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Gerbils & Hamsters/My Syrian hamster has a crusty ear


Hi there, my Syrian hamster boy Fumbles has a crusty ear. He's 2 years old right now. Its only one of his ears that is crusty. He's had it for a week now.

I also have a younger Syrian boy named Punky who been having this crusty symptom in in ear as well as on his body near his sent glands. He's had it for much longer, I'd say since November.

Its cold outside where I live and my apartment building's heaters have been giving out lots of heat lately. Could the heat in my apartment be the cause of of Punky's dry skin and Fumbles crusty ear?? What can I do to remedy this? Please and thank you.

Hi Lynette

Thanks for your question.

Regarding Punky - some hamsters lick their scent glands a lot and this can cause the area to become pronounced or dry.  You shouldn't apply anything to this area otherwise you will affect their scent gland.  Regarding his and Fumbles's ears - this could be due to temperature changes. Hamsters can also suffer with skin problems - if there are mites and they have been scratching etc.  As they get older their skin can go a bit dry and scabby.

If you haven't treated them for mites it might be worth doing this - you can buy the treatment in pet shops.  Beaphar make a small animal anti parasite drug - check it is the one for hamsters.  It is applied externally on the back of the neck, and the dose is repeated a couple of weeks later.  This might help.

Otherwise, if you gently wipe away the crusty area and see what the skin is like underneath.  If it looks sore, you could apply aloe vera or teatree cream which is a natural antiseptic.  

I hope this helps you.


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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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