Wet tail in hamsters – what to do?

Wet tail disease in hamsters is a serious condition that unfortunately, even when caught early and treated, most hamsters will die within 24 to 48 hours.

The most common illness in hamsters, wet tail is contagious and fatal. Even if your hamster isn’t currently showing symptoms of wet tail, do learn the symptoms and find out how you can reduce the chances of your hamster being affected.

If your hamster is showing symptoms, you should urgently consult a vet.

Identify wet tail early in hamsters as the disease is fatal and contagious.

PEXELS | Ellie Burgin

what is wet tail in hamsters?

“Wet Tail”, named from the obvious sign of wetness around the rear end and tail of the hamster.

Wet tail affects hamsters kept in cages and is caused by bacteria from faeces or diarrhea. Minimising your hamster’s stress levels can prevent wet tail.

Stress can be caused by:

✔ Picking your hamster up too often or handling them in a rough manner

✔ Changing your hamster’s living environment

✔ Keeping your hamster in a dirty cage

✔ Making sudden changes to your hamster’s diet

✔ Keeping your hamster away from its family members

✔ The death of a mate

symptoms of wet tail in hamsters

Wet tail is extremely contagious. If you have more than one hamster and one comes down with wet tail, separate them immediately and be sure you wash your hands after handling the sick one and before handling the healthy one.

Your hamster is likely to suffer from wet tail if you see the following signs:

✔ A tail covered in faeces

✔ A bad smell

✔ Diarrhea

✔ A lack of appetite

✔ A lack of energy and enthusiasm

✔ Walking with a hunched back

✔ Sleeping a lot

✔ Folded ears

treating wet tail

For the best chance of recovery, it is important to identify wet tail and begin treatment within 24 hours of symptoms appearing.

As soon as you see symptoms of wet tail in your hamster, do:

✔ Quarantine the hamster away from other hamsters so that the disease cannot spread.

✔ Seek the advice of a vet

✔ Clean its cage and all objects inside. Wet tail is very contagious!

✔ Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly to avoid passing the disease from one cage to another.

✔ Only feed dry foods. Avoid foods that contain a lot of water as they could make the diarrhea worse.

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