Gerbils & Hamsters/dwarf hamster


For Christmas my daughter was given 3 dwarf hamsters. They was bought from the same store, but one of them is losing it's fur on it's back legs. The other two are seem fine. Is this normal? Will it be okay?

Hi Charlotte

Thanks for your question.

How are your hamsters behaving?  Are they getting on OK?  The reason for asking is that sometimes with a group of dwarf hamsters they pick on one of them and tend to nip at their rear end.  I wondered if this is why the fur is thin. If they are fighting, then it is important to monitor them in case the fighting or bullying gets serious - in which case you would need to separate out the one being bullied.  Be careful because once you have separated them you can't put them back together.

Hamsters can also get skin problems that can cause fur loss.  One of my Syrians has lost most of her fur and looks really strange.  This can be down to hormonal changes in which case there is little that can be done, although adding a drop of evening primrose oil (the type you buy in capsule form from health shops) to fresh vegetables might work.   What does the skin look like?  Is it dry, or red? If this is due to a skin problem, such as eczema or similar then you could apply a little aloe vera or tea tree cream which is a natural antiseptic.  However, if you do apply anything to this hamster it is important you also put a little on the other two hamsters otherwise they will definitely fight as you will have singled out this one.

I hope this helps.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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