Hamster rash question.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by luvmychicknkids, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I know, it sounds strange. My oldest son's beloved hamster, Rose, has somehow acquired a rash on her chest, neck, and mouth. It is very red and swollen. We have 3 hamsters and 2 mice, all housed separate (except the mice live together). All get the same exact bedding and care and nothing has changed recently. None of the others have this problem. I cleaned her cage a few minutes ago and carefully checked for anything that could be causing an irritation....nothing found. I searched her little body carefully, too, and didn't find any mites or anything. There is no vet in the area that takes care of rodents so I am totally on my own with this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My son is worried sick and I must admit, her granny (yeah, that's me) is too. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Interesting... I had a hamster once end up with a patch of dry skin and redness with hair loss... no idea why except he was over 2 years old at the time. Middle of the top of it's head and down it's back but it went away in like two weeks and his hair came back just before he died. Reminded me of mange. I was like 12 at the time so didn't know what to do and it was just a "short tailed rat" acording to my mom. Hope you can find an answer to your hammy.
     
  3. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

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    Yeah, this kinda reminds me of mange, too. She is simply NOT allowed to die, however (I really hope she understands this)!!! She is only about 1 1/2 years old and should live about 4 with excellent care. His Syrian lived almost a year past her "expiration date" so I am hoping for the same from this girl.
     
  4. NoelTate

    NoelTate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Mobile, AL
    I have raised hamsters for several years and have never seen one with a rash, so you have me stumped on this one. There are two sites where you might get some good info...Hamsters Galore and Hamsters in Focus. They are both posting boards smiliar to this one. Do you have a pic of the hamster? You could post it there, or if you could post it here I could send it to a couple of people. Two of the top breeders in the country are Linda Price out in CA (AAAhamstery) and a guy named Dave up in MD (Chesapeake Hamstery). I'd be happy to forward a pic to them and see if they recognize what's going on. Is there any chance of parasites? I would start by dumping the litter and dousing the cage in bleach, then rinse it well and maybe even change litter for that hamster for a while to see if that helps. They can be bathed, although the usually don't need it. Just be sure they stay very, very warm and out of drafts afterwards. I'd bath her, dry her off, then cover her cage and put it on top of a heating pad until she was good and dry.
     
  5. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

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    Floresville, Texas
    Thanks....I will see if she will let me get a pic of it in a bit. I carefully checked her for any parasites and didn't find anything, plus the mice and one other hamster are in separate cages in the same room. So, if it was a parasite I think it should be on them too. We have had her for over a year, since she was just a few months old. All of them, in fact. No new rodents have entered the house (except frozen for the snakes) in a VERY long time. She uses that grey recycled paper litter and shredded paper bedding. I did a thorough clean on her cage last night. Anyway, will see about that pic after I get the kids settled in. Thanks a bunch.
     
  6. NoelTate

    NoelTate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing I did think of...is she a rex coat, by chance? And does she actually have a rash, or is it just spots where the hair fell out? Syrians with the rex coat sometimes have a wierd genetic quirk where they lose patches of hair for some unknown reason. The hair comes back in, they don't seem to be bothered by it at all, and we have no idea why it happens, but it has only been seen in rexes as far as I know.
     
  7. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

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    Well, she wasn't willing to 'pose' in a position where the rash would show and got quite upset when I tried to flip her over for the pic. So, I didn't manage anything that you could tell. She is a black, standard short haired, syrian. The only thing I can think of that MIGHT mean something is a recent water bottle change. Hers broke and the new one sits at a strange angle, one that is obviously unpleasant for her. I am wondering if she might be rubbing herself when she gets a drink. The areas are hairless and look raw and irritated. I can try a different bedding, but is there one that would be gentler than the recycled paper? I use it because it seems to be the cleanest. She is such a precious little girl. I hate to see her feeling bad. Her appetite is normal, she is active and playful, and doesn't have any foul odors. Just the mystery rash.
     
  8. NoelTate

    NoelTate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2008
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    Mine are in cages with wire sides and tops. Sometimes they get bare spots on their noses from chewing on the bars. I bet that's what's going on with yours. She is just rubbing against something. I had one that stayed wet all the time from bumping her water bottle, so I had to move the bottle. I hope that's all it is with your girl. Like you said, with good care she should have a pretty good bit of time left. Sadly, they don't live long lives, but we always hope for as much time as possible with them. If you get more than 3 years out of one, you are doing very well!
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Maybe it is a odd rubbing on the water bottle. Maybe she's allergic to the new plastic? No idea really.

    I just use regular fluffy pine shavings and have a cat litter potty box they use for pee. Hammys may be "kids pets" but they can be semi smart! My current one waits for me to bring the potty back rather than to just use the corner where the potty was, and when I was little, I had one who would go potty regardless if he needed to go, if I put him in is "outside potty box" and I said go potty now.
     
  10. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

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    I am going to try a new water bottle tomorrow. I hope it is something that simple. We love our hammies so much. Each of my three boys has one, but I love and enjoy them just as much as they do.

    Yes, they are intelligent little animals. It amazes me how many people think animals are "dumb". Just their incredibly different personalities proves they are far from it. That is too cute about the one who would make himself potty for you. [​IMG]

    NoelTate, since you obviously know a lot about hamsters I have one more question. All of our rodents are in the "critter trail" cages (wire and plastic with tubes and such) but they are all getting pretty old. I am in the process of replacing all of them and want to use aquariums with the screen tops. Do you feel like they are an alright home or do they not provide enough ventilation? I honestly just like the look better and they seem more secure if the cats decide to look in on the rodent population. So far I have just changed out the mouse cage and they seem quite happy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008

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