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Hamster Keeps Scratching

If your hamster is scratching itself repeatedly, then some of the most likely reasons include dry skin, mange, mites or some form of allergic reaction.

If your hamster’s ears are very dry and flaky, then this could just be a little bit of a dry skin issue, just as many humans get. This can be solved by smoothing a little bit of petroleum jelly on the back of their ears once per day. This should be enough to provide some relief to your hamster, and to keep the skin nice and hydrated.

Another cause of scratching is mange. Sarcoptic mange is caused by mites, and they cause lots of dry, irritated skin that is quite scabby and crusted. The mites are microscopic, but although they're invsible to the human eye, they’re causing your pet a lot of discomfort and pain, as they burrow under your hamster’s skin. It’s important to your pet’s health that this condition is treated quickly, as it’s very painful.

mange is very painful
Healthy hamsters are free of skin afflictions and won't scratch themselves much

If your pet has dry, irritated skin all over its body, then the diagnosis could be non-mange mites. Mites are tiny little invertebrates that live on your pet’s skin. In small numbers, this variety are not a problem, but in larger numbers they can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet. The skin on your hamster will be quite crusty, and they may be suffering from some hair loss. This can be treated by some medication given to you by a vet.

Another option is that your hamster is allergic to something in its cage. If you hamster has a poor reaction to something, then this could be the cause of the itching. Allergies are dangerous if not treated or addressed. If the scratching is accompanied by anything like wheezing, sneezing, laboured breathing, or discharge from the nose or eyes, then the problem scratching could be caused by an allergy.

Don’t forget that your pet can be suffering from multiple health problems at once. For example, if they’re scratching as well as having a runny nose and trouble breathing, then they could be suffering from a respiratory infection and a mite infestation at the same time. If you can’t figure out why your pet is scratching itself so much, then a vet will usually be able to provide you with a diagnosis.

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Karen, 18 April 2022

So, my hamster has been losing fur behind his ears and is itching a lot. I'm not sure what it is because he does not have mites, fleas, or dry skin. I would like him to live an enjoyable life and for him to feel comfortable. Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lina, 5 September 2021

my hamster itches his back alot and he sleeps on his wheel and just right now im qatching him and he seems itchy at the back of his leg idk what it is so im keeping tabs on what hes doing and im trying to make him feel very comfortabke and happy but i dont know whats causing the itch i really dont want him to be in pain since its worrying what should i do?

Kasey, 10 July 2021

Hi, I adopted my first hamster ever 2 weeks ago. I did a lot of research before adopting him so I would give him the proper care, and the sand bath was one of the things I wanted to give him. But since he came home to his enclosure he wouldn’t stop scratching, and he just LOVED being on the sand. I took him to the vet today and we noticed he didn’t scratch at all since he had no sand. The vet said to take out the sand and just let him be with his paper bedding. I’m worried about him though because he really loved it. I used Fluker’s all natural sand, and made sure it didn’t come with colorant or calcium nor anything added. What can I do? I really want him to be happy in his enclosure again. He has everything else like chew toys, a lot of space and a huge wheel. But I’m worried.

Martha, 8 July 2021

I just got my hamster on Saturday. She was born on 4 of this year not sure the date. She is always scratching herself, she uses mostly her back legs, sometimes her front legs and teeth. I changed her bedding on Tuesday. Washed her cage, wheel, food blow, drinking holder and everything with hot water and dish soap. I rinsed everything with hot water as well and used a paper towels to dry it off. Put new bedding in, new water and etc. However the scratching is still going. I also checked her for and fleas,ticks and etc. Thank goodness she doesn’t have any of that. I’m still worried about her scratching. I’m not sure what to do.

Sara, 30 April 2021

i’m scared bc my hamster just like itches the back of his ear a lot and it looks like some of his fur is missing i’m not sure. what should i do