Posted: October 25, 2013, 2:50 p.m. EDT
© Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
Healthy, happy hamsters are active and have bright eyes.
Q: Please help my hamster. I don't know what I need to do or what happened to her.
A: Thank you for sending this picture. (To see the photo, which might be disturbing, click here>> ) What is shown is a very serious condition that needs immediate medical attention, or your hamster is at risk for extreme pain and dying. What you are seeing are the intestines, sort of inside-out, like you were taking off a glove by pulling it inside-out over your hand.
This can happen for a number of reasons but the end result can be infection of the intestinal tissue and/or death of some of the intestinal tissue. In both conditions, your hamster will suffer great pain and possibly die.
This inside-out intestine condition can be due to various types of internal parasites and also from severe bacterial and viral infections. Sometimes this can happen in the condition known as "wet tail.”
There is nothing you can do at home to get this better. If you try to push the tissue back in, you can cause further damage and infection. It will also be very painful for your hamster. Your veterinarian can sedate your hamster, examine the tissue, clean it off, apply medication and attempt to replace the tissue while removing any tissue that is severely diseased or dead.
See all veterinary Q&A about hamsters, click here>>
See the Hamster Health Center, click here>>
See veterinary Q&A for all small animal pets, click here>>