Hamster Health – Wet Tail
Roborovskis are generally a very resilient breed of hamster and rarely get ill.
In fact here are only three ways they can become incapacitated:
- Fighting – which causes them to get injured
- Illness – ranging from simple diarrhea to tumours
- Infestation – mites and other nasty little creatures
One of the more common Roborovski Hamster Health problems is Wet Tail.
Wet tail is more commonly seen in younger hamsters and known to be caused by stress on the hamster – the causes of the stress can vary and are many.
However, the most stressful times in a hamsters life are in the early week when they are  taken away from the mother to a pet shop/supplier and then  moved again to their new home – all in the space of a few weeks.
This ‘moving around’ and the related stress it causes can trigger this serious disease that can affect your pet hamster.
Wet tail is a condition that comes from inside the hamsters intestines caused by bacteria. The result will be diarrhea and extreme dehydration, the worse of which is the dehydration and its effects on your hamsters health.
This is best treated by a visit to the vet immediately it is noticed, as untreated wet tail can lead to death within 24 – 48hrs if left unattended.
Some of the most common reason for Wet Tail are:
– too much handling during the early weeks
– weaning away from the mother
– extreme climate change
– illness or death of paired hamster
– unsanitary cage conditions
This conditions is quite easy to see once it takes hold, but generally your hamster will not be his usual self and be very lethargic and may also sit in an unusual hunched up position, trying to avoid sitting on his tail end.
At this point I cannot stress enough – get your hamster to a vet quickly – the vet will be able to administer proper treatment by giving him a course of antibiotics as well as something to cure diarrhea and also be able to administer essential fluids.
Then listen to your vets advice and stick to it.
There is medication generally available, for emergency treatment only, that is specific to this condition, like the Kordon Oasis Wet-Tail Drops – the drops contain the antibiotics required to treat wet tail – and if it is impossible to get to a vet then this is an alternative solution, but it is essential to know the signs before this condition takes hold.
It is possible to administer small drops of water or Wet-Tail Drops by using a method known as ‘scruffing’ – this is where you hold your hamster by the loose skin on the back of the neck and gently scruff it up – this will open the mouth enough to get a dropper into the mouth and feed with some fluid.
Care must be taken, and a small drop at a time must be given – to much can go down the hamsters windpipe causing choking.
- It may be advisable to isolate your hamster if in pairs to reduce any more stress of this condition and also stop it spreading to other hamsters.
- Remove any fruits and vegetables in the cage
- Do not give any treats
- Ensure a constant supply of clean, fresh water
- Do not change his main food – keep to what he normally has
Be a lot more proactive and vigilant by ensuring his cage is kept clean and food and water fresh. As well as remembering to wash you hands before and after any contact.
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