Wet Tail Disease

Hamster Wet Tail Disease


The term “wet tail” is one that refers to a severe case of hamster diarrhea caused by various bacteria and genetic factors. Proliferative Ileitis and Transmissable Ileal Hyperplasia, the medical terms for wet tail is associated with such bacteria as Lawsonia intracellularis, Campylobacter jejuni and E. coli. It’s difficult to pin point which bacteria is the root cause of wet tail disease but it’s thought to be more likely brought on during times of high stress of a hamster.Wet tail disease is more prevalent in the larger Syrian breeds and not as much in the dwarf breeds. That said, it is possible for a dwarf hamster to be diagnosed with a case of this hamster sickness. Look for the signs listed below and seek treatment right away.

Signs and Symptoms

The most obvious symptom of hamster wet tail disease is the appearance of a wet backside bottom. This is the result of a severe case of diarrhea. Other signs of wet tail include a hamster that is loosing weight at a fast rate also known as hamster anorexia; the ill hamster will also look tired, bent over with abdominal pain and all around out of it; it’s eyes will be sunken and dull; the hamster can also have a protruding rectum or blood in the stools.


How to Treat It

A vet can prescribe a set of antibiotics and injections of multivitamins. or you can obtain over the counter drop from a pet store.

If you fear one of your hamsters has a case of wet tail disease, you need to immediately separate the sick individual from its housemates since it a contagious illness. Next, you must act quickly to treat a sick hamster with wet tail. If you wait too long to see if it gets better on its own, the hamster can die in a matter of days from dehydration. The first step in treatment is to keep your hamster hydrated to avoid dehydration. At the same time, complications from dehydration can cause hypothermia so it’s important to use the heat treatment method. Essentially this includes keeping the temperature inside the cage at a constant warm temperature of 70-85*f (21-29*c).To treat a sick hamster at home using medication drops, you can choose to mix the drops into your hamster’s drinking water or if it isn’t actively drinking its water, you can use the provided eye-dropper to physically feed the hamster its medication. The medication is flavored so it should make the hamster more open to drinking the solution. Some owners have also had success with adding drops onto their hamster’s food/fruit.Improvements to your hamster’s health should be seen within one to two days.

Don’t order these medications online and wait for delivery, go to the pet store immediately because time is of the essence.In a matter of a day, your hamster can go from bad to worse and it can even die. We recommend you have a medication like this on hand in the case this happens again.These wet-tail drops are suitable for hamster, gerbils, mice, rats and guinea pigs.

Prevention Tips

While you are treating a sick hamster for any contagious illness, you will need to clean the main hamster habitat thoroughly to disinfect it. Throw the bedding out, clean all the surfaces with a very mild bleach solution and rinse them several times. A water based antibiotic can be added to the groups water source to prevent an outbreak.The best way to take care of a hamster with wet tail is to attempt to prevent it in the first place. Since stress is associated with the cause of this serious hamster illness, try to minimize your hamster’s stress level. Avoid housing too many hamsters together and know when to separate weening babies when they begin to mature; this will help keep stressful fighting to a minimum. Take care in the process of relocating any of your hamsters to a new home since anything new to a hamster can be somewhat stressful. Finally to reduce stress, make sure you provide a well balanced hamster diet with adequate sources of water.

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56 comments on “Wet Tail Disease

  1. Hello
    I have my two year old hamster and recently he has diarrhea and it’s green it smells very bad but he still have mmmm a appetite he eats normally and is drinking a lot of water. I started giving him the diarrhea wet tail drops and it’s better but his butt is all green with poop. I tried to clean it but it’s dried and I don’t want to hurt him. His butt hole also looks like it is almost sticking out I don’t know what to do.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi, my brother recently got a hampster who sided wit what we think was wet tail. Today my hampster showed the same symptoms although he is still quite lively

  3. I had two hamster pass away on me recently and I had noticed one had wet tail symptoms. Can keeping their cages really close together have caused the other one to catch it too? The one who I had noticed the symptoms on was very old probably older than they’re expected to live and the other that had died wasn’t even a year old yet.

  4. I’ve had my Syrian hamster for 2 years now. His behavior has changed significantly over the last 2 weeks. He’s not as active as he usually is and has barely been drinking water out of his water bottle but I put some water in a bottle cap and he drank it that way but only a little bit. His right eye had gunk in it so I took a wash cloth and dabbed it a little bit until it reopened which seemed to work. But that’s the only thing that worked. I’m not sure what’s wrong with him so if anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it!

    • If your hamster has any sign of wet tail you can actually do some things that will help it recover. If this doesn’t seem to work defiantly take your hamster to the vet and seek help. My mouse had wet tail but it was the start of the sickness. I don’t know if it works when the symptoms become severe but here are some things I did for my 4 week old pet mouse and it worked!
      -Clean the hamsters (or any small pet that shows symptoms of the disease) cage and clean all their items and toys in the cage.
      -Change water everyday
      -don’t feed them watery foods like cucumbers, feed them dry food they usually have
      – at night keep them near a warm heater in a small cage. Not recommend fire because it has a risk of it going out, the hamster remains cold and can effect there recovery
      -feed them more than you would usually would of dry foods
      -don’t come into contact with them at all unless feeding
      -keep them in a dark room throughout the day and and at night
      -Put an old clean warm sock for the hamster/hamsters to snuggle in
      -keep the noise down
      I hope this worked for you, but if it doesn’t seem to work within 1 and a half days I would take him/her to the vet. My mouse had wet tail but we did all these things listed and she was back to her old self. However she is getting symptoms of wet tail again but I will do all these things again to help her.

    • It might just be old age. When hamsters get older, their eyes are known to get gunned up alot with mucus. Also, old hamsters tend to slow down and stop being as active as they used to be when they were younger.
      My last hamster was getting to the 2 1/2 year mark, and wasn’t using her wheel at all anymore, sleeping almost constantly, and I had to clean her eyes almost daily. I think it’s normal! 🙂

  5. Hi, my baby’s name is bella. I have had her about 2 months. 3 days ago she got out of her cage. I found her late when I got home from work around 7. She was crazy jumpy and would let no one touch her. Now on day 3 she is lathargic, sleeps all the time and Wil even let you touch her feet which she hates. She will drink but refuses to eat. When I found her she was on her back stuck in the couch. Idk how long she was there. I got her to eat a bite of baby food tonight but I’m worried about her. The nearest vet is 2 hours away and expensive. What do I do?

    • Looks like your hamster is a bit stressed out. Secure you cage so Bella does not get out, and just leave her alone. Check to see lf she has wet tail. Most of the time you do not have to go to a vet. You can just go to a trusted pet store and get a medication there. Look for wet tail drops and follow the instuctions. Bella should be ok.

  6. Hi I just got a new hamster yesterday and all he does is sleep. I took him out and he ran around the floor and in my hamd. He bit me once, (the day I got him) but hasn’t since. his bottom seems wet and yellow so I assumed it’s pee but he eats very little and I haven’t seen him drink even once out of his sttopered bottle. I took his veggies out of his cage and his eyes seem ok. Do you think he will be ok, because I can’t afford the vet. Is it wet tail???

    • no its not wet tail. Hamsters are nocturnal so it will sleep a lot and wake up at night. your hamster will bite if you don’t leave him alone for at least 3 days but I prefer a week. The hamter will probably get wet tail if you don’t do that

      • Susan – seriously – you’re wrong and please stop trying to give advice. You’re not only incorrect – you’re fear-mongering and actually pretty sick telling likely young people incorrect, mean advice.

        Noah – if you’re concerned about wet tail – the above solution can help in the document – it’s available at pet stores and giving an animal that doesn’t have wet tail the product will not hurt them. The advice is late now – but I hope you worked it out.

    • Hi, no this is not wet tail, do not worry! When I got my three hamsters, they slept a lot and didn’t really eat or drink much, this is just because they like to get used to their surroundings. I have a little upset about it when I got them, but now they are the best hamstera I could ever have!

  7. I just bought a 1 month old Syrian, her name is April and shes about 1 month old, idk if she has wet taill, the first time she saw my dad she peed alot, i mean like about 7 drops of pee (sounds little but she only pee 4 drops regularly) on my dads hand, second, she weted her nesting material until its llike pretty soaked with urine and whenever she poos i have to get the poo from her bottom fur cause it stuck there, she doesnt eat the food nore drink water, she only plays in the wheel but she runs for 2 secs and stop, which pretty much made the wheel flip her over. im really concerned but its her first day away from the pet shop, should i take her to the vet?

  8. My guinea pig is an American guinea pig, he is brown, black, and white, so I named him Snickers. I did not clean his cage for a while, and his bottom hot very swollen, my step dad told me it was wet bottom. I’ve notice a very slight decrease in activity, but he still eats and drinks normal, but his belly us warm. Is this wet bottom? I told my mom to get him drops for it, but I don’t know what to do.

    His birthday is October 12, and he will be one years old! Happy Birthday, Snickers!!!!!!!!!

  9. Okay so I just bought a 3 month old baby teddy bear hamster iv had him for two days and I haven’t seen him drink any water and he has had diarrhea like poop and it’s black and it smells really bad and I noticed some blood im scared that I hurt him when I tryed to clean off the poop because it hardened over his butt hole. What should I do I’m scared I don’t want to loose another hamster what should I do?

      • Susan – their comment was a year old and if it was going to pass – it would have. You’re a horrible human being.

        “Obviously he has wet tail so he will most likely die.” – Wow – you’re a sad, sick person.

      • Seriously………you need to stop being a dick. Like have a little compassion. Give a little hope. It wouldn’t kill you.

      • Not every animal that gets wet tail dies. Please educate yourself before giving advice to any others.

  10. Hello. My name is Michaela. I have a 2 year old Roborovski hamster and today she started sitting in a corner hunched over. I picked her up and she started oozing blood and a dark brown substance that I think is poo. Her eyes are sqinted and barely breathing. Every time she poops there is blood but her poop is solid. I do not know if it is wet tail but I gave her a dosage of it. What else should I do?

    • Hi, I’m afraid that my winter white two month old female hamster has wet tail. I left her in a different tank than her sister and when I out her back I saw that she had a soaked bottom and belly. She is fat and loves food, but when I put her back she ran away from the food. It also says the symptoms are they not grooming her sleeves, but she is grooming herself right now. Is this wet tail,or just urine?

  11. I have a hammy she looks pregnant she not she’s the only hamny I have she has for sure wet tail runny poo and haunched over and closed eyes I run right out and tracked down some wet tail drops poor dear still tries to rub her head on my fingers as I eye drop water and Apple sauce for her to eat and drink is there anything else I can do to help her feel better faster

  12. I haven’t been cleaning my hamsters cage lately so I got up to do it tonight and I noticed that my hamster wasn’t responding to anything I do. She just sits there and breathes with her eyes closed, when I pick her up she doesn’t do anything, her underside has poo and the fur is yellow down there. She’s not eating and I don’t know if she’s drinking or not. I have wet tail drops, should I use them? Usually when I go near her she runs away but now she’s not doing anything. I’m very very worried. Does she maybe have pneumonia? Is it wet tail? I am cleaning her cage tonight and I will try using the drops and see if she gets better but I’m not sure if it’s wet tail or something else, PLEASE HELP!

  13. Hi! My hamster is on antibiotics for swollen eyes and has been doing well but tonight while I was cleaning his cage I noticed some diarrhea. He does not have a wet tail just some loose stool. Should I be worried? I think maybe he was stressed because I cleaned his cage while he was still in it and usually I take him out while I do it. I also noticed his food had moth larva in it and needed to be thrown up so right now he has oats, carrots, and apple. Will that make it worse?

  14. My little robo dwarf hamster was 3 months old, she has always been lovely and cuddly and would curl up on me and sleep while I stroked her back paws, Sunday night she was hunched over, shaking, she looked like she had been sweating profusely, it was horrible, she was obviously in pain, for an hour she just lay there breathing heavily and shaking, I was gently putting little tiny drips of water in to her gums with my little finger because she was obviously dehydrated, within the hour (she had been in my hands since I got home) she began coughing and she died. She shared cage with my other little robo hamster but now she’s so sad looking and she wanders around her cage crying as if she’s looking for her little friend, I bought them together. Should I get her another companion?

  15. Hi,

    I think my hamster have wet tail…… his bottom is wet and also he hardly eat and drink. Beside his eyes is just slightly open and wet. I am so worry because don’t have any vet and even any pet shop around my area. Any suggestions?

    • Me aswell my little nallah bear is a Russian dwarf hamster. She has had a biting problem since I bought hur but I don’t know why. Are dwarf hamsters territorial? She only bites if I put something in her cage including my hand. I live with a lovely family with 6 children and the youngest are 6. They tend to get bitten but I try to keep her away from people as much as possible. Do you think that her biting issue is stress related? I hope she’s just very territorial. I don’t have the money to take her to the vet that’s the problem. But I will do what ever it takes to help relieve stress from her. Any suggestions?

      • Russian dwarf hamsters are naturally pretty aggressive don’t worry nothing out of the ordinary they tent to be more frightened so the bite more

  16. Hey, I just bought my hamster a couple of days ago, for the first day she was alert and active, sniffing around, actually even bit me once. Now all she does is sleep, and her bottom is pretty wet with an odor. A couple of times I seen her hunched in the cage just kind of staring off in space. She hasn’t been eating much either, but I did see her drink today. I am taking her to the vet ASAP! Wonder if it’s Wet Tail or maybe something else?

  17. Hey, yesterday my hamster was alright.
    Today in the morning i came to feed him and i noticed something strange, usualy when he goes into his house he closes the entrance after him with some cloth and toilet paper he has in his little house, this time it was open and i could see him inside.
    I knew something was wrong so i opened the cage and then the roof of his house , and he was lying there cold and dead,
    It seemed he crawled using his last strenght to get inside the house, a very sad thing to see.
    So, i inspected his body, he had a wet tail and a blue belly eyes halfway shut and outside of his house wet poo and everything was wet around.. I feel sorry i couldnt save him
    RIP shtibi the hamster

  18. guys im seriously worried about my hammy i just dont know what to do 🙁
    Ive saw her tonight to see she has typical wet tail symptoms. She can hardly open her eyes and ive tried giving her some fresh veg but she hardly has the energy to eat it. Reading all the possible causes, I think its definately stress related as shes been constantly biting at the bars of her cage for weeks now but ive tried putting her in the ball, had her roam free over the coffee table and even on the floor every day as she clearly hates being in a cage but she just seems constantly agitated. I’ve even moved her to a different cage as she found an escape route so it wasnt safe for her to stay. Shes a lone syrian hamster and both cages are some of the largest you can buy. Any suggestions to stop her stressing out so much?

  19. hi my hampster has wet tail I went to the vet tonight they put some cream on her and she can’t open her eyes very well is she going to die or is she just a bit I’ll thanks I’m just very worried 😥

  20. Hello my dwarf hamster is over two years old. The past few days her back end has been wet. Her poo looks normal. She’s interested in food I haven’t seen her eating but she does jump straight in her bowl for it when I feed her. she is still relatively active. She does stumble around a bit but I think this might be down to her age. Does it sound like wet tail to you? She’s been like this the past few days and i have put her on baytril anyway x

  21. Hello my hamster has wet tail and we called the vet and she gave us some antibiotics to give to the hamster but she has been on it for a day and still has it. She won’t drink any water or eat which is concerning me. I try to spoon feed her like baby food but will rarely eat it. And once again, she will not drink from her water bottle. What should I do?

  22. My hamster has her eyes shut and has her tail wet I’m thinking diarrhea she’s not eating not drinking much but she’s still active could it be wet tail?

    • From what you say, she could have a virus. You can treat for wet tail. Also keep the habitat nice and warm, make sure she is eating and drinking water. If you have to, use an eye dropper to hand feed her water. You can clean the eyes if they are crusty or sticky. Use a warm wet wash cloth and carefully remove the buildup.

  23. Hi I am on day four of my hamster having wet tail. The runny poo has stopped he is still drinking a small amount when I present him with that water bottle. He will eat a tiny amount of liquid feed with apple puree and probiotic off a spoon. His fur is looking a bit better than it was. I keep checking on him every four hours and offering water etc. I am wondering how ofter I should give him liquids. He is still really sick and I am really worried about him. How much fluids should he have in 24 hours and how long can he go without food? Sorry so many questions!

    • Think of it this way, replace the water lost from the diarrhea. If you have an idea of how much that is, you can try to make your hamster drink that much from an eyedropper over the course of a day. Or think about how often you have to refill the hamster’s water bottle and divide ounces lost by the number of days between fillings. That should give you another perspective on how much water your hamster drinks every day. Applesauce has a good deal of liquid and is known to help with diarrhea so that was a good choice along with the probiotic. A hamster can probably go two or three days without eating but shouldn’t even go a day without having at least something to eat. Keep up the good care!

  24. I thought my hamster was dead but now I don’t know?? she’s laying flat on her tummy with her eyes shut, occasionally she half opens them and then sort of scoots around her cage?? kind of digging under her bedding.. she’s usually active by this time but I think she might be asleep?? she doesn’t respond when I call her or open her cage and when I put my hand in to stroke her she didn’t respond either, she is breathing and her tail isn’t wet, I haven’t seen her underside but there are no obvious signs of illness other than the weird behaviour?? ~ sorry I’ve been so long winded I’m just very worried!! ~

  25. Hello. I got a hamster like four days ago. I do think that she is stressed. She keeps digging in the corners of the cage, biting the me, and the bedding. And I want to know some things to help with that. Thanks

  26. hi, i think my hammy has wet tail. exessive poo, creamy discharge, and thirst. also crust eyes. shes moving around a little wobbly but is drinking, moving food and bedding around, and tried to clean herself. she is now asleeep. were taking her to the vet tomorrow and getting wettail drops. if she doesnt have wet tail will this harm her? and also we have to take her on a week vacay with a seven hour drive. like HAVE to, no other options. please help. her nails are also very short. And she seems sort if tired, and her bottom is swollen and it seems her tail is sticking out more than normal.

  27. Hi,

    My hamster already has wet tail. He’s had antibiotics and probiotics from the vet and was given fluids too. I’ve been giving him water with the probiotics through a syringe as well as water and honey (suggested by the vet to give him energy), but he is still very lethargic four days later. Is there anything else I can do?

    • Just keep doing what you are doing. Think about a time when you had a flu or a cold, it usually takes a week or two to get fully better. Keep up the good care.

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