Alopecia Hair Loss

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.

How to Hold a Hamster


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.

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34 comments on “Alopecia Hair Loss

  1. Hi there
    My syrian hamster is nearly 3 x years old & his head is bald.
    He’s eating & drinking fine.
    Is he just an old man?

  2. Hello. We recently adopted a Russian hamster not even a year old from the pet store. My husband fell in love with him. However he has alopecia and red eyes. The store said there was nothing more they can to for him. What can cause these problems? I feel so bad for him. My heart breaks when I look at him. I almost feel like he was put on hospice and we are to make him comfortable. Is there anything I can do?

  3. My winter hamster was a very healthy and happy hamster then out of the blue her end side started to get matted and scrunchy ….. I thought she had just been under the water and it would go away but then she started to lose her fur and in a couple days her and dsdide was completely bald no baby hair nothing just skin and I don’t know what to do. … I don’t have the ability to take her to the vet and I have never not kept up with my part like feeding water, new bedding sometimes vegges and I really love her and don’t want to lose her please

    • I’m sorry that no one has responded to you yet, I hope you have found your solution and that things are well.

      An important question in this situation is how old is your hamster and how long you have had it. If the hamster’s habitat is too small or just too crowded, it could be that it is rubbing against things frequently just trying to move around. It could also be the wheel, if a saucer wheel is too small it could cause the hamster to lose fur on it’s side as it rubs against itself. With just the more common wheel, it could not have a wide enough track around it and so the hamster’s side is rubbing against the wheel. I am not very educated on the matter, I am sorry. But, if it’s clear it is not an environmental influence then it is more than likely genetics if it is not acting out of the healthy usual.

    • Ive been told by my vet that my Molly (who ironically is a Boy) lol ooops! with same symptoms that it could be cushings
      Molly is a 1 and half year old Syrian.
      BUT ALWAYS confirm with Vet as it could be anything and you want a proffessional for your beloved Pet and family member
      Knowledge is Power
      Best Wishes

  4. My Russian dwarf hamster is a little over a year old and he is starting to lose hair behind his ears, on his hands and feet and on his belly. Its been a week and it seems worse today as he can be heard screaming when he is in the cage by himself. His appetite is normal but this morning he bit me when i was trying to feed him a treat. The fur is completely gone on his tummy area and he seems weak. He does not even want to play in his activity ball. I read that shedding of fur is normal but he NEVER bites till today. Is he in pain or something?

    • Your hamster very well could be i would say the screaming could be pain. I have heard that they chatter their teeth as well like when your shivering sound and the personality change that isnt normal and you getting bit
      I would say take him/her to the vet
      Im taking mine soon as Molly bit me a couple days ago. Im hearing theeth chatter and when i took out of house 2 days ago as i had her/him in tea towel (which i usually do at cage change in case i need to trim bottom teeth, this time was squirming. Biting at the tea towel I think Molly just wants to be left alone. Not like Molly at all.
      I wish you the best with your Hammey
      Im taking mine to the vet. I dont want Molly in Pain, so want to see if theres meds to make Molly feel Better.

      • My Russian dwarf hamster is loosing fur on the tip of her nisei don’t know if she is getting old or something because she is 1yr old

  5. My long haired Syrian hamster is 7 months old and I just noticed today that the hair on the back of his neck is almost completely gone and his skin is a little red. I have had him since he was 2 months old and have never seen this with him before. He’s acting fine and eating and drinking fine. The hairloss is only on the back of his neck. Not sure what it is …

    • Hey Kat– I may know what your problem is! Hamsters, like mine, often rub against the bars of their cage. If your hamster has mites, they will do this excessively and rub off the fur in that certain area. One of the common symptoms of mites is reddened skin. I suggest visting your vet, its nothing serious but may require treatment.

    • Bring him to the vet. He might have an illness starting, or the food you give him is lacking the nutrients he needs.

    • Could be mange or anything
      Best to see vet
      I say that a lot. But i worked in the field in states as a Vet tech assistant. And know its best to get professional opinion and then ask and learn on what you can do to care for and help your tiny one at home. To live the best Quality of life. Im sure your vet will assist
      They are aware that Money is a concern. If your anything like me we would spend almost anything for our loved babies. But we must be realistic and to most of us thats not an option. See a vet if you can and then just do your best
      If they are still doing most other things and seem Happy and not in pain carry on.
      Best of wishes with your babie

  6. I have a teddy bear hamster and it is by itself in his cage. And suddenly it has just lost a lot of its hair around its back and a little on its legs. I only had it for a year and a half what do I do

  7. I have a teddy bear hamster and she lost a straight line of hair it goes from the top of her head to the middle of her back. We have only had her for a month and do not know how old she is. when there was only a small bald spot we thought maybe she was fighting with her but we separated and she still lost more hair. Her hair looks like It’s starting to grow back. What could cause this?

  8. I have a Campbell Russian dwarf hamster and he has a bald spot behind his ear and he was like almost the youngest of all his brothers and sisters but what’s also weird is that he has a red spot on his arm like a bubble almost he can’t go on his wheel very good so I don’t know if it’s a tumor or just a red spot . I’m worried

  9. I have a 2 robo dwarf hamster and I noticed that one doesn’t have hair in her tail but she acting just fine nothing out of usual…should I be worried ??

  10. I have a robo dwarf and a syrian hamster, they live apart but there cages are next to each other. My robo has hair loss and dry skin on his back. Im not sure how old he is because i rescued him but i would say hes mabe 2. Im not sure weather to treat him for mites or take him to the vets because surely my syrian would have mites too? Really not sure what to do i have tryed vitamins in his water and changed his food.

    • How old is your hamster? It could be that your hamster is just getting old or you might need to get some medications to treat for alopecia, mange or mites perhaps. Are there any other visible symptoms?

  11. 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.

  12. 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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