Welcome to Dashing Hamsters. I created this website back in 2005, initially to have a place to share my love of hamsters. Throughout the years I have come across a lot of information that just often doesn't match up. Care standards and information are outdated, and these little creatures are misunderstood by many. So I decided to make this website as more than just a hamster lover's website, but a hamster website for modern owners who are looking for up to date advice on how to care for and understand their beloved hamsters. On DH you can learn about hamsters, see some cute pictures and read through a hamster filled blog.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Word of Warning: Dri-tail

I am hoping to work on putting together a good post about Wet Tail since it is such a common disease for our beloved Syrian hamsters. However I do not believe that this will be complete for some time. So until then I did want a tiny bit of information put out there concerning the supposed over the counter cures for wet tail.

The most common brands include Dri-tail and Oasis Wet-tail drops. I am not knocking these products, however they are quite misleading and are only supporting the misinformation out there in regard to what wet tail really is. Since wet tail is a term that tends to be used for any kind of diarrhea, true wet tail is often misdiagnosed. Wet Tail actually refers to Proliferative Ileitis. It is a bacterial disease that usually only affects Syrian hamsters that are 12 weeks and under- the main symptom being severe diarrhea. 

These products claim to cure 'wet tail', which they state is stress-induced diarrhea. Unfortunately that is a mistake. So these products may actually work, they may actually get rid of the diarrhea however this only masks the symptoms it does not cure the disease. There is no home cure for wet tail, you need to seek a vet as soon as you believe that your hamster has this in order to get the proper antibiotics. Hamsters die quickly from this disease, the waiting game can not be played here if you wish your hamster to come out alive.

A quote from missPixy on Hamster Hideout:

driTail contains "Neomycin" which is an antibiotic that causes
problems in lots of hamsters. there are lots of antibiotics
that cause toxic reactions in hamsters. the amount of
neomycin is probably diluted since it's being sold over the
counter instead of through a vet; but a hamster with wet tail
already has major problems with their digestive tract.

that's why it's a bad drug to use, on many levels. the
antibiotic used is not "hamster-safe" and it can in fact
aggravate the already depleted digestive tract.

the best thing to do:

1) give your syrian hamster a few days alone without
handling when you first bring her home;

2) if you notice signs of profuse diarrhea, contact
immediately a hamster-experienced vet so you can
start on a more appropriate antibiotic such as baytril;

3) get your hamster's water bottle filled with
50percent children's unflavored pedialyte, and
50percent bottled spring water. the dehydration
that occurs from diarrhea can also kill a hamster

4) remove all food from your hamster at this time
except for organic yogurt which she can eat freely.
do not introduce any other food until stools are
normal again. Original Source


  1. Just a minor comment: over here, the yogurt is not fed freely but several hours time after the antibiotic as yogurt and antibiotics can counter-act each other.

    Instead of yogurt you can also use bird bene bac to soothe the digestive tract. This should be available through your vet. The same rule applies - leave some hours after administering the AB before you give the bird bene bac.

  2. worst informative post ever.

    heres what you need to do.

    1. explain where wet tail comes from, and how to prevent it.

    2. you say baytril works for wet tail? yea well say what it is, what it does, why its better than dri tail, etc.

    3. people who have this issue want more than a few small paragraphs on the issue. be way more explanatory as your post was very unhelpful.

  3. Dear Anonymous: Did you read the first paragraph? I would suggest that you do. ;) Other than that you are right. I am still putting together my wet tail article. Give it some time.

  4. You really need to improve this article.. You're slamming dri-tail and Oasis drops but you don't give any good reasons. Please fix if you want people to take this seriously..

  5. Yes. Because the fact that covering the symptoms of a terminal disease to hide the true effect of said disease on the hamster along with the use of unsafe antibiotic are not good enough reasons to avoid these products. All mentioned in this post. Please do consider actually reading what you are commenting on before commenting. As I said previously, the full wet tail article will be up once completed. In the meantime I see no reason for a warning on products that use false advertising to claim to cure a deadly disease, when they do not, to be up. If you do not agree than please wait patiently for the full Wet Tail article.

  6. I personally think instead of trying all this stuff take your hamster to the vet if u cant afford a vet you cant afford a pet cuz going to the vet is important

  7. Can Anonymous even read? Every accusation is a poor strawman argument...that was already addressed in what you wrote, Holly! Even the Baytril....clearly, one would need to go to the vet to get a prescription! Good Lord...trolls even troll in hamster forums! For what it's worth, I appreciate what you did write but I look forward to reading more. New to hamsters though I've raised and rehabbed so many other animals and rodents that my overall knowledge on caring for anything is more than most. I do believe vets are often necessary which is unfortunate because in my area, just walking in the door is almost $200. I wanted a vet to treat a chicken's bumblefoot and the quote was $175 for walking in, $300ish to be examined, another $100 or so for being transferred to aviary for the procedure, and then even more money for the procedure/meds. For a tiny incision. $600 - $700 for an abcess on a chicken's foot. Mind you, this was a chicken scheduled for the soup pot the following Spring. I ended up cutting out the infection myself utilizing colloidal silver and manukah honey and she recovered fine....and fast...despite the bandages getting muddy from poop-mud with all the rain we were having. Still, there is that window of time before you can get an appt around here (emergency visits are even more $$) and many of us might try the products mentioned above to do something until we can get an appt during office hours. Hopefully, that would buy me time to get an appt I can try to afford. So TY for your small blurb that you clearly explained would be lengthened and ignore the trolls that can't read. I hope I never deal with wet tail but now that I understand what it is (and what not to use while I scramble to get an appt), I'm less fearful.