Wet Tail In Hamsters: How To Treat It?

by Hamster Care

Wet tail in hamsters

Every hamster owner should be aware of a very serious disease known as “wet tail.”

Wet tail disease is so severe that even when treated, there is a high chance the hamster will die within 24 to 48 hours.

Even if your hamster isn’t currently showing symptoms of wet tail, you should read this article to learn about the symptoms and how you can reduce your hamster’s chances of being affected.

If your hamster is showing symptoms, you should consult a veterinarian immediately and follow the treatment instructions listed below.


What causes wet tail?

Wet tail is caused by bacteria and affects caged hamsters. However, because it is a stress-related disease, you can prevent it by reducing your hamster’s stress levels.

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

As previously stated, if you can keep your hamster from becoming stressed, you have a good chance of avoiding wet tail disease!


All hamster owners must keep an eye out for the following symptoms of wet tail disease:

  • A tail covered in faeces
  • A bad smell
  • Diarrhoea
  • A lack of appetite
  • A lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • Walking with a hunched back
  • Sleeping a lot
  • Folded ears
  • Aggression, such as biting their owner or other hamsters

Treating wet tail

Unfortunately, wet tail is a difficult disease to treat. Even when the symptoms are spotted early and treated properly, hamsters suffering from this disease frequently die.

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 notice wet tail symptoms in your hamster, take the following steps:

  • Quarantine the hamster away from other hamsters so that the disease cannot spread.
  • Seek the advice of a vet (the vet will most likely prescribe antibiotics and something to treat the diarrhoea).
  • Clean all objects that the infected hamster has touched, including its cage, wheel and any other items in the cage. 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 diarrhoea worse.
  • Do not wash the hamster in a bath. Use a cotton ball or a q-tip to very gently clean the hamster’s tail if necessary – but only if you think you can do so without stressing your hamster any further.
  • Do everything you can to minimise the amount of stress your hamster experiences.

The most important step is to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Above all, you should always listen to the advice of a veterinarian (including the instructions in this article and anything else you read on the internet!)


Finally, if your hamster is not eating or drinking, you can assist them by using a technique known as “scruffing.”

Scruffing involves gently feeding the hamster small amounts of food and squirting small amounts of water into their mouths while holding the hamster by the skin on the back of its neck.

You can use the “scruffing” method to feed mashed baby food. Just make sure it’s free of onion and garlic and has no added sugar. Unflavored Pedialyte may also be beneficial in the treatment of wet tail disease.

If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!

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By HamsterCareTip.Com

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