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Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4909
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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My hamster seems to have two patches of hair loss with one

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My hamster seems to have two patches of hair loss with one of them having a circular healed wound
JA: I'll do all I can to help. When did the hamster get this wound? Is there any bleeding or swelling?
Customer: The first wound was last weekend, it looked like a gash with some bleeding but no blood dripping out, there was a little bit of hair loss around the wound. This then scabbed over and healed so I assumed he must have scratched himself on something. Then today I saw a large area between his ear and face with no hair and a bit of redness on his skin (no bleeding) It does seem like he is itching more also
JA: And what's the hamster's name and age?
Customer: Ripley 10 months old Campbell russiam
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: It seems as though there is a teeny bit of hair loss near the other ear, but I can't tell whether the hair has always been a little thinner or if this is new I have taken a video if that helps

Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet.

I'm sorry to hear Ripley has this issue.

Could you please send a clear photo of these lesions?

Does he live with any other animals?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I have a video but I can't see a way to send this to you?Ripley doesn't live with any other animals. He has his own enclosure and his sister pixel has her own enclosure and I don't ever put them together.

That's helpful, thank you.

And is he otherwise well; eating, active and passing normal stool?

If you cannot attach a photo to video here you can email me at***@******.***

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Yep he's very active, eating and drinking well and passing normal stool! The video is too large my apologies I will try and get a photo or a better video.

That's great.

Thank you, ***** ***** help.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I have attached a shortened video over email and attempted to send you an invite to access the full video via Google drive. Hopefully that works.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
He's such a speedy boy it's difficult to get pictures of him

Unfortunately when I click the video it says I do not have access to see it.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I sent it via email also?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Or try this link ^

That's perfect, I can see it.

What a sweet little guy!

I am just typing my full reply now.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
That's great! He is a sweetie! Perfect thank you!

Some balding behind the ears is perfectly normal and can become more obvious as a hamster gets older. So, symmetrical fur los behind ears, when the skin appears normal, is 100% normal.

HOWEVER, as I can see from the video there appears to be a separate patch of fur loss and as you say Ripley is also a bit itchy, I do suspect there is a little something more going on here.

The most likely causes would include an ear infection, ear mites, ringworm (a fungal infection) or skin mites.

Ideally, we would have Ripley seen in person so a vet can examine the skin and ears and take any necessary swabs to look at under the microscope.

If this isn't possible, there are a few things we can try at home.

I would use Xeno spot-on, which is a topical Ivermectin that should eliminate any parasites. Do also deep clean the housing at the same time. You can get this from Pets at Home or Amazon.

You can purchase Chlorhexidine (Hibiscrub) from a chemist (e.g. Boots or Superdrug). You dilute it 1:10 with water so it is pale pink and apply a small amount to the affected areas for 5 minutes each day with a cotton bud. After, use a wet cotton bud or cotton wool to rinse the fur. No need for a full bath! This is done for 5 days and can help to treat bacterial or fungal infections.

Consider trimming the claws short if very sharp, though only if he will let you.

It can also be sensible to try and keep him occupied when you can with different games and toys to play on.

Finally, try to think if anything has changed recently e.g. his food or bedding, as he could have an allergy to the new product.

If his signs continue or worsen, a vet visit would really be for the best.

I do hope this helps!

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
This was incredibly helpful! Thank you so much!

Very happy to be of help!

Take care and all the best to little Ripley.

Linda Simmon and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you