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Hamster scabs and hair loss.

Species: Other
Breed: Dwarf Hamster
Age: 3-6 months
I have a dwarf hamster (it's white with red eyes, if that helps on the breed). It started losing fur on its belly and a red ear in March. It worse, so a couple of months ago I took it to the vet. They treated him for sartopic mites and i give him antibiotics for a staph infection. Neither has worked. He has lost all his fur on his belly, legs, by his ears and now is starting on his back. One eye stays a little swollen looking. We use paper bedding. Any other suggestions of what I can do for him? I called the vet, but they require another office visit, I already paid $100, I can't do another visit.... I have a picture but don't know how to add it here.
Kina


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'd love to see a photo before commenting. You can send it to photos@askavetquestion.com. Thanks!


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for the photos. I've included the two best ones here:

hamster hair loss

hamster hair loss

How frustrating that you have done treatments for mange and antibiotics and he is still not getting better! I have some ideas for you, but unfortunately there is no easy/inexpensive way to get the the bottom of this problem.

The first thing I think of when I see a hamster like this is indeed mange. There are a couple of treatments including revolution (selamectin) which is what we often use as a heartworm/flea preventative on dogs and cats, or oral ivermectin. It sounds like you have tried one of these treatments. They usually do work well, although sometimes the treatment needs to be repeated every 2 weeks for 3 treatments.

The next possibility is a fungal infection. Unfortunately the only way to accurately know this is to send away samples for a fungal culture which is going to increase the cost. Antifungal medicines can help but again, can be expensive and can come with some side effects. Usually oral medicines have to be given (as opposed to creams).

It's also possible that George has a condition called Cushing's disease (more info here, but we usually see this in older hamsters. Plus we don't usually see as many scabs as it looks like George has.

And then, a bacterial infection is possible but really should have been successfully treated by now with the antibiotics.

It's worthwhile to give your vet a call. If you only did a single treatment for mange you could ask if they think you should repeat it. Otherwise, they may be willing to prescribe antifungal medicines....it is possible that they'll want to see him again before doing that though.

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.