Health Issues With New Hamsters

by DFS-Pet-Blog on October 25, 2010

Boots **Guest post from Felicia M.**

We recently added a new hamster to our pet family. Meet “Boots,” a young Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster, Silvering Black color form with the common white “faults” of the collar, moustache, paws, tail, and zipper.

My local pet store is very reliable and clean, but I still checked to make sure none of Boots’ cagemates had wet-tails. If any of the hamsters in a cage have wet-tail, it’s safe to assume all the hamsters have been exposed to the causative bacteria.

Wet-tail usually affects young Syrian hamsters less than 3 months old. It is very easy to tell if your hamster has wet-tail, because the tail and the surrounding area will be wet and messy. The causes of wet-tail are not fully understood, but it is a bacterial infection that causes diarrhea, listlessness, dehydration, and even if treated, can cause death. If your hamster has wet-tail, make an appointment with your vet right away.

When you buy a new hamster, allow it to settle in for a week before handling it to prevent stress. If your new hamster seems skittish and nervous, keep it in a quiet location away from other pets or people walking by its cage. Anything you can do to lower your hamster’s stress level will help to keep its immune system healthy.
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Rosemary October 25, 2010 at 8:05 am

He’s so cute. I guess I’ve never thought about any health concerns like that in pocket pets. My main concern has always been that any liittle critter like a hamster or gerbil would wind up as a cat snack in our house.

As for letting the critter settle into the household, I can certainly understand how the poor thing would be stressed. People staring and knocking on the glass, and nowhere to escape to, would be enough to give me a heart attack if I was that tiny.

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