Wet-tail or proliferative ileitis, is a disease in rodents kept in cages, mainly hamsters, but can include rabbits, gerbils, rats, and mice. It is caused by stress. Even with treatment, the animal can die within 24-48 hours. Baby hamsters are much more likely to get the disease than older hamsters. It commonly is found when the hamster is being weaned at about four weeks of age.
Causes[change | change source]
- Too much handling
- Change in environment
- Change in diet
- Inadequate cage cleaning
- Being away from mother and/or siblings
- Death of a mate
Symptoms[change | change source]
The symptoms may not appear for several days. The main symptom is the animal has a wet tail, matted with faeces. Other signs of the disease are:
Treatment[change | change source]
There are drugs to treat wet-tail which can be bought from pet shops. A vet may choose to give the animal other drugs. The sick animal should be kept in a cage by itself so that others do not catch the disease.
References[change | change source]
- "Gastrointestinal Diseases" (in English). The Merck Veterinary Manual. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/171530.htm. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
- "Wet Tail" (in English). Pets Hub. December 2009. http://petshub.com/blog/wet-tail/. Retrieved 2010-05-28.