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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a fancy hamster a couple of days ago at a pet store. I had a nice cage waiting for her complete with wheel, climbing ramps, food bowls, chew toys, plastic couch, and a litter box.

When I released her she wanted to sleep a lot in her litter box. :rolleyes: I wasn't concerned at first because I thought that she was just settling in to her new environment and she did seem to come out some in the evening to explore and eat.

Today though when I checked on her she was lying in her litter box which had completely been soiled. When I moved her she was kind of moving around with her eyes closed. Plus she had a filthy butt with pieces of litter sticking to her where she had soiled the area she was sleeping in. She allowed me to touch her, drank some water, and munched on a piece of food. I cleaned her entire cage and put in fresh bedding (carefresh). She then crawled back into the litter box and went to sleep again without ever opening her eyes.

Are these behaviours of a healthy hamster or should I be concerned?
 

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If she had a soiled butt, kinda liquid poo, she could have wet tail. It's basically hamster diarrhea and it's very common. A hamster could die of wet tail very fast, since they are so small, they dehidrate very fast. If that's what he has, you should take him to the vet to get wet tail medicine. That that you described are not characteristics of a healthy hamster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The more I've been reading today about hamster health the more I am beginning to suspect wet tail also.

I've been trying to offer water to her today from where she is laying to prevent dehydration until I can get some medicine.

I understand that this is something that can be passed to other hamsters. She is alone in her cage but I do have many other pets in the house. Is there any danger of passing this to my chinchillas, hedgehogs, dogs, etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It was wet tail. I was able to see a vet today on an emergency basis. He gave my little one an injection and gave me some medicine to administer orally twice a day for a week.

I'm really having a hard time getting her to take any liquids though. Has anyone been successful in treating a hamster with wet tail? How long did it take before your hamster responded to the meds?
 

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Glad to hear you have gotten a diagnosis and its getting sorted as i've seen it happen many times over that people have left it too late and their hamsters have suffered and died as a result. I've only ever had one hamster that got wet tail, i took her in and she already had it so i took her to the vets but unfortunately despite everyones best efforts she died :( As for having a problem giving her liquids have you tried a small syringe and dribbling water into her mouth if it won't stress her out too much? Just an idea that i have found successful with other small creatures so might be of help to you to!? I think veery hamster responds differently to meds but you should start to see an effect in a couple of days i should imagine!

The disease is contagious only between hamsters as far as i know so your other pets will be safe but i'd keep your other hamsters in a different room and wash your hands before and after touching either of the hamsters and keep her food and dishes seperate etc.... to be on the safe side and make sure once you have gotten her over it you disinfect her cage out thoroughly so she doesn't get reinfected :)
 

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I have had and have dozens of Syrians. I never had Wet Tail, thankfully.

I once gave one too much lettuce (befiore I knew better) and she got the runs, but I still went to a vet for Baytril (an antiobiotic).

I do not know if the over-the-counter "Dri Tail" (neomycin) antibiotic is strong enough for real Wet Tail. (?).
 

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i had a hamster that had wet tail. as soon as i noticed it i took her to the vet. the vets are so awful here that he said there is nothing he can do and she will die. he didnt give me meds for her or nothing. that night she died. i am glad the vet helped you. down here (olmstead kentucky) your better careing for you animals yourself than taking them to a vet. its so sad! hope your ham ham does well
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ratty_ratkins said:
i had a hamster that had wet tail. as soon as i noticed it i took her to the vet. the vets are so awful here that he said there is nothing he can do and she will die. he didnt give me meds for her or nothing. that night she died.
That is awful! I was afraid when I took my hamster in that the vet was going to say pretty much the same thing. I am sorry your lost your little one.

As an update ... after almost a week of meds, daily cage cleanings, and pedialyte drinks, my little hamster is showing signs of improvement. She now has her eyes open, is eating & drinking on her own, and is moving around her cage in the evenings. She is even walking slowly in her wheel. So I'm hoping for a full recovery.
 

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i had a hamster that had wet tail. as soon as i noticed it i took her to the vet. the vets are so awful here that he said there is nothing he can do and she will die. he didnt give me meds for her or nothing. that night she died.
that is so unfair, how could they not do anything.
everytime i've taken my pet to the vets, its been put down.
i also had my Hamster Peach, who luckilly didn't get wet tail but instead had a prolapsed rectum and got put down :(
the vets were very helpfull though and tried to push it back in but couldn't.
 

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PeaceB2U said:
That is awful! I was afraid when I took my hamster in that the vet was going to say pretty much the same thing. I am sorry your lost your little one.

As an update ... after almost a week of meds, daily cage cleanings, and pedialyte drinks, my little hamster is showing signs of improvement. She now has her eyes open, is eating & drinking on her own, and is moving around her cage in the evenings. She is even walking slowly in her wheel. So I'm hoping for a full recovery.
I'm glad she's improving. I've never dealt with wet tail.
 

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I am glad that your hamster is getting better!
 

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I've dealt with wet tail alot, between working at a petshop and raising hamsters. Moving into a new environment can be very stressful for a nervous little hamster, and that can cause wet tail. We didn't have a real problem with it until recently, when our entire short haired hamster shipment developed it. Of course, they all immediately went to the vet for treatment and seem to be doing better.

It is relatively common when hamsters get moved to a new home (I had problems with it when I raised hamsters as a teen).

There are a couple of things that can be done to help prevent it, should you ever get another hamster. There are medicine drops and tablets sold at some petshops that can be used in a lesser quantity for the first several days to help prevent it (and some can also be used to treat it, depending on the brand). We also provide cabbage to our hamster shipments to help protect them from developing it. (not sure why cabbage works, but it seems to).

I'm glad your little one is doing better.

edited to add: Dri Tail (couldn't remember the name until I saw it above) is the one that I have used. If I remember correctly, it can be used to prevent and treat. The other product I know about is Oasis Wet Tail Preventative Plus. That one only prevents, but does not treat, I believe. I've never used it myself, just guessing based on the name.
 
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