Q:

Why do hamsters go bald?

A:

A hamster goes bald for a variety of reasons, including advanced age, allergies, mites and disease, according to PetMD. As a hamster ages, its fur naturally starts to thin.

If a young hamster develops bald spots, allergies can be the culprit. Other symptoms of allergies include inflamed and flaky skin. A mite infestation causes all of these symptoms. The scent glands, located on the hips, become discolored and obvious as well, taking on the appearance of a rash or scab. A more serious cause of hamster baldness is Cushings Disease, in which case a professional needs to be consulted immediately.

The best treatments for hair loss in hamsters are topical ointments, supplements and antibiotics, although the specific medication depends on the cause of the baldness. For instance, hair loss caused by nutritional deficiencies can be treated through vitamin and mineral supplements. Mite infestation requires antibiotic therapy, while allergic reactions can be treated with topical creams. When using these products, pet owners must follow the instructions carefully. Once a hamster starts treatment, it's important to thoroughly clean and disinfect the cage to prevent the condition from coming back.

In some cases, balding can be prevented by keeping the hamster's cage clean, feeding the hamster a balanced diet and avoiding overcrowding.

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