Wet tail also affects other small animals like rats, mice, gerbils, rabbits, and chinchillas. But hamsters are the favorite targets of wet tail, especially the baby hamsters.
Should you worry if your lovely hamster has a wet tail? According to veterinarians, this disease will last from three to five days. However, if not treated immediately, hamsters might pass away within a 24-hour period after noticing the wet tail symptoms. For now, make sure that your hamster is really having a wet tail. Your hamster is probably suffering from wet tail if:
- Its bottom end is always wet.
- It has foul odor.
- It experiences diarrhea.
- It lacks the appetite to eat.
- It sleeps longer and more than the usual.
- It walks like having a curved back.
- It is not grooming anymore.
- It has become lethargic.
E. coli is suspected to cause wet tail. With this in mind, here are the things you should do to take good care of your hamster suffering wet tail:
- No food. Keep the hamster’s foods away from it for about 24 hours before visiting the veterinarian. This will give enough time for the gut to rest.
- Separate. E. coli bacteria can spread to other hamsters if the infected one is not separated as soon as possible. Even if you are only suspecting your hamster to have wet tail, it’s still best to separate it from other hamsters to prevent the spread of wet tail.
- No touch. Stress is one of the factors causing wet tail. Prevent this by not touching the hamster unless necessary.
- Wash hands. You don’t want to add up more bacteria to the sick hamster. You can prevent doing that by washing your hands before preparing its food or before handling it. Wash hands also after handling it or touching its eating utensils or the cage.
- Cage cleaning. A hamster’s cage should be cleaned at least once in three days to keep it clean and hygienic.
- Separate eating utensils. Have a separate bowl and other eating utensils for the hamster with wet tail.
- Keep warm. Cold might make your hamster’s condition worse. Keep it away from direct wind or from a cold open space.
- Visit the vet. The veterinarian knows best for your hamster. He’ll probably give your hamster some antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing wet tail. Intraperitoneal or subcutaneous fluid may be administered to counteract dehydration because of diarrhea. Your pet may be given multivitamins as well.
Still, prevention is the best solution for wet tail. As much as possible, help your hamster prevent any possible cause of wet tail. Don’t let it be stressed by too much handling. Keep its cage and bowl clean. Changing the hamster’s environment could result to wet tail as well so keep the hamster in the new environment for at least a week before you start handling it. Other causes are passing away of a cage-mate or being separated from the family.