View Full Version : My hamster has Wet Tail...

April 11th, 2005, 09:43 PM
I just took the poor guy to the vet and they confirmed it had wet tail. Now I pretty much have to force feed it. *sigh*

Anybody have any advice to give on how to go about feeding the little guy?

April 12th, 2005, 12:47 AM
Ok Bix in my lifetime so far I have had two hamsters and I have never heard of the term wet tail what is it?

April 12th, 2005, 01:07 AM
Add a small amount of water to his food to make it soggy and put it in a medicine syringe. I hope he feels better. Good Luck!!! :ballonsmi

April 12th, 2005, 01:14 AM
Wet Tail is a disease that is thought to be stress related and often affects young hamsters around the time of weaning, as this can be a stressful time. Therefore it is important when buying a new hamster that its cage is prepared before its arrival home and it is left to become familiar with its new surroundings in peace apart from feeding for a day or two to keep stress to a minimum. It is also thought that Wet Tail can be caused by bad living conditions, etc which could also cause stress.

Wet Tail is a bacterial infection or an imbalance of the natural bacteria in the hamster's stomach or intestine and is often confused with diarrhoea. Although a hamster with Wet Tail has diarrhoea, the diarrhoea is so severe that the hamster is wet and/or dirty not only around the anus but usually around the top of the tail as well. The diarrhoea is accompanied by a strong unpleasant smell. Droppings are pale in colour and extremely soft and may contain mucus. The hamster often walks hunched up, is weak and lethargic and may squeal in pain. Symptoms take 7 days to appear and the disease is often fatal with death occurring as early as 24 hours after the appearance of the symptoms. Therefore it is vital that veterinary treatment is sought immediately if a hamster shows symptoms of Wet Tail. Do not rely on over-the-counter products such as Dri-Tail to treat Wet Tail as these are often not effective against severe cases of Wet Tail. These should only be used if it is not possible to get the hamster to a vet immediately and veterinary advice should still be sought at the earliest opportunity, but do ensure if you have used any over-the-counter product that you inform your vet when you visit.

Hamsters suffering from Wet Tail often die from dehydration rather than from Wet Tail itself, or they simply refuse to eat or drink. Also, because of the severe diarrhoea Wet Tail can lead to rectal prolapse where the intestine is pushed outside the body through the anus.

Veterinary treatment will consist of a course of antibiotics, anti-diarrhoeal medication and help with rehydration. The hamster should be kept warm and quiet whilst undergoing treatment and be disturbed as little as possible. Wet Tail is contagious to other hamsters and so any hamster suffering from Wet Tail should be isolated from other hamsters. It is also a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly after handling a hamster suffering from Wet Tail, to avoid passing the infection back to the hamster worsening its condition and certainly before handling other hamsters (this is best kept to a minimum). It is a good idea to remove droppings from the cage at intervals and disinfect the cage with a disinfectant designed for small animal cages when cleaning the cage. Although it is important to keep stress to a minimum it may help to clean the cage of a hamster suffering from Wet Tail every 2 or 3 days.

Any equipment occupied or used by a hamster that has died from Wet Tail should be disinfected thoroughly with a disinfectant designed for small animal cages and left to stand for a few weeks before being used by another hamster.

Wet Tail is a disease associated more commonly with the Syrian Hamster and is not associated with Dwarf Hamsters. Dwarf Hamsters can suffer severe diarrhoea but it is not clear at present that they actually suffer from 'Wet Tail'.

Susceptibility to Wet Tail is also thought to be genetically inherited and so it is best not to breed from any hamster that has suffered from Wet Tail during its life.

April 12th, 2005, 01:15 AM
Wow thank you very much I never knew that. I guess my hamsters were lucky well sort of....

April 12th, 2005, 12:25 PM
Yeah, the poor guy just seems so dirty and unclean. And I hate having to stress him out more to force feed him. The vet said I should pretty much blend up Pedialyte or Gatorade and various fruits along with this antibiotic tablet and feed him with a syringe.

April 12th, 2005, 11:19 PM
oooh poor thing I had no idea what wet tail was but thanks to Asrai I am now well informed. I hope your hamster gets well soon...