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Old 01-29-2022, 01:19 PM   #1
ShadowNinjaHamster
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 243
Default Losing fur on belly

Hello,
it's me again with another health concern. I am possibly the worst hamster owner ever or have had kind of bad luck.
My hamster has less hair on his upper chest than he did in the summer.



I apologise for the picture quality of the second picture, but he was moving and he doesn't like being on his back at all.
I tried to take a decent picture, but I literally scared him with forcing him to be on his back. He no longer came to my hand. (He usually always comes to me and to my hand whenever I'm close to him or put my hand in his cage or play pen. He was hiding from me for awhile, but I managed to get him home safely from his play pen). He even peed and pooped on me and I don't know how long I tried to get a decent picture for you.

In Summer only the left side of his chest was pink but now the whole chest seems to be pinkish.

The vet told me to keep an eye on that. I don't want to take him to the vet now, because it's windy and cold. Like really cold or should I still do it? How do I keep him warm? I am afraid he'll get sick.

Other than that he has been behaving normally, except now he's ignoring me, but I hope I'll get his trust and love back.

Does anybody have any experiences? I googled "dwarf hamster tummy" and other things, but all the other hamsters had fur. He's my first hamster and I don't know what they should exactly look like.

I don't know how old he is.

Edit: He also scratches himself, but I haven't seen any bugs or anything.

Edit edit: Found an exotic vet in my city. Booked the time and will go in February.

Last edited by ShadowNinjaHamster; 01-29-2022 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 01-29-2022, 08:55 PM   #2
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

Hi again, you may remember me saying before I’m less experienced than others on here. I think fur loss can be influenced by not having dietary balance so make sure he’s having veggies as well as a mix of other foods. It could also be an allergy if you’ve added anything new to the cage. I just think how it looks just focus on spot cleaning, giving veggies and healthy diet mix, and ensuring water is all accessible.

This is my personal opinion and I’m happy for someone to correct me if I’m wrong but I wouldn’t say it looks awful, you can clearly see the pink and a second opinion from a vet would remove any doubt (glad you found an exotic vets!). It may just be something minor or even change in weather but I’m not experienced enough to say really.
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Old 01-30-2022, 02:44 AM   #3
ShadowNinjaHamster
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilafernim View Post
Hi again, you may remember me saying before Iím less experienced than others on here. I think fur loss can be influenced by not having dietary balance so make sure heís having veggies as well as a mix of other foods. It could also be an allergy if youíve added anything new to the cage. I just think how it looks just focus on spot cleaning, giving veggies and healthy diet mix, and ensuring water is all accessible.

This is my personal opinion and Iím happy for someone to correct me if Iím wrong but I wouldnít say it looks awful, you can clearly see the pink and a second opinion from a vet would remove any doubt (glad you found an exotic vets!). It may just be something minor or even change in weather but Iím not experienced enough to say really.
What kind of veggies? He gets salad, cucumber. What else is missing? He doesn't eat apples nor cheese and I think he doesn't eat corn or whatever those yellow things in his seed mix are.
He puts paper in water bowl for whatever reason and I have to change it constantly.

I didn't add anything new, but I recently cleaned all of his cage.
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Old 01-30-2022, 04:21 AM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

I have seen this thinning of fur on the upper chest on most of my dwarf hamsters. It can have many reasons, age related and harmless or it can be a sign of an illness. I really don't want to spekulate on the cause in your hamster because i simply don't know.

When one of my dwarfs has thinning chest fur i check the skin. If the skin looks healthy and there's no excessive scratching or signs of discomfort then i'll wait and see.

If the skin looks red, inflamed, sore or scabby or the hamster scratches a lot in this area then i'll take them to the vet.

A pinch of brown linseeds daily is good for their fur but i'd keep away from fruit. I feed a good dwarf hamster mix, linseeds, mealworms, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, kale, sweetcorn, cauliflower, carrot, peas, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, fresh basil, parsley, all fresh food in moderation. Hamsters have preferences of course, just like humans.

I'm sure you could find a way to keep paper out of his water bowl by placing it on a shelf, platform or flat roofed house.
May i ask why you did a full cage clean? Did you do a complete substrate change?
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Old 01-30-2022, 06:38 AM   #5
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

Again, I am no expert, but if you did a full clean out maybe thatís caused him stress and itís a result of that, or I remember you said where you are it was hard to get paper substrate so perhaps the brand you have might be dusty or cause allergy. As Ria said, thatís what I meant when I said it didnít look awful as it doesnít look inflamed or like heís been scratching at it which doesnít make me think itís something bad or infected. Probably an environment thing but I really am not sure.

Thank you Ria for replying as well as I'm not sure the best diet mix of a dwarf hamster! Iíve just heard diet can influence fur loss before. As Ria said also you could put the water bowl on a flat surface or if you have a pet shop of any sort near you, you could get a drinking bottle and then paper canít get in either. If heís only ever used a bowl though make sure just to use your finger to dab the bottle and show him itís wet so he understands thatís where he can get water from.
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Old 01-30-2022, 12:28 PM   #6
ShadowNinjaHamster
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I have seen this thinning of fur on the upper chest on most of my dwarf hamsters. It can have many reasons, age related and harmless or it can be a sign of an illness. I really don't want to spekulate on the cause in your hamster because i simply don't know.

When one of my dwarfs has thinning chest fur i check the skin. If the skin looks healthy and there's no excessive scratching or signs of discomfort then i'll wait and see.

If the skin looks red, inflamed, sore or scabby or the hamster scratches a lot in this area then i'll take them to the vet.

A pinch of brown linseeds daily is good for their fur but i'd keep away from fruit. I feed a good dwarf hamster mix, linseeds, mealworms, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, kale, sweetcorn, cauliflower, carrot, peas, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, fresh basil, parsley, all fresh food in moderation. Hamsters have preferences of course, just like humans.

I'm sure you could find a way to keep paper out of his water bowl by placing it on a shelf, platform or flat roofed house.
May i ask why you did a full cage clean? Did you do a complete substrate change?
Quote:
May i ask why you did a full cage clean? Did you do a complete substrate change?
Yes, because the cage was smelly. Before that I tried spot cleaning but even after doing the full cage clean I couldn't find anything nor his poop or pee.
I use the same paper bedding all the time.

Quote:
I have seen this thinning of fur on the upper chest on most of my dwarf hamsters.
That actually made me feel a little better. Because when I was trying to look from Google every hamster had fur. I will go to the vet anyways, but the sad news is that they're fully booked and I have to wait for 2 weeks.

MEALWORMS!!! I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR MEALWORMS LIKE CRAZY! I CAN'T FIND THOSE ANYMORE AT ALL! I am not kidding. So he has been getting peanuts for hamsters.

Hmm, kind of think about it I once saw my hamster stepping in a water bowl (yes, he had enough space to go around, but I guess it was the direct way to food, so why take extra turns?)

And I also switched the place of the water bowl and he built a nest where the water bowl used to be.

I'll wait and see what the vet has to say as well.

He was just squeaking very loudly a couple minutes ago and I went to check what's going on and he was sleeping on his back and running. I didn't wake him up.
Update: he's awake now and seems to be doing fine. His behaviour is normal.
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Old 01-30-2022, 12:30 PM   #7
ShadowNinjaHamster
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilafernim View Post
Again, I am no expert, but if you did a full clean out maybe thatís caused him stress and itís a result of that, or I remember you said where you are it was hard to get paper substrate so perhaps the brand you have might be dusty or cause allergy. As Ria said, thatís what I meant when I said it didnít look awful as it doesnít look inflamed or like heís been scratching at it which doesnít make me think itís something bad or infected. Probably an environment thing but I really am not sure.

Thank you Ria for replying as well as I'm not sure the best diet mix of a dwarf hamster! Iíve just heard diet can influence fur loss before. As Ria said also you could put the water bowl on a flat surface or if you have a pet shop of any sort near you, you could get a drinking bottle and then paper canít get in either. If heís only ever used a bowl though make sure just to use your finger to dab the bottle and show him itís wet so he understands thatís where he can get water from.
I don't know. I've used the same brand for a long time, but now the main difference is that he's sleeping outside and hasn't covered his 'nest' up and I can clearly see him. Before he was sleeping in the house.
I have a drinking bottle, but I've never seen him use it. I feel safer with water bowl, because I've seen him drinking from there.
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Old 01-30-2022, 01:16 PM   #8
Ria P
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

Have you tried a garden centre, hardware store or anywhere they sell food for wild birds? They usually sell mealworms as well.
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:21 AM   #9
ShadowNinjaHamster
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
Have you tried a garden centre, hardware store or anywhere they sell food for wild birds? They usually sell mealworms as well.
There is no garden centre in Poland.
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Old 01-31-2022, 09:53 AM   #10
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Losing fur on belly

Anywhere with bird supplies should have some, I know Poundland there is called dealz in Poland and they have some (maybe not super juicy ones but better than nothing). I personally wouldnít recommend peanuts as a replacement for mealworms as they are both good for protein but peanuts are high in fat too. They still can be good occasionally though, just as a replacement I think a plain bit of chicken is fine or a bit of boiled egg with no seasoning as these are protein sources. Iím sure mealworms must be around somewhere though.
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