211g to 205g, though the first time we visited the vets she had her pouches full of food so the vet estimated 211g accounting for the food.

Last edited by JOYRIDING; 08-16-2017 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:20 PM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Unexplained fur loss.

Fur loss can be caused by a number of things so it's hard to guess really.
Female hams can sometimes lose fur due to hormonal problems, you could try giving a drop of evening primrose oil a day & see it that helps, it's generally good for skin/fur anyway so worth a try.
There is also the possibility of Cushings disease, they usually tend to drink more with this condition too, if it is that it can be treated, Coco's ham Mocho has had Cushing's for some time now & is being treated successfully but I'm not sure how common it is for vets to treat it.
Flax seeds (linseed) & nutritional yeast are beneficial for skin & fur so you could supplement with that too.
At around 18 months you might notice some early signs of ageing & slight fur loss but I wouldn't expect it too be as much as this so I doubt it's age related.
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Last edited by cypher; 08-16-2017 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:02 AM   #3
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Unexplained fur loss.

I saw your post and I thought of Cushings Disease, there's tests that can be done and there's treatment too.
Like Cypher said it could be hormonal and has offered great remedies.
I would find out what your vet can do and ask about Cushings.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Unexplained fur loss.

I don’t have muxh more to add, but in addition to the evening primrose oil you could try giving some flax seeds.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:51 AM   #5
JOYRIDING
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Default Re: Unexplained fur loss.

Thank you all for the advice
I'll buy some evening primrose oil and give it a try. How should I administer it?
I'll try to get some flax. I have some nutritional yeast but I didn't realise hamsters could have it so I'll try that too.
I have read a little about Cushings disease, though I didn't think the hair loss fit the same pattern, but I'll read up some more on it. And I will mention it next time we visit the vet.

Annie.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:53 AM   #6
AprilPearl
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Default Re: Unexplained fur loss.

For the primrose oil, you can just put a drop onto some food that you know she is going to eat straight off. For example, fresh veg or porridge. If she likes it, she may even lick it straight off your fingers. When I had to give it to one of my hams, he liked it so much he would eat it by itself lol.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Unexplained fur loss.

Mine usually will lick it straight from my finger but you could also try mixing with a few dry oats

I hope Beau will be ok.
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