Gerbils & Hamsters/hamster



We adopted a hamster that had been sick in the past.  When we got him he was healthy and had a bald spot on his back.  Now after about 8 months, I noticed he has thinning and bald spots all over and little scabs. His right ear looks dried up and like shredded and under his right ear is this bump with a scab on it.  There is no discharge, he just seems very very dry in those parts. I am not sure what to do?

Hi Yadi

Thanks for your question.  I'm sorry to see the photos of your hamster - he does look poorly.

If you know a vet who specialises in small animals then I would suggest getting him examined.

Have you put him on any anti parasite medication?  If not, it would be good to do this.  You apply it externally, so make sure the area where you put it isn't sore or broken skin otherwise it will really sting him - looking at how sore his skin is I'm not sure how easy this would be.  You can either get this medication from a vet, or you can get some varieties in pet shops.  The important thing is that it must contain the drug Ivermectin.  Beaphar make a small animal anti parasite medication that is suitable for hamsters.  Follow the instructions carefully - you usually repeat the dosage a few weeks later.

You could also try and help reduce the inflammation/soreness by applying aloe vera or tea tree cream (this is a natural antiseptic and is available in pet shops) to the skin - this might help, although I doubt he will like it.  If you do this you might want to remove any wood chip from his cage for a few days so that it doesn't get stuck to him- just put in paper bedding.

If there is no improvement after this, or if he gets worse,  then I would strongly advise that he sees a vet if he hasn't already.  If you don't know of any then it is worth phoning around - usually they offer a reduced fee for a hamster, but it is important that they specialise in small animals.

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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