Why Do Syrian Hamsters Have Black Spots? Let’s Discover

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 06:18 am

Syrian hamsters are susceptible to various diseases, tumors, and problems with their skin. Sometimes you may notice that they have black spots on the skin.

Why do Syrian hamsters have black spots?

Black spots in Syrian hamsters are scent glands and their appearance is completely normal. As a rule, the healthy skin of Syrian hamsters should be smooth, clean, and with a nice shine and without spots.

It is very important to maintain hygiene in the cage of Syrian hamsters so that the scent glands themselves do not become infected.

In today’s article, you will learn why Syrian hamsters have black spots and what to do in such a situation.

Why do Syrian hamsters have black spots?

If you pay attention to the hygiene in the cage of the Syrian hamsters, give them a healthy diet, and notice black spots, they are most likely harmless.

When you notice black spots on the hips or the sides of their skin, these are the sebaceous or scent glands. Both male and female hamsters have these scent glands, although they are more noticeable in male hamsters.

We should emphasize that black spots from the scent glands are not dangerous, they will not cause health problems.

As hamsters age, it is quite normal for the black spots to become more prominent as hamsters lose fur around their hips.

Scent glands serve their purpose as male hamsters use them to mark their territory by rubbing their bodies against objects.

In this way, the odors left on the objects themselves indicate that the territory is occupied and let other hamsters know that the place is occupied.

In addition, the scents left by male hamsters contribute to attracting female hamsters for mating.

On the other hand, female hamsters use their scent glands to signal to male hamsters that they are ready to mate.

Female hamsters like to mate more often with known male hamsters than with new males because they prefer to be near the already-known smell.

Since Syrian hamsters groom much like all other hamsters, the area where the black spots from the scent glands are located may appear greasier or wetter.

Does my Syrian hamster have black spots or cancer?

A wrong conclusion is often made in Syrian hamsters and white spots are confused with cancer, especially for male hamsters.

Scent glands that look like black spots in female hamsters grow up to 21 days, while in male hamsters up to 70 days, so male Syrian hamsters also have more pronounced scent glands.

But this does not mean that the protruding scent glands are tumors.

When hamsters have black spots they are located on the hips, they have no negative effects on their health and produce odors.

When hamsters have a tumor, it does appear in any part of their body, it has no smell and then there is weight loss, fatigue, stomach pains, lethargy, and other symptoms.why do syrian hamsters have black spots

Can black spots become contagious or cancerous?

If black spots or scent glands are exposed to pathogens they can become infectious.

Dark spots in very rare situations can turn into cancerous, that is, into cancer.

When the scent glands are infected, the vet can prescribe a suitable cream that will remove the infection.

To make it easier to recognize whether it is a scent gland or a tumor, look at the black spots, if they are flat and greasy then they are scent glands.

If you notice other growths around the black spots, then it could be tumors or diseases in Syrian hamsters.

When hamsters have infected scent glands the following symptoms appear:

  • discharge of blood or pus from the scent gland
  • swelling
  • inflammation
  • more difficult movement
  • pains
  • aggressive behavior of the hamster
  • avoiding touch

If your hamster has any of these symptoms then you should immediately take it to the vet to check and see what it is about.

Can my hamster have moles?

No, hamsters don’t have moles, the only thing they can have is a scent gland that can look like a mole.

Hamsters sometimes when they fight with each other or if they are rubbed with a sharp object, the scent gland may become enlarged.

Hamsters do not even get skin tags, but if you notice, then check carefully whether it is a sebaceous gland or a possible tumor.

How can the scent glands in hamsters be cleaned?

Although hamsters clean themselves and maintain their hygiene, sometimes they may have a strong smell from the scent glands.

In this situation, you need to clean your pet, i.e. its scent glands. To do this you should first give him a favorite treat to eat or a toy so that he is not aggressive when you start cleaning him.

Then take lukewarm water and cotton swabs and slowly and gently wipe his scent glands until all the dirt is removed.

Sometimes you won’t be able to do this with water, you will need 50-50 vinegar and water to clean the scent glands especially if they are crusted.

What causes hip spots on hamsters?

If you notice hip spots in your hamster, you should not be worried, these are scent glands that are also called side glands or hip spots.

You may notice these hip spots more in male hamsters than in female hamsters.

They appear simply because the hamster licks its scent glands until the entire area is wet, scratching and rubbing in those areas.

Why does my hamster have a black spot on his stomach?

Hamsters have black spots on their stomach and these are their scent glands.

Both male and female hamsters have scent glands, so it shouldn’t surprise you.

Scent glands help hamsters more easily mark their territory by rubbing against objects in their space.

Read more: What Are The Signs of A Urinary Tract Infection in Hamsters?

Are hamster hair loss and black spots related?

If you notice that hamsters have black spots and their hair falls out in those places, you should know that there is no connection between them.

Black spots are a completely normal phenomenon since they are scent glands that are darker and are usually more pronounced in male hamsters.

While hamster hair loss in those areas is something else entirely, it’s probably a health problem and you should take them to the vet to get them checked out because that’s not right.

Hair loss could mean that they have T-cell lymphoma, which is cancer, and that’s why you should take them to the vet.

Read more: Can Hamsters Recover from Wet Tail? (Treatment And Cure)

What does an infected hamster look like?

When your hamster has an infection it can be noticed by the following signs:

  • dehydration
  • diarrhea
  • swelling of the abdomen
  • weight reduction

Transmission of bacteria and infection in hamsters most often occurs due to contaminated food or bedding carried by other insects or wild rodents.

Read more: Are Mites Dangerous For Your Hamster? Let’s Discover


Can humans catch mites from a hamster?

Usually, most of the mites that hamsters get are specific and they cannot be transmitted to humans. Mites contracted by hamsters are transmitted to other hamsters and other rodent species. However, it is best to consult a veterinarian about the dangers and possible risks of zoonotic risks.

What are the little black bugs on my hamster?

When your hamster has small black bugs it is most likely mites. They are small black parasites that are very unpleasant for hamsters and most often appear in the hair follicles in the fur itself. Mites must be treated because otherwise they can spread and infect other hamsters or animals, and can also cause scabies.


Hamsters often have black spots on their skin as a result of their scent glands. Sometimes it is confusing whether they are scent glands or tumors.

In most cases, it is a matter of black spots from scent glands, and very rarely they can be tumors. Male Syrian hamsters have more prominent black spots than female hamsters.

The appearance of black spots is a completely normal phenomenon that should not worry you.

To prevent the occurrence of infected scent glands, regular cleaning of the cage and maintenance of hygiene are necessary.

If your hamster has an unpleasant smell from the black spots or scent glands, you need to clean them with water and cotton or vinegar and water.

Read more: Why Are My Hamsters Ears Black? Let’s Discover