Ringworm Fungus

Causes of Ringworm

Ringworm hamster illness is caused by a fungus. Contrary to the name ringworm, it’s not actually a ring shaped worm; though its appearance does resembles that. The medical term for this skin condition is called tinea. When the contagious fungus gets into the living environment, it burrows into the skin and hair follicles of the ears and body of a hamster. (Note: Ringworm is contagious and can be passed from pet to pet, or even to humans; take precautions.)The main cause for ringworm to be present is due to excessive dampness and humidity. A hamster habitat with enclosed spaces that don’t have a good deal of ventilation are especially vulnerable to ringworm outbreaks. In these environments, the hamster bedding can often become damp which is an ideal place for fungus to thrive.

Signs and Symptoms

There are several signs and symptoms of a hamster that is infected with the ringworm fungus. The most noticeable is patchy spots on the body where hair loss has occurred. The skin can be dry and flaky and itchy with a yellowish color. Together, these symptoms can make it look like there is a round worm under the skin but in fact, again it’s just a fungus. Next, we will discuss how to take care of a hamster with ringworm and fungus infections.


Treat a Hamster

We highly recommend consulting a vet first to get an appropriate treatment recommendation.Since ringworm is contagious, you should wear gloves and wash your hands when ever handling a sick hamster with a fungus or its hamster accessories. This means it is also important to isolate any sick hamster from other pets.Treat you hamster with an antifugal shampoo as instructed on the packaging. Shampoos that might do the trick include ingredients such as miconazole, povidone iodine or keratolytic. With long haired hamster breeds, you should trim the hair down so when you apply the shampoo, the medicine penetrates into the infected areas and hair follicles.As a last resort, you can try griseofulvin that is used for treating dogs and cats. There can be side effects to this medication, hence why it should be used as a last resort.

Prevent ringworm by keeping your hamster cage well ventilated to decrease the moisture buildup inside the cage. You should change the bedding and clean the cage routinely to help keep things clean and healthy.

Reviewed By: Tim Winter

Tim Winter has a strong affection for pets and wildlife. His years of experience caring for various types of pets has led him to share his knowledge with others on the best practices in pet care. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications.

14 thoughts on “Ringworm Fungus”

  1. I have a long hair Syria hamster and when I bought her I found this little scab on her back. I looked at it and it only looked like a scab so I ignored it. It’s been ab three weeks and I was handling her and saw a wet spot on her back. I looked at it and it was in the same area as scab. There are a bunch of little black scabs now and it is red in that area. Is that ringworm?

  2. My hamster snowflake has ringworms and it’s getting worse I have been puttin on the ointment my mom bought twice a day and it help for a while but it’s getting worse I keep telling my mom to not use wood shedding but she doesn’t listen . What should I do ?

  3. I’m scared because I’ve been holding my hamster without any protective things. He has been losing hair for a few months. I’ve taken him to the vet but my local vet doesn’t know about hamsters. I think he might have this.

  4. Im 12 , i just noticed today that my hamster got ringworm i washed everything, It only started like in January 2017 that when i went to change his bedding it was all wet , i thought it was his bottle so i thought okay it happened once and a while now March 2 ,2017 i checked on him and he got ringworm fungus. Im so thankful that you guys know about these and also my hamsters name is Chip he is a drawf hamster and the ring worm is on his stomach so i dont know how to clear his fur from there also about the ears it was flaky so how do i cure that

  5. I have had crispy stuff I’m my hamsters eyes and on he’s thing it was bleeding and he’s a boy
    And when I wipe my hamster down I see bloches of white stuff on his back

  6. Hi, for about 2 weeks now I have started to notice big bald patches all over my hamsters body. The started to appear around his chest area and have spread all over his chest, a couple spots on his face and around his ears. Is there anything I can do to treat it or help it or do i need to take him to the vet? Thanks.

  7. I found this site because my Syrian hamster doesn’t look so well. This is the only topic that kind of fits what maybe going on. I have never owned a rodent before and I am so scared that Mustafa is sick. He had a red, bald spot between his eyes and it went away after a couple of days. He has remained active. But tonight after work when I was getting him ready to go in his ball for some exercise I noticed that where the red spot was now has a greenish spot.. I am mortified that he is sick!

  8. Hi! my hamster Billy is a syrian hamster and all of a sudden i went to come feed him and i noticed he had bald patches on his face and neck do you think this could be ringworm and should i take him to a vet. He seems to be acting fine and i do not notice and green.. What should i do?

    • It cold be. See if the bald areas are also red and scratchy or looks like ring worms. Bald patches could be these things too: Acariasis, Alopecia, Mites or even caused by rubbing against objects, a fight or just old age. In terms of old age, hair loss is usually seen on the lower back. Try to narrow it down and then see if you need a vet.

  9. Hiya this a great website for me! I have two hamsters that I’m worried about them so whenever I am I go here! Thank you so much for making this website!!! It has everything and more that I need. I hope you get more good reviews, sorry that this comment isn’t about fungal infections, but it was the page I was on when i reliazed how wonderful and helpful this website was. Once again, thanks so much!

    • That’s okay that your comment wasn’t about this post. Thanks for the nice words about the site. Hamsters are great pets and I just want to make sure people get the best information they need to keep their pets happy and healthy.

      • Hi, I have 2 robo-dwarfs and I believe they have ringworms because of the dry,red, and irritated spots on their lower backs. They have been itching, skittish, and lazier lately and I think it’s from the rashes. I realized the rashes size today it was a little larger them the top of a pencil eraser on my hamster marmalade and I was wondering one more way to treat it and what would happen if it didn’t get better?

        Please reply URGENT thank you

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