Does your balding hamster need help?

Q: My son recently bought a Russian dwarf hamster, but over the last few weeks he has started to go bald around his front legs and tummy. Could this just be normal moulting?

A: It's unlikely to be moulting. Take him for a check-up with your vet as it is common for hamsters to suffer with mange mite, which can lead to their hair falling out in patches. A contact allergy or boredom resulting in over grooming could also cause fur loss, so consider making a change in his bedding and putting more toys in his cage to help rule out these possible causes.

Scott Miller, vet