Dwarf hamsters are well known because of their furry little bodies. But usually, these hamsters have something different about them that makes them so cute and gives them such a unique name as dwarf hamsters.
Hamsters usually lose hair, but it is called shedding and not baldness like humans do. This article will discuss 10 reasons why hamsters lose hair.
10 Reasons for Dwarf hamster hair loss
Shedding is the most common reason among all other reasons. As said before, it is called shedding and not baldness because humans can’t grow more hair while dwarf hamsters can actually. Hair is replaced every 4 months for Syrian hamsters and every 2 months for dwarf hamsters which is the reason they shed hair, eat it, and then grow new hair.
Female hamsters are most likely to lose their hair during pregnancy because of the great number of hormones that happen inside their bodies which is also the reason for their behavior change like nesting, aggression, etc. But it is not something to be worried about because all of these things will fade away after pregnancy has ended.
Hamster’s bodies are different from humans’ bodies in terms of keeping the body temperature constant. Humans’ temperature is kept constant by sweating, but hamsters are covered in their own fur that they keep their temperature constant by staying in a cold place or becoming less active at warmer places.
Hamsters can easily stay at 28-29 Celsius without any issues which means if the temperature is normal for humans it is also normal for them.
If the dwarf hamster’s skin is irritated by something like allergies, etc. then it can cause them to lose their hair. So if you see that your dwarf hamster has suddenly started losing its hair then make sure that some kind of irritant isn’t affecting your pet’s skin.
Hamsters also lose their hair as they grow older which is a common reason among pets. The older they get, the hairier they become, and sometimes there can be bald spots because of this. But if you see your hamster has started to lose its hair then make sure that it isn’t anything like stress or irritation that could be causing it to lose its hair.
Hamsters have a great metabolism which is the reason they eat so much to keep their bodies going, but sometimes because of this metabolism, they can lose too much weight and then start losing their hair. Dwarf hamster’s diet should contain 10% protein, 5% fat, and 75% carbohydrates. The protein should be around 12%, fat should be 5-7 % and the carbs should always be around 70%.
So make sure your hamster is eating properly to avoid hormonal changes like losing hair.
Dwarf hamsters are known as desert animals because they live in the desert parts of the world where it is very hot and dry. When hamsters are born in those kinds of places, they need to be able to move as soon as possible because there isn’t any water there and if a mother hamster doesn’t see this then her babies can die very easily which is why they start moving at a very early age.
This is great for them because they can move very quickly to avoid any dangers that could be there in the desert but on the other hand, this also causes some health-related issues like hair loss.
The most common reason for hair loss is due to stress. Change in the living environment or diet can cause discomfort and therefore hamsters deal with it by pulling their own hairs (missing patches). Another sign of developing bald spots due to stress is biting the skin around the stomach and creating a bald spot with scabs.
Skin diseases are also a common cause of hair loss. Any skin disease can cause hamsters to pull their hair. In this case, other symptoms also appear such as inflamed skin, itchiness, and redness.
Urinary Problems (bladder stones)
The urinary system can also cause hair loss in hamsters. Hair loss is started from the bottom and then spread to the belly and legs. Other possible symptoms: scratching, biting, painful urination, and blood in urine or feces.
If such hair loss is caused by urinary problems the hamster should go to the vet immediately. Stones can cause more fatal diseases such as death, so it needs urgent treatment.
If your cute little dwarf hamster suddenly starts to pull its hair and has bald patches, the most common reason for this is stress. It’s good idea to check the living conditions and adjust something if it is necessary.
If you want to find out other causes for hair loss, have a closer look at the other symptoms. As mentioned above, it’s important to know that if your hamster has over 40C in his/her cage (even if the room temperature is normal), this can lead to heat stroke and death.
If you want to breed dwarf hamsters you should choose two healthy ones with none of the reasons mentioned above.
Hair loss is not a serious condition but it can cause discomfort to the hamster and it often leads to more serious health conditions (if, for example, it’s caused by parasites). Therefore if you notice any of the symptoms below:
- Scratching and biting of the skin
- Itchiness and redness
- Drooling and weight loss
you should visit the vet. It’s better to be safe than sorry!