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Gerbils & Hamsters/My hamster has dry skin


I have recently noticed that my Russian Dwarf Hamster has got dry skin flaky, which looks like dandruff. I am really worried about him. Is there anything I can do or give to him??

Hi Rebekah

Thanks for your question.  I'm sorry to hear about your hamster.

Dry flaky skin can indicate mites however this is very difficult to treat in dwarf hamsters as the dosage for all the antiparasite treatments that I know are too strong for dwarf hamsters.  It might be worth speaking to a vet to see if they can recommend anything or if there is any way of getting a lower dose.  The drug that is used to kill parasitic infectins is Ivermectin.

If the dry skin is down to hormones or another reason you could try applying aloe vera to the skin which might help soothe it or teatree cream which you can buy in pet shops and 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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