How to Treat Wet Tail

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Check for the signs of wet tail.,
Remove fruits and vegetables from the diet.,
Isolate the sick hamster.,
Take your little friend to the vet.,
Ask the vet to hydrate the hamster if necessary.If the hamster is very dehydrated, ask if the vet recommends giving him an injection of saline under the skin.,
Allow the vet to hospitalize your pet if recommended.,
Give the hamster its medication at home.If the vet doesn’t recommend hospitalization, you need to be attentive to your pet’s medical care at home.,
Keep the hamster warm.,
Reduce stress.,
Practice good hygiene at all times during the care period.,
Be prepared to make a difficult decision.

The hallmark of this condition is wetness around the hamster’s tail — hence the name “wet tail”. However, this is a description rather than a diagnosis in its own right. What we call “wet tail” can actually have several different causes, but the result is the same: diarrhea and fluid loss. The following signs indicate wet tail in a hamster:Tail end and sometimes abdomen are wet, matted
The wet area is soiled and smells bad from excessive watery diarrhea
Failure to groom, dull, ruffled coat
Dull, sunken eyes
Abdominal discomfort, which can show itself as grumpiness or aggression
Lethargy, hiding away and being reclusive
Irritability, discomfort, and hunched posture
Protruding rectum caused by straining
Weight loss
Loss of appetite and low energy levels.;
, Before seeing the vet, do not remove all food, but remove fruits and vegetables. Your vet will provide further advice on diet once he’s examined the animal. Dry food “binds” the bowels better than fruit and vegetables. More watery foods can encourage diarrhea, so removing fruits and vegetables from the diet can help prevent it.

, Wet tail can be contagious, so it’s best to be on the side of caution. Separate your sick hamster from any others you may have to prevent the illness from spreading. The sick hamster may prefer to be left alone anyway, so isolation can reduce its stress levels. Consider asking a trusted friend to care for your healthy hamsters during the recovery period. This will allow you to concentrate on the sick ones. It also reduces stress for yourself and for your hamster.

, The vet will prescribe a course of antibiotics as well as medication to cure diarrhea. Avoid adding antibiotics to food and water. Your hamster probably isn’t eating drinking anyway, so this would be an ineffective way to medicate him. If he is drinking, you don’t want to discourage this by putting something that tastes strange in the water. If the hamster is very unwell, the vet may give antibiotics by injection to ensure he gets the correct dose.

Because hamsters are so small, it’s hard to run diagnostic tests (bloods and imaging) on them. This makes it difficult for the vet to reach a definitive diagnosis of the underlying cause of the illness.

, You can check for extreme hydration by pinching the skin on the back of the neck. Healthy, hydrated skin will snap back immediately. If it takes longer than 2 seconds to return to normal, you should raise concerns of dangerous dehydration.

A saline injection does not always make as much difference as hoped because absorption can be slow when the animal is unwell.

, If the vet is concerned about the hamster’s health, defer to his opinion. He may ask you to leave your pet at the clinic so the staff can administer fluids regularly and give additional antibiotics by injection.

, Your vet may prescribe an antibiotic called Baytril to be taken by mouth. This is a very concentrated antibiotic, and the dose is usually one drop per day. The vet may also suggest dripping a balanced electrolyte solution (Lectade or Pedialyte) into the hamster’s mouth to keep it hydrated. This needs to be done with great care to avoid flooding the hamster’s lungs.

The best way is to give the electrolyte solution is with an eyedropper. Squeeze a single drop of the solution from the dropper and touch it to the hamster’s lips.
The surface tension of the solution will cause the drop to soak the hamster’s mouth, which it will then lick dry.
This should be done every half-hour to hour, if possible.

, Small mammals like hamsters have a large ratio of surface area to volume. As a result, they can get dangerously cold very easily when they are sick. A hamster’s ideal environment should be between 70-80F., Experts believe wet tail to be a stress-related disease, so that’s the last thing your buddy needs.Remove any source of distraction or stress from the room where the hamster is resting. This includes other hamsters, barking dogs, inquisitive cats, bright lights, and anything noisy.

Other than removing wet foods from its diet, do not change the usual food unless your vet advises you to. This can cause more stress.
Try not to move the hamster around more than necessary, beyond vet visits and initial isolation. Transportation is a source of stress.

, This is especially important when you have more than one hamster, as sloppiness might spread the infection.

Always wash your hands before and after handling the hamster.
Keep everything clean, including the cage, drink bottle, food dish, and toys.
Clean the cage every 2 or 3 days. Trying to clean it any more often can result in additional stress, which is not good for the hamster’s recovery.

, Unfortunately, hamsters often don’t respond well to therapy. so if your hamster develops signs, be prepared for the worst and that they might not get better. The success rate for treating wet tail is low, and if the hamster does not rally within 24 – 48 hours then the chances are it won’t. If, despite all your efforts, the hamster continues to deteriorate, it may kinder to consider putting your pet to sleep.

Look for dehydration (lifting his scruff and watching it fall back down), lack of activity, lack of response when touched or handled, continued diarrhea, and a foul smell which is getting worse.
If you start treatment and the hamster’s condition worsens, at least you gave him a chance. But it may now be kinder to relieve him of his pain and let him go.

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