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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28451
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My hamster has blood coming out if his with pieces of

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My hamster has blood coming out if his butt with pieces of poop?

Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
This is most indicative of proliferative ileitis ("wet tail" or regional enteritis) in hamsters. Signs seen with this disease include diarrhea (sometimes containing blood) and tenesmus (straining). Intestinal neoplasia (cancer) can cause similar signs.

Treatment must be aggressive for wet tail and involves correcting life-threatening electrolyte imbalance, administering antibiotics, and force-feeding. Several antibiotics are recommended and are available from your vet. Tetracycline hydrochloride (400mg/L of drinking water for 10 days), tetracycline (10mg/kg by mouth every 12 hours for 5-7 days), enrofloxacin (10mg/kg by mouth every 12 hours for 5-7 days), and trimethoprim-sulfa at 30mg/kg by mouth every 12 hours for 5-7 days are recommended. The prognosis for recovery is very guarded in spite of intensive care.

Replacement electrolyte and glucose solutions should be given orally, and electrolyte fluid replacement such as saline or lactated ringers should be given at a dose of 20ml/100g daily. These solutions should be available from your vet as well.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

he's still eating, he's lethargic of his eyes is bulging. sometimes it seems like he's trying to catch his breath and yes it does seem like he's constipated.

What does wet tail come from. How long do they live after getting wet tail

Wet tail is actually a euphemism for any diarrhea is hamsters but particularly for an enteropathy (GI disorder) seen mainly in young hamsters. It's caused by an intracellular bacterium called Lawsonia intracellularis which is a common contaminant in breeding areas. Untreated, most hamsters will die within days of showing symptoms.

We see other bacterial infections as well; Clostridium difficile and Clostridium piliforme infections have been described in hamsters and would be addressed similarly as mentioned above.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hank you, any thoughts on the bulging eye?

Yes, his bulging eye (exophthalmos) is commonly seen in hamsters and usually occurs because of ocular infection (the same organism as is present in the GI tract or another bacterium), trauma to the periorbital area or the application of excess pressure in holding the animal during restraint. Treating the eye with an ophthalmic antibiotic for 7-10 days is indicated; Terramycin - which is available over the counter in many pet/feed stores - is recommended.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you. not being able to get him to the vet till tomorrow, what can we do at home


I'm afraid you're limited to administering an infant fluid/electrolyte replacer such as Pedialyte (or generic) orally at 5ml (one teaspoon) daily for a 30g hamster. A regulation eyedropper contains approximately 1ml.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It's my daughters hamster, after I spoke to her she said she doesnt have the money for the vet. She said her friend cured her hamster by using maracyn tc its a fish medicine (has tetrocyclin in it) she put it in water till it turned yellow and dissolved. Giving it to the hamster in a dropper plus adding it to the water for 10 days. She also used diluted pepto bismol to control the diarhea. She suggested cleaning the cage thoroughly every day for 10 days w water/bleach. Her friends hamster survived and is still doing well.


The antibiotic is appropriate but I don't how to dose that preparation of tetracycline properly. At 10mg/kg a 30g hamster would need only 0.3mg of tetracycline daily. Pepto Bismol is reasonable as ancillary therapy.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Thank you for your help so far. So we couldn't find the powder anywhere near us, her friend got her the Oasis wet tail drops. She added it to his water. I was going to order the powder online and I'd probably get it tomorrow.


1. Can we start the tetracycline powder tomorrow even though we put the wet tail drops in his water already?

2. Whats your opinion on the Oasis wet tail drops?


Also, he's very active, eating, no loss of weight, poop is solid but still looks like there's blood. She thinks he even might be constipated. She said after she gave him the pepto, he went to the bathroom a few times and now his back is no longer hunched over. I don't know, maybe you have an idea?




1. Yes, you can.
2. The Oasis wet tail drops contains neomycin - an antibiotic we prefer not to use in the gastrointestinal tract because it can cause an imbalance in the gut flora. I don't have information on whether the usual bacterium associated with wet tail (Lawsonia intracellularis) is susceptible to neomycin but I expect it to be.
3. It's unlikely that he's constipated. That's not a common problem in hamsters. Any straining is likely due to inflammation rather than constipation. In any event if his poop is solid and he's active and eating things are looking up! Keep up the good work and begin the powder as soon as you can.


It's my pleasure.

Dr. Michael Salkin and 2 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. How is the hamster doing, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Seems pretty normal to be honest, except he's still pooping blood. Other than sleeping a little more than normal, he's been eating (both food and his poop) we've been giving the pepto and the tryc. he can walk, seems interested in food. I don't know what to make of it to be honest.

Thank you for the update. Keep up the tetracycline for 10 full days. I'd stop the Pepto. It contains a salicylate which can irritate the hamster's GI tract. You're doing all you should.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We had him put to sleep. The bleeding was too much. Thanks so much for your help. I appreciate it.

My condolences for your loss. Unfortunately, that's all too common of an outcome with wet tail. You gave it your best.

You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

Please disregard the info request.