Hamsters make adorable pets for both children and adults especially because they are little and not so difficult to care for. Arguably, wet tail is one of the most common illnesses in hamsters, and it’s arguably one of the most severe conditions in hamsters and can be fatal if it’s not attended to immediately.
What is a wet tail?
The term West tail simply means that your hamster’s tail is wet. This wetness in your pet’s tail simply says it is suffering from a loose stool or diarrhoea due to over factor or multiple factors. A wet tail is also known as regional enteritis or proliferative ileitis. The diarrhoea is known to cause by the overgrowth of a bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni
How do hamsters get infected with wet tail?
Stress in hamsters is known as the major cause of the wet tail condition. A baby hamster gets moved around a whole lot. From the breeder or a hamster vendor to a pet store before it finally gets to its new home, and in some cases, these pets get returned to the pet shop they were bought from within just a few weeks.
This movement will tire out even a human being let alone a baby hamster. When a young hamster is exposed to this kind of stress, it caused the animals normal gut flora to become overpopulated, and that lead to diarrhoea.
One other thing about the wet tail condition is that it is highly contagious so if you had earlier kept your hamster in a cage with other hamsters who have been infected with a wet tail, the chance of your pet getting infected as well is very high. When choosing a hamster to take home with you, make sure to observe how active it is so you don’t get a hamster with a wet tail.
How to treat a wet tail?
For you to treat your hamster for a wet tail, it is vital that you confirm what it has is a wet tail and not diarrhoea. The reason you have to be sure what you are about to treat is because the wet tail is caused by a bacteria and it caused diarrhoea. Which means your hamster can also have diarrhoea for other reasons asides a wet tail.
For example, you may have fed your hamster with some fruits or veg that have high water content, and that could make the animal have diarrhoea all of a sudden. This kind of diarrhoea has no connection with a wet tail because it was caused by the excess water your pet took in. If you are not certain what the cause of your hamster’s diarrhoea is, visit an exotic vet with your hamster.
If it is confirmed that your pet has a wet tail, your exotic vet may prescribe an antibiotic that is safe for the animal and might also give your hamster some subcutaneous fluids to help rehydrate it. You may also have to syringe feed your hamster with some special hamster food like Emerald or Oxbow Critical Care. If your pet isn’t eating you could feed it vegetable baby food.
If you can’t find an exotic vet around or for any other reason you can’t visit one, there is the option of giving your pet wet tail drops in the comfort of your home. These drops are an orange flavoured antibiotic that can be bought without a prescription. If you notice that after giving your hamster this antibiotic it shows no signs of improvement in a couple of days, find an exotic vet immediately as exotic animals deteriorate in health very fast and a delay in treatment could lead to fatal outcome.
How to prevent wet tail?
As a preventive measure some exotic vet may suggest that you treat your hamster with some wet tail drops immediately you adopt them, so they don’t develop the condition while in your care. This can be done easily by adding the right quantity of wet tail drops into your hamster’s water bottle.
Before you choose a hamster to buy from a pet store, make sure that it’s etudes are open and it is very active. Also, pay attention to its rear end and be sure it is free from faecal matter. To be on the safer side, never buy a hamster that was kept in the same cage with another sick looking hamster.
If you have two or more hamsters in one cage and you notice one of them has a wet tail, immediately separate the healthy ones from the sick one and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the ill hamster before touching any of the healthy ones.