Alopecia Hair Loss

Causes of Hair Loss

Alopecia is a term for hair loss of the head or body. This conditions is often connected to humans but it can also affect hamsters too. Typically hair loss in hamsters comes with age. Older hamsters can lose their hair due to a lack of protein (less than 16%) or iron in their diet. Other hamster illnesses can cause hair loss including sarcoptic mange, demodex mites, ringworm or disease such as kidney or Cushing’s disease.

Signs and Symptoms

Hair loss in old hamsters. Often this hair loss occurs as patches on the back of the hamster. The loss of hair can however be on the head or other parts of the hamster’s body.


If the hamster alopecia is thought to be caused by a poor diet, you should add more protein into the diet and cut back on cereals. You can give your hamster a drop of cod liver oil daily or yeast tablets in the food once a week. If the hair loss is thought to be caused by an illness or disease, you might need to take your hamster to the vet. See the treatment of mites and mange.

4 comments on “Alopecia Hair Loss

  1. We have a white Syrian hamster that all its fur on its under side is gone. Now, we find a scab on its neck and front paws are turning color. We have used the same bedding for a year, just switched 2 days ago to Aspen. Someone told us a vet recommended for skin problem. The cage gets cleaned weakly, it is 2 habitrails, with tubes connected together.

    • How old is your hamster? in old age, sometimes hamster lose some hair. I think the bedding suggestion was more about not having a bedding that is toxic or an irritant to your hamster. It sounds like you do a god job of cleaning the cage too. If the Aspen doesn’t help, try an even softer bedding like Carefresh.

  2. Info was helpful. However, there are two other hamsters in cage. If it was mites and mange, wouldn’t the other ones experience hair loss too? We only have them a couple of months. Both them all at the same time and they were in cage together at pet store too.

    • Yes, the other hamsters would no doubt have or eventually get mites and mange too. If you can, put the hamster in question into a quarantine cage by itself until you find out what the problem is. Have you noticed that hamster with the hair loss being picked on by the others? A fight between two hamsters could have caused the hair loss but you also would notice some scratches or bites too. Syrian hamsters, when young, do well together but as they get older, they will begin to fight over territory. If you have non dwarf size hamsters, you will need separate cages or at least a cage that has several modules with their own wheels, food and water dishes. The first option is the best solution though and in fact, I would not recommend the later options.

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