Skin Sores

Skin Sores on Hamsters

Signs and Symptoms

Skin sore can occur anywhere on an injured hamster but mainly these can be found on the underside of the hamster’s belly, legs, face and scent glands. These sores an be described as open wounds on the surface of the skin. They will appear raw, red and occasionally bleeding.


There are many causes for skin sores to appear on an hamster.

  • If the belly of the hamster has sores and it’s also an elderly hamster, these can be caused by scratchy bedding. Even if your hamster bedding has always been the same, when a hamster gets old, its skin can become sensitive.
  • If the chin of the hamster is covered in sores, it could be causes be a leaky water bottles that runs down its chin or from rubbing it’s face on the bars of its wire cage.
  • If the scent glands of a male hamster has open sores, this could be caused from excessive grooming or licking.
  • A hamster that constantly rubs its face on the bars of its cage can be the result of anxiety or stress caused by a cage that is too small.
  • If the legs of a hamster contains skin sores and you have a metal exercise wheel, the wheel can be the cause.

Treat Hamsters

You can treat a hamster’s skin sores by using Betadine (topical antiseptics), hydrogen peroxide and an antibiotic ointment. a salt water solution can also be used to clean the wounds. To prevent the skin sores from returning: remove the cause of the sores. Remove sharp or abrasive accessories; get a solid exercise wheel without metal rungs; change the bedding to softer material; and give your hamsters plenty of room to run around.

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73 comments on “Skin Sores

  1. i have a two Russian dwatf hamsters one has a red spot on his belly and the hair around the spot is gone he is drinking and eating normal what should i do

  2. Hi-
    Last week my daughter was playing with our dwarf hamster 🐹 Hammy! She noticed a little scab on her head. Well just the other day after we treated that scab with peroxide it fell off and now this week is enormously grown and hair loss and her head looks to be so much bigger like three times the size!! I think it is a tumor with a scab now just smaller than a dime on her tiny little cute head! I know for sure she’s at least 2 years cause I have taken her on a year and a half ago and my aunt had her at least six months maybe more she can’t remember. Anyways what do I do how do I fix this or is it old age or possibly chewing on the cage door again? She’s eating and drinking and pooping well so I see. Doesn’t seem to have wet tail or anything so just curious if anyone has had anything alike to this? Thank you for any feed back and happy 🐹 to all you pet owners!! ❤️😍🍭

  3. My name isJulie just wondering how many time a day I can use benadine on my hamster wound on his back

  4. My female russian dwatf hamster has what looks like crust behind her ears. Eating drinking normal not acting ill. Can’t afford vet but i can buy medication.

  5. My hamster has a bump on the corner of her lip and I’m trying to figure out what it is exactly… if anyone knows ways of treating it and getting it to heal I would really appreciate it(:

  6. hi…… I have a question my Syrian hamster has 2 black spot I’m not for sure if it’s dirt or what but she has it on both side right next to her rib’s and she also got sore not bad sore but it look’s like she screech in that spot to much but she got a little sore and she also has in the same spot that looks like she got a sore with something madden in her fur but I’m not for sure what it is can someone plz help me and tell me what it could be.

  7. my dwarf hamster is around 2 years old and was in a shelter for several months, he has a sore on his stomach and chews at it, he has other issues like a hole in his leg and is very aggressive and I don’t know what to do

    • Try to gently rinse it out when you can. Also make sure he/she has lots of baths to keep it from spreading and clean his/her cage as much as possible. This will only work if it’s a bacterial infection, if it’s cancerous or doesn’t subside go to the vets in hopes that they can help.

  8. I noticed my hamster recently has a red spot on his back and there is some fur but it’s clearly noticeably getting shorter. He has also been scratching a lot, what should I do?

    • My hamster has the same issue. I noticed it grows and shrinks. It’s more of a scab than a sore though. I’m thinking it might be caused by dry skin and excessive scratching.

      • My hamster has same issue
        A trip to vet has us treating with a topical medication for mites (revolution for cats carefully dosed for hamsters)
        I think it contains ivermectin?
        4 days in she seems no different. Retreat every 2/3 weeks for 3 times changing bedding weekly ( and cleaning cage) I am hoping it works.

  9. I just recently got a male Russian dwarf hamster from a friend, so I am unaware of the age and my friend doesn’t know either. The underbelly is all bloody and has a hole in it like the article says. There are no metal bars, no water bottles, but maybe excessive grooming, I don’t know. I will also change the bedding. What is softer than wood shavings that I can use? First time hamster owner

      • Oh goodness no please do not use cotton bedding! It can kill your hamster as they often eat their bedding and store it in their cheek pouches to move it around when nesting! The fluffy material will get stuck in their pouches and cause an infection, and can also get stuck in their digestive tract making it impossible to digest any food. Soft bedding such as Kaytee Clean Comfort and Carefresh bedding are great alternatives- completely safe and just as soft.

      • No no no never use anything cotton it will kill them get educated before you do this use only Kaytee or care fresh

    • I recommend Kaytee care fresh it is very soft and I also recommend you to buy Vaseline and put it on its sore! Trust me it will work wonders! Have a nice day

    • You can grab some colourful shavings, they’re made of a cotton texture and my hamster absolutely loves them. They last longer, smell better, and look adorable with all the colours.

  10. Hello,
    I have a winter white Russian dwarf hamster called Monty. He’s approx 2 years and 4 months old (was around a year whan I adopted him because someone took him back to the shop ☹). Anyway, I’ve had him for just under 18 months and in the past month he’s been going down hill. He cannot walk properly and is falling all over the place (we think he might have had a stroke) but is still eating and drinking. I’ve taken everything but his bed and food bowl and water bottle out of his cage. A couple of days ago I noticed a sore behind his ear that he keeps scratching. He’s having a lot of fresh fruit and veg, I hold the water bottle infront of him to make sure he’s drinking and am constantly hand feeding him as well as him eating himself. I wasn’t sure if there’s anything that I can put on it or what could have even causes it?
    I have asked vets regarding the possible stroke and they said they wouldn’t do anything as he is still eating and drinking. I’m just giving him a lot of TLC at the mo, but want him to be as comfortable as possible.

    Rebecca x

  11. hi.
    i was wondering what is there to put on for hamster skin sores, my hamster is 2 year and 4 month old syrian which iv noticed hes lost his hair around the face and on his belly/legs, iv also been sanitising his cage/house everything and changed his bedding from where he sleeps from hay to softer wolly type bedding, gonna see if toilet roll would work/help him, i know hes an old boi, but iv tried everything cod liver oil gave him veg to have as vitamins, dont wanna send him to the vet as i cannot afford to, already forked out vet bills on a cat so just wondered if theres anything else i can do to help him.
    kind regards
    Anne marie

  12. i have a dwarf master that is around 2 moths old but a couple of weeks ago i noticed he started getting what looked like nose bleeds. it then stopped but came back. he also has sores on his nose and is losing hair around the noes area. i use normal toilet paper for bedding and he seems to really like it. i am not sure what to do or what it can be. he seems fine otherwise, he runs and plays but i have noticed he has been scratching hi nose quite often. would appreciate some advise or help.

    • That sounds like my hamsters symptoms when I found out she had a allergy to wood shavings. Try switching wood shavings (if your using them) to something like carefresh if that is the problem symptoms should clear up if not take him to the vets 🙂

  13. I have a fancy hamster recently he got this huge bubble right by his mouth and nose. It looks horrible. I made saline solution and put neosporn on it,its not changing. I think its from him bitting on his cage. What can i do to help him? Should i pop it and clean it with peroxide? I cant afford to take him to the vet. Also since he’s had that sore another weird bubble,it looks like a blood blister us on his front paw right next to his claw,should i pop and clean that one? Is he going to die? Please help. We have little wood chips or shavings for his bedding. Please help i cant afford to take him to the vet,but i want him better.thank you

  14. My female hamster are 1yr and 6 month old.some red spot in his back i am so worried about what i do because in my city not any wet for hamsters
    Please give me h some ideas what i do please say something

  15. My female hamster just had babies a week ago and all of a sudden tonight I found blood in her fluff and look at her belly. She has this huge whole. It’s raw and red. What is this from and how do I help her. Not sure if it’s the babies that bit her open or how to help her tonight. The vets are closed.

  16. My hamster is getting old and losing all her hair she is developing sores all over there is particularly a large red one on her lower back HELP ME I don’t know what to do.

  17. My female hamster has these scabs on her belly around her nipples and some on her nipples she has babies and eats them. What is wrong and what can I do?

  18. My two Sunfire DJs have identical wounds on their front left paws. There’s no bleeding yet, but they are definitely red in coloration and may be slightly swollen. I’ve read that a thyme tea soak may cure that; is this something I should do or should I try something else? Any advice is great!

  19. My 2 Russian hamsters have a small patch of skin on both sides of their lower back that has grey hair that grows thicker than the rest of theirs fur, and when I pinch it.. thick yellow ooz comes out almost like when you pop a blackhead. What is wrong!? !Someone please help me!
    !Tell me what’s wrong!

    • It sounds like a skin infection, remove any fur that willingly releases. wash with hydrogen peroxide & apply a triple antibiotic ointment. Do that 2-3 times each day until there is no more pus, and/or new fur grows.

      • Hey my name is bethanie my hampster has a hole in her side how & what can I do to help fix it? She is a part of our family & my 9 year old daughter is very attached to her so I wanna try to get this fixed asap.. please reply asap

  20. I adopted my hamster and noticed some brown scab spots. Her background is not know and I issued it would just heal. I noticed when she was drinking water and had her hand up there was one on her arm. There could possibly more. What can I do about them? No hairloss is happening just the scabs and she is fine

  21. I’ve had my dwarf hamster for a year and a half now and lately she has these sores right behind her ears. The left side isn’t as bad but the right ear’s sore is pretty big(at least to me it is, since she is only a dwarf hamster). I’m not sure what the cause of it could be because she hasn’t been acting any differently(eats and drinks regularly, doesn’t groom herself any more than usual) and I’ve kept her with the same regimen since I have gotten her. Would you have any recommendations on how to treat bigger sores or at least help to heal them?

  22. I gave my hamster a bath wen i was drying him off I notice he had a long stratch by his eyes to his cheeks a few days later in the same area he loss hair and now the stratch is scaly looking red im not sure if its a scab or a sore idk if thats a sign of it healing or is it getting worse is it infected? he’s not acting the same because a week ago my 5yrs old went in the cage n drop him by accident the hamster bit him, my hamster had blood coming from his mouth n he wasnt really moving he had a close fracture I cleaned him up and try my best to nurse him back to a good health ..I can tell his bones is healing now because he’s walking n moving his limbs around again just a little bit tho, he’s not eating I have to hand feed him n he will only eat the lettuce or apple but not his hamster food like before, I give him some water out of his water bottle he only drink jus a lil all he want to do is sleep he dnt play with his toys or climb his cage which is understandable cause his leg still got to heal more it take (2-12)weeks for their bones to heal I did a lot of research…one of his eyes is more squinted n crusty then the other eye…im not sure if thats because hes sleeping more then usual or if he have a eye injury or pink eye or a infection?…if anyone can answer my questions i have and let me know what i can do and use to make sure my hamster have a full good recovery please inform me and let me know my 5 yrs old cry all the time now because our hamster is like family to us and plus this is his first pet..Thank you

  23. Our 2 hamsters had sores on their belly’s, I looked it up and it was an infected belly button. The sores were about the size of a dime. We gave the both a little bath in a mixture of warm water with a little dish soap and some vinegar. Then sprayed there belly’s with bactine. It has taken about 2 weeks but they have healed.

  24. My hamster has a red-ish tail and what seems to be a cold sore by his mouth. And i am scared to say this but it seems like there is something harmful on his tounge. Also he is half of the size of his twin brother. What should I do???

  25. My hamster has had sores for a few weeks now. She is barely eating, her eyes are now glued shut with scabby sores. She is walking slow and seems to be slowly dying. She is almost 2 yrs. what can I do. I been cleaning it with perioxide it, but she hates it. It seems to hurt her when it cleans the wombs.

  26. Our Hampstead is 2yrs and 8 months. He has lost fur around his neck and by his ears. The skin is so pink and has red sores where he has been bleeding. He seems ok but I’m so worried that it my get worse. His bedding is so soft so tthat can’t be the corse. He has wood chip where he plays and he has a plastic wheel. Please could you help me to help his condition as my daughter loves her Hampster and we both don’t want him to suffer in anyway.
    Many thanks
    Mrs C Grant

  27. Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by worms. Ringworm occurs when a hamster’s skin becomes infected with a fungus. The most common ringworm-causing fungi are

  28. Is Natural Aspen bedding bad for your hamster i tell my mom that it is probably irritating her skin because she has scars. So tomarrow im geting betatine.

  29. My hamster has scars and there not bleeding there is a centimeter scar on her back in the middle and a few on her belly. I’m wondering if its her bedding but i had it for awhile and it is the thin chip bedding and i use the green hae over it so she can eat the hae and her treats.

  30. I’m not really sure how to diagnose my hamster’s problems exactly I think they’re skin sores but I’m not sure. I noticed today that he has two or three red spots on his belly that have no fur and they have scabs in the middle, and he doesn’t have bugs, he’s had the same type of bedding since I got him, the wheel is plastic, and his nails are long but they’ve never been a problem before (there’s a rock in his cage but he doesn’t scratch it) – besides he normally scratches his belly with his teeth, which are also long… but I’m nervous about him because I don’t know if he’s hurting himself, so how can I treat him? I haven’t noticed any excessive grooming lately since I just noticed today. By the way he’s over a year old for sure but I’m not sure if he’s very close to two years old.

    Sorry this is so long I wanted to be specific and thanks in advance if you read this and come up with an answer 🙂

    • You can try a mild antiseptic to clean the infected areas. It could just be some scratches that need to heal. If more spots start to appear, it might be a hair/skin issue like mange. see this post for more info on that. And of course, you can consult a vet for an expert opinion.

  31. My dwarf hamster has a cut on the underside of her belly and she is unable to move, but she won’t let me flip her over to clean it, and I’m really worried. I don’t know what caused it, she is a year and a half old

    • look for any sharp edges in the cage and remove or cover them. If you have other hamsters in the cage, observe their interactions to make sure they are not fighting. You can use some manuka honey (not toxic to hamsters) to cover the wound if it is bleeding. You can also try sliding a q-tip soaked in some mild antiseptic underneath the belly as the hamster stays upright. It’s not the most thorough way to clean and inspect the wound but at least it is something.

  32. My brand new hamster has a blister looking sore on the inner part of his rear leg. I don’t want him to be in pain or bite it. What can I do to treat it?

    • you can try applying a thyme tea mixture using a washcloth or q-tip directly on to the blister. It might help reduce the swelling. You can also try feeding her some dandelion leafs which also helps with swelling. If there are areas/toys in the cage that she might be rubbing on that is the cause of the blister, either remove those items or cover the areas in question so the issue doesn’t continue.

  33. My 2 year old hamster have several wound near his belly. He keeps licking them. I use toilet paper as bedding. What is a softer option? I am really worried about his sores. Do you think they can heal?

    • you can use some manuka honey to help protect the wounds. It’s safe for hamsters so if it keeps picking at it, it won’t be an issue.

  34. My hamster got sores on each of his sides because of a metal wheel I had. He’s had them for quite a while. He keeps licking them. Is it ok to put triple antibiotic ointment on the sores?

    • some owners have used it but others say it is bad for hamsters. If your hamster is prone to licking its wounds, you might try manuka honey. it’s safe and helps wounds heal. If anything, you an antiseptic and just clean the injured areas….and get a better wheel.

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