By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS
My daughter’s hamster appears to be dropping or consuming his fur. It appears that his entire underside / stomach is naked, and now he’s engaged on areas on his again. One of his legs seems to be like he’s been engaged on it as effectively. Any concepts as to what may trigger this? My daughter cleans his cage as soon as every week. He appears to be consuming and consuming positive. He’s energetic, particularly at evening. He doesn’t appear to be sick in any approach aside from the dearth of fur on his stomach and spots on his again.
If your hamster is eradicating his hair, that’s termed “barbering.” Hamsters and different animals will do that for a wide range of causes and, sadly, there are lots of occasions that we run the entire diagnostic checks we have now accessible and nonetheless can’t work out why an animal barbers itself.
It is essential, and generally very troublesome, to find out if the hair is simply falling out or in case your hamster is actually chewing or pulling his hair out. The purpose that is so essential is that we have now totally different diagnostic and remedy pathways primarily based on this discriminator — is the hair popping out by itself or is your hamster pulling it out.
If the hair is being pulled out, the 2 main classes for this embrace bodily causes and psychological causes. Physical causes embrace parasites, bacterial infections, environmental pores and skin irritants and natural illness. These are all causes hamster could really feel pores and skin discomfort and chewing out the hair is a method for the hamster to alleviate that discomfort. Psychological causes embrace dominance by one other hamster resulting in displacement habits of pulling out the hair. If your hamster feels “unsafe” in his enclosure or for no matter purpose feels “uneasy” in his enclosure or environment, he could pull his hair out.
How can we inform precisely what’s going on? An examination of the hair and pores and skin can generally lead us to a solution. An outline of the atmosphere and historical past can be useful. Finally, relying on the trigger, remedy could embrace drugs or enhancements to the husbandry to assist the psychological well-being of your hamster.
See all veterinary Q&A about hamsters, click on right here
See the Hamster Health Center, click on right here
See veterinary Q&A for all small animal pets, click on right here