Hamsters make good pets because they are small, easy to care for, and fun to watch. Domesticated hamsters today are Golden Hamsters, Teddy Bear Hamsters, or fancy hamsters, but almost all are Syrian. These are considered decendents of a single litter of hamsters brought to Palestine in the 1930s, and then bred for research and domestication. Hamsters tend to live between two and six years, and are prone to several skin conditions.
Treat "wet tail," the most common hamster skin problem, in a variety of ways. Doctor Susan Brown, DMV, states that the affliction is found in all breeds of hamsters and other rodents. It is a condition in which the skin and fur around the rear of the animal is wet. This is due to diarrheal discharge. Wet tail is a bacterial infection, and is made worse by unclean living conditions or poor diet.
Provide your hamster with clean bedding and change it often to prevent a worsening of the infection. Home remedies for this also include making sure that your hamster has a good diet and fresh water.
Understand, however, that no home remedy can cure wet tail. Animals will usually die within one to seven days. The only possible cure is in antibacterial treatments at your vet, so any animal with wet tail should see a vet right away.
Hair Loss and Mites
Follow Dr. Brown's advice when it comes to hair loss, the other major skin problem with domesticated hamsters. She states that hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons. It can be rubbed off when using feeding dishes or water bottles, and cage mates can chew it off. If this is the case, your hamster will have skin problems that come from hair loss. Move your hamster to a location where cage mates do not chew hair, and change the outlay of the animal's food and water dishes to prevent fur from being rubbed off.
Dr. Brown talks about home remedies for mites, the other cause of hair loss and skin problems with domesticated hamsters. Demodex Mites, she states, are the most common parasite found with these animals. A vet can administer medication for mites, but you can control them better at home by providing your hamster with a brand new cage, fresh bedding, and new sleeping areas that have not been contaminated. You can also remove any animals from the cage that might have mites, and treat them separately until the problem is resolved.
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