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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 28996
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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During the last two hours, my daughter noticed that her

Customer Question

Hi Anna.
During the last two hours, my daughter noticed that her hamster had blood covering the area between her hind legs. I used a designed-for-animals gentle soap to cleanse her and found she has a protrusion similar in diameter and length to her tail.
The hamster is not accepting water or her favorite treat: sunflower seeds. She is still active. Her eyes have become droopy.
I called 2 local veterinarians. One refused to see her, and the other offered to euthanize her.
My daughter inspected the cage and found that where most of the blood was also had diarrhea. Is there any point in getting medicine for wet tail? Is there anything else we can do? We have to travel more than an hour to get to the nearest pocket pet vet so that will need to wait until the morning.
Is there anything we can do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

I'm afraid that what you've told me doesn't bode well. Hamsters are prone to develop proliferative ileitis ("wet tail" or regional enteritis) a disease characterized by excessive glandular proliferation in the epithelium of the ileum. Signs seen with this disease include diarrhea (sometimes containing blood as you've seen) and tenesmus (straining to defecate). Rectal prolapse (the "protrusion") results from tenesmus. These are critically ill hamsters who need to be treated with fluids, dextrose, and antibiotics before they undergo emergency surgery. I can't in good faith recommend you go to such lengths with Christy. These hamsters have a poor prognosis for survival because they're already in such a debilitated state. Unfortunately, there's isn't anything of value to do at home other than keep Christy warm and wrapped up in a towel so as to protect the prolapse from further trauma. Euthanasia in the morning is, indeed, appropriate.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.