Wet tail is a disease that is life threatening, to many rodents, but is usually seen in hamsters. Wet tail is a severe case of diarrhea that is usually caused by stress. Stress of-
- Too much handling
- Death of cage-mate
- Change in diet
- Inadequate cage cleaning
- Change in environment
A hamsters nesting area should be cleaned every few days, to make sure a clean living environment to beloved pets. Hamsters need a variety of foods, but sudden changes aren't good for your hamster. They also need to be held daily, but need breaks. This could mean holding the hamster for a certain amount of time, then putting it back into its cage for a 'rest' period and getting it out again later.
Symptoms of wet tail are easily recognized. The hamsters bottom will be red and crusty in most cases and the hamster will be lethargic and in severe cases eyes are sometimes shut. There is a very strong odor that you can usually smell as soon as you walk into the room. Without treatment the hamster can die within 24-48 hours, it is a very deadly virus. Treatment can go for days or weeks, and if it is done correctly your hamster will be back to its normal self. Usually your hamster will not be eating or drinking, so it is very important to keep it hydrated. Dehydration can kill the hamster faster than the sickness itself.
You can go to the veterinarian and get an antibiotic called BayTril, that is one way to go. Or you can do home treatment. At pet stores you can buy antiobiotics, but there is one that you must look out for. Never use DriTail. It is known to block up the hamster and actually kill it. An antibiotic to use is Wet Tail Plus Fizzy drops. You add the drops to water, not too warm or cold, room temperature. Feed your hamster block food and oats (uncooked oatmeal) Do not feed your hamster fruits and vegetables. It can make the problem worse. After a few days you can give your hamster regular food, without seeds. Cat and dog dry food also works, as it tastes good and is nutritious. When your hamster has wet tail, clean it's nesting area every
day. If you have a cage without a nesting area, clean the whole cage every day. Try to be calm around your hamster and keep up with the treatment. Another thing to do is give the hamster unflavored Pedialyte. The electrolytes can help keep it hydrated, it is basically the same thing as the wet tail treatments, but those are specifically for hamsters.
Ways to prevent your hamster from getting wet tail are, not too much handling after first purchasing, keep the cage clean
, and do not make sudden changes in the environment or food of your pet.