When hamsters have a wet tail it can cause fatal consequences for their life. You should take your pet to the vet as soon as you notice the signs and symptoms of a wet tail.
The sooner the treatment of hamsters with a wet tail begins, the greater the chances of a complete cure.
Can hamsters recover from a wet tail?
Yes, hamsters can recover from a wet tail if you act immediately, within 24 hours of the appearance of the disease.
The hamster needs to be taken immediately to a veterinarian who will prescribe antibiotics so that the hamster can recover, otherwise without medicine the hamster will die in 2-3 days.
in today’s article, you will find out if hamsters can recover from a wet tail, what are the symptoms, and how to treat this dangerous condition.
What is a wet tail in hamsters?
A wet tail in hamsters is when they have watery diarrhea. The scientific name of the wet tail is Proliferative ileitis, actually wet tail is constant wetting of the tail in hamsters and is characterized by a bad smell due to the watery stool.
However, we must emphasize that there is a difference between a wet tail and diarrhea:
- wet tail – is when a hamster has watery stools caused by a bacterial infection.
- diarrhea – is when the hamster has watery stools but is caused by food rich in water.
A wet tail usually appears in young hamsters at the age of 3-6 months, or it appears in older hamsters.
Of all the hamster breeds, we must mention that Syrian hamsters get a wet tail the most, which doesn’t mean that other hamsters can’t get it, and they get it, but not so often.
According to experts, the main factor for the appearance of a wet tail in hamsters is an overgrowth of intestinal bacteria:
- Lawsonia intracellularis
The most common causes of bacterial overgrowth are:
- unhygienic in the cage
- changing the home of hamsters
- too many hamsters in a small space
- bad unhealthy diet
- transporting hamsters from one place to another
It is very important to say that wet tails can be transmitted from one hamster to another through bacteria.
When a hamster has a wet tail, stress is the most common cause, as the transmission of bacteria is a little more difficult to happen because hamsters live alone after a month of their birth.
What are the most common symptoms of a wet tail in hamsters?
The main symptoms of a wet tail in hamsters are diarrhea, fatigue, lethargy, and others.
So to better know when your pet has a wet tail, let’s take a closer look at each of these symptoms.
Lethargy is a sign of a wet tail
Lethargy is a sign of a wet tail and then the hamsters move much less and do not have enough energy.
When hamsters are lethargic they sleep much longer than usual and rarely come out at night. When hamsters are lethargic, they become more aggressive and may bite their companions.
When hamsters are lazy, you can also notice that they behave completely differently when they eat and drink water,
Hamsters with wet tails experience fatigue and cannot move at the same pace as healthy hamsters.
This happens because their body, when they have diarrhea, flushes out the nutrients before processing them in their digestive system, throwing out the vitamins and minerals they need.
In addition to fatigue, a wet tail also causes weight loss and loss of appetite in hamsters.
When hamsters have a wet tail diarrhea is the main symptom, then the hamsters have watery stools due to the bacteria in the intestines growing too fast and breaking down the food.
When they have diarrhea, the hamsters have an unpleasant smell because of the wet stool, and of course, the tail of the hamsters is very dirty.
When hamsters have a healthy stool, then their feces are solid and do not have any special smell.
Wet rear end
When a hamster has a wet tail, their rear end is constantly wet and sores and irritation appear.
Then the hamster starts scratching and biting the back of his body.
When the hamster receives appropriate treatment and begins to heal, then its rear will be dry again and the condition will normalize, there will be no more irritation and wounds on the skin.
When hamsters have a wet tail they may walk a little more stooped.
This happens because the hamster feels uncomfortable and diarrhea encourages him to move with his back bent.
Except for a bent back, the hamster will not move properly with its legs, all because of diarrhea from the wet tail.
Can hamsters die when they have a wet tail?
Yes, unfortunately, hamsters can die from a wet tail within 1-3 days.
This happens because hamsters are very small and any lack of food and nutrients can very quickly have side effects on their health.
A wet tail does not allow the hamster to take in the vitamins and minerals they need, because they immediately throw them out through diarrhea.
When a wet tail appears in hamsters it acts very quickly on their organism and only 10% of hamsters manage to survive this disease.
The hamsters only survive if the wet tail is discovered within the first 24 hours, and treatment is immediately started at a veterinarian.
How to help hamsters when they have a wet tails?
When hamsters have a wet tail, you must know that it will not go away by itself, it must be treated in order for the hamster to heal.
If you act immediately, the chances of your pet’s survival increase, otherwise, if you do not act immediately, the hamster will die in a few days.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of steps you should take so your hamster can get well as quickly as possible and survive.
It would help if you took him to the vet
When a hamster has a wet tail, it must be given antibiotics in order to recover, so it must be taken to the vet immediately.
You just need to know that a wet tail and diarrhea in hamsters are not treated in the same way, so the veterinarian will assess the exact condition of your pet.
The veterinarian will prescribe you certain liquids that help with dehydration because when hamsters have a wet tail, it is manifested by dehydration and reduced intake of nutrients in the body.
Most of the time, the veterinarian will prescribe a special food for critical care hamsters.
Give them less stress
When hamsters have a wet tail it is very important that they have less stress because stress worsens the condition in hamsters.
That’s why you should provide them with a quiet environment without noise, loud sounds, and loud talking near them.
Provide the hamsters with a quality diet that should be enriched with plenty of fiber and protein to help them heal faster.
Do not allow other pets near the hamster as they only annoy him and increase his stress.
The cage should also be large enough or at least 80×50 cm so that the hamster can feel satisfied and happy, which will reduce stress and reduce the wet tail.
The bedding in the cage should also be deep enough for him to feel safe, so provide him with soft bedding that is 6 inches deep, and in some places up to 10 inches deep, to keep him calm and content.
Be careful when you want to take the hamster in your hands, always take it with two hands so that it does not get scared and its condition worsens with its wet tail.
A clean cage
As we said wet tail is a contagious disease and therefore you should clean the cage as much as you can.
When the hamster has diarrhea, its cage smells very bad together with the toys and bedding, so it needs regular cleaning.
Take the hamster somewhere else while you clean the cage, then take a safe cleaner and disinfect the cage.
When cleaning the cage do the following:
- remove bedding and all items from the cage
- clean the bottom of the cage and the bars
- put new bedding
- return the cleaned toys to the cage
- put in new food and water
- finally, return the hamster to the cage
Be careful to always use gloves or wash your hands with antibacterial soap when you touch the hamster while it has a wet tail, so as not to spread the bacteria to other pets in your home.
Give them dry food
When hamsters have a wet tail, they should not eat vegetables and fruits, because such food will further worsen the condition of your pet in terms of diarrhea.
So give him more dry food or pellet mix so he can retain the nutrients.
Although he will not completely retain the nutrients, he will manage to use some of them to feed his body, which is extremely important when they have a wet tail.
Give them sand baths
When hamsters have a wet tail, they do not need to be wet additionally, and therefore the best solution is to use sand baths.
Sand baths are a better option for hamsters as a regular bath will only remove the layer of essential oils and make their body temperature a problem.
If the hamster is too dirty because of the wet tail, you can clean the back of its body with a cotton ball, but you have to do it very carefully.
The sand bath is a good solution for cleaning hamsters because it will dry the fur and other parts of the body that are wet and dirty from the wet tail or diarrhea.
A sand bath will prevent and reduce the occurrence of wounds and sepsis that can occur as a result of a wet tail.
Is wet tail painful for hamsters?
Yes, hamsters that have wet tails also have pain.
A wet tail also causes problems during their movement, body twitching, and hamsters walk as if hunched over.
When the hamster has a wet tail, the pain itself causes him to have no desire to move and he becomes lethargic and most of the time sleeps or just sits in one place.
Can I treat my hamster’s wet tail at home?
When hamsters have a wet tail there is no home treatment to improve their condition.
Hamsters with a wet tails can only be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian.
In addition to medicines, the veterinarian can also add fluids to reduce the risk of dehydration, which is also very dangerous for the hamster’s life.
Is wet tail treatment for hamsters expensive?
About 100-250 dollars will cost you the treatment of wet tails in hamsters and their treatment.
A wet tail is a dangerous condition that must be treated to save your pet’s life, there is no other choice but to see a veterinarian, so the following must be paid for:
- special food
- further consultation and care
Although the treatment is a bit expensive, there is no other way to treat a hamster with a wet tail.
What antibiotics treat wet tails?
When a hamster has a wet tail, an antibiotic called Chlortetracycline is often used, it is very effective in the fight against wet tails in hamsters.
This antibiotic also has an orange aroma, which reduces the unpleasant taste.
There are other antibiotics that are used when the hamster has a wet tail, here are some of them:
There is also a liquid treatment for treating hamsters with a wet tail called oasis wet tail drops and is a very effective remedy.
How many days will it take for a hamster to recover from a wet tail?
When hamsters have a wet tail, they need at least 7 days of antibiotics to recover.
Depending on the condition, some hamsters may need additional time to successfully heal from a wet tail.
Handling all this in mind, it is most important that the hamster is treated in a timely manner so that it can fully recover from this dangerous disease.
Can a wet tail occur multiple times in hamsters?
Yes, unfortunately, a wet tail can appear several times in your pet.
Simply, this can always occur if the hamster is exposed to stress, insufficient hygiene in the cage, and other possible reasons for its occurrence.
Genes play their role and can cause wet tails to appear more often in some hamsters, and less often in others.
When hamsters have a wet tail, treatment must be started immediately using antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian.
Hamsters can recover from a wet tail if you act quickly, that is, immediately after you notice that they have diarrhea and an unpleasant odor.
If you act in the first 24 hours, then the chances that the hamster will recover are high, because otherwise, the hamster will not live for more than 2-3 days.
When the hamster is being treated for a wet tail, you should provide it with the best possible conditions in your home, which means a clean cage, a quiet environment, and quality food rich in fiber and protein.