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Old 07-29-2015, 03:48 AM   #1
Goldliver
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Exclamation Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

Greetings,
My friend recently got a syrian hamster and its been like six days already.
I'm pretty sure she is still a pup. The first time he brought her to our apartment, the cute creature seems to be doing well, exploring her huge cage and when it is night, she played the wheel. She's been doing well after that, We saw her eating although never noticed her drinking through the water bottle. She was just fine and then we moved room. She was still okay at that time, eating but then, if im not mistaken, she never used the wheel anymore. It is very sad. She started to sleep more than usual. She didnt climb up her stairs like she used to do. She slept at corners and under her cage stair.
Today I noticed she was still sleeping and I watched her only to realize she got diarrhea. She always sleep, I feel so sad. Then she moved but only used her front legs to move. her hind legs dragged behind her.
Can someone please tell me what to do? Is it wet tail, the one disease we all fear or is it just diarrhea?
I don't think I have the access to the vet now not because of money but cause of the location and transportation. Is there anything I can do? Can Wet tail recover naturally? I think shes dehydrated, what should I do by my own now? Im really desperate please help. How long can she last?
I heard that wet tail symptoms took 7 days to surface, is that true? Before this, when she was fine I saw her solid poo stucked in her fur at the butt area but I didnt make the effort to move it, then the watter bottle seems to be dripping, is it the cause? the water caught up with the stucked poo and attracted bacteria? But i even read that wet tail is caused by genes problems. Please help, I feel guilty and sad, is it by any chance we are the cause of it? Please just tell thank you.
Thanks in advance, please pray for her
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:25 AM   #2
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

Hi. It could be wet tail, and if so she really needs to see a vet who could give antibiotics. But lets look at everything first. Does she have all the basic needs? 3 to 4” of litter/substrate on the bottom of the cage, suitable nesting material (torn up strips of white toilet paper is best – lots of it) – no fluffy bedding as this can cause digestive blockages. Access to food and water and a house or dark area under a shelf where she can be in the dark and build a nest. The nest is the most important thing to hamsters and it needs leaving alone as much as possible.
Diet – does she have a hamster mix like Harry Hamster for example? You say the water bottle has been dripping – which shows she has access to water – but if you tightened the bottle to stop It dripping she might not be getting any water out of the bottle. I’m paranoid about water bottles not letting water out and tap my finger under the spout to make sure it’s coming out. It is better to be dripping a bit than not letting water out (no dripping water wouldn’t cause wet tail).
Wet tail is either something they can contract before you bring them home or can be caused by extreme stress. Moving rooms would be stressful, but not that much I think. One thing that really stresses them is having their bedding removed and the cage cleaned. Usually it’s recommended not to clean anything for the first two weeks and let them settle in. After that you can ‘spot clean’ and just replace the odd handful of wee’d on substrate. Their poos are like little black seeds normally and not smelly or unhygienic – in fact they eat them sometimes when they are short of nutrients. Even then, it’s best to leave about a third of the old substrate and mix it in with the new so it still smells familiar. And ideally never touch their nest. If it’s been wee’d in you might need to occasionally remove some of the nest, but always leave some behind then add lots of new torn up toilet paper so she can rebuild it. They tend to choose one corner of the cage as a wee corner so don’t usually wee in the nest very often. Hamsters are naturally quite clean and wash themselves and have separate sleeping and toileting areas generally.
The wheel is probably too small which is why she won’t be using it. This is something that has happened to many of us – you buy a hamster and the pet shop sells you a cage that is way too small with a wheel that is way too small. The wheels that come with most cages, even large cages, are usually only big enough for a dwarf hamster. If the wheel is too small their back will be curved and this can cause pain and discomfort so they avoid using it. A wheel is very important to them too though, and if the cage is too small, a larger wheel won’t fit in it.
Something similar happened to us and we needed to upgrade our Syrian hamster within 3 weeks to a bigger cage and wheel. He was also seeming depressed and sleeping all the time (plus he grew quite big and got stuck in some tubes).
For now – the important thing is make sure the basics are met – deep enough litter/substrate on the bottom of the cage, paper nesting material, a hide or house (an upturned shoe box with a hole cut for a door will do) and food and water. If the water is coming out of the bottle ok and she’s just not drinking you could try seeing if she will take a small piece of cucumber (I tend to cut a chunk about 1cm square size – like a thick slice cut into quarters and give one of the quarters) – cucumber will help with rehydration. If she’s not interested in food then she is very poorly and needs to see a vet.
As you have only had her for 7 days it sounds like she may have contracted something from before you got her. Did you get her from Pets at Home? If so I think they are obliged to provide vet care if a hamster they sold is ill. If not then it is usually about 30 for a vet consultation and some vets are helpful over payment if treatment is needed.

PS If you post your postcode area or location, someone might be able to find someone who treats small animals in your area. Also if she hasn't worked out the water bottle, try putting a shallow small dish of water in the cage. It will need changing daily and keep an eye on it as if it gets substrate in it it could get contaminated. But just see if she will drink from a dish. Not too deep or high or they can fall in and drown. If you can't find anything something like a jar lid or plastic milk bottle top might do if it is on something firm like a shelf where it won't tip over easily.

Last edited by Pebbles82; 07-29-2015 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:30 AM   #3
Goldliver
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Default Re: Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

Thank you very much, sadly she died.. How come its so fast? just around noon I noticed she got diarrhea and when I returned back from my class like after 6 p.m., she died . Is it something that I did? I was feeling very sad and guilty or is it something she contacted before I got her as I only had her for six days and I bought her from a pet store. What careless action can an owner did that enable a hamster to get wet tail? I'm so sad as she was just a pup.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

Can someone please PM me or just post it here in details about how to prevent wet tail? I actually researched about it when I got her but some information seems to clash with another. Please, i don't want this to repeat, can someone please share to me the causes of wet tail, how to prevent and what to do,, pls any info about it. and pls i beg give me the true and correct info and not just any assumptions without proper research.
Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

Goldliver, You didn't cause this to happen. Wet Tail is deadly and a Syrian Pup can actually have the illness from suckling her Mom who survived Wet Tail(why it is recommended to NEVER breed a Hamster who recovered from Wet Tail). Chances are good she was much sicker then you thought when you found the diarrhea bottom. By that time the Wet Tail could have completely destroyed her digestive system and she was already beyond any help wither you had the chance to get her to a Vet or not.

You did all you could do for her and it was NOT your fault she failed to live. I would suggest not to get another hamster right away should you choose to do that. You'll need to do a complete Bleaching out of anything she stayed in, on or drank from to kill any lingering Wet Tail in the cage. If it can't be bleached then put it in the Bin and buy new. Let the bleach-able things soak in 1 part Bleach to 6 parts water over night. Then let them air dry. With the water bottle you will need to rinse it out with fresh water many times making sure the sipper tube is well rinsed as well.

I am sorry for your loss and send you a big comforting hug.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

So sorry to hear she died. I also think you should contact the pet shop you bought her from and complain, because there was a programme on TV recently about pet shops selling hamsters without proper health checks before sale. I think Nancy is right and she had already contracted it before you bought her.

TBH I wouldn't just bleach the cage and contents, I would then take them back to the pet shop and ask for a refund for the cage and the hamster. They can't argue really - she couldn't have caught it within 6 days.

Don't keep any of the items for a future hamster - start afresh with the next one, and when you are ready to get one, come on here and we'll give you loads of pointers to getting the right set up for your new hammy before you get it, (saves money getting it right at the start!)

Either you have been very unlucky or it isn't a good pet shop. We got ours from a local pet shop and he's always been healthy - although wasn't very tame and a bit neurotic (sorry Charlie) - he's improved a lot now! You can maybe find a local breeder and get one from there, where you will know they are disease-free and know they have been bred properly. Or you can adopt one from an animal rescue.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

Just a snapshot about wet tail for you, but if you google `wet tail in hamsters` it just about offers everything you want to know, although stick to reading veterinary articles and not things individuals have posted as many will contradict.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wet tail.JPG (46.8 KB, 12 views)
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:57 PM   #8
Goldliver
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Default Re: Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

Thank you,
How long till we can now if a hamster is contacted with wet tail, can i know the duration of days when the symptom will surface?
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:07 AM   #9
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According to the article below - no new hamster should be inroduced for at least 7 days (assuming everything has been disinfected and/or disposed of) and any areas around where the hamster has been and yourself of course (use antibacterial soap). The article gives some helpful information as well, and as you mentioned it does sound like genetics are involved too. I would say leave it longer than 7 days to be on the safe side. Three weeks maybe. I would also not keep any of the current things rather than disinfecting them. I would just get rid of the cage and and all contents. A vet website article on wet tail recommends disposing of all cage contents but says still disinfect them first as some animal may wander round the tip and pick something up. What cage was your hammy in? We can let you know whether it is one worth keeping or not! Some cages needed replacing anyway.

I certainly wouldn't get one from the same pet shop - they may have an outbreak there. Adopting one from an animal charity might be nice - it won't be a baby so less likely to experience separation stress. Either that or get one from a breeder next time.

It is unlikely to happen twice, but it is quite important to leave them alone in their new cage for the first few days when you get a hammy and have it all set up and don't change anything for a while. I do think you have just been unlucky though.

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Old 07-30-2015, 08:43 AM   #10
Goldliver
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Default Re: Is it wet tail? Please help, urgent

Thanks all really appreciate it.
Regarding your question, I don't think I can throw my cage away, is that ok? cause it is a quite expensive and large cage. not that complex as I only bought it, but the price is because of its size. So, any suggestion?
Thank you veryyyy much
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