Small Animal Information from



   There is a definite upward trend in the keeping of small animals, particularly hamsters. They can become great pets, providing that they are properly cared for, and what's more amusing than watching a hamster in an exercise ball or wheel? 

   Fish Mart has been a USDA licensed wholesaler of small animals, including hamsters, since 1985. It has been our policy to supply our dealers the healthiest and finest quality animals available in the industry. Our hamsters are babies, five to seven weeks old. 

   We are regularly inspected and approved by the USDA, and work with a local vet to ensure the best possible handling of these animals. In order to help you maintain the quality and health of these animals, especially baby hamsters, we offer the following guidelines: 

When you arrive home following purchase of your hamsters, remove them from the carrier as soon as possible and give them food and water. 

Examine your animal- check their eyes to be sure they are bright and clear, and check their tails for evidence of wet tail (see below). Your animal should arrive alert and acting normally as soon as they are put in their new quarters. 

If you are planning to quarter several hamsters, a ten gallon tank should provide sufficient room.

Keep in mind that when hamsters are sold as pets (particularly to young children) they are best kept alone, as adult hamsters become quarrelsome at times.

To maintain healthy hamsters, special attention should be directed to the cage corners, where the hamsters urinate. This area is very easy to clean and should be done daily. 

Understand that hamsters are most active at night, and should be roused gently during the day. 

If your new hamsters are babies, Teddy Bears may not yet have their longer body fur. The longer fur is first noticeable between the legs. 

Finally, be sure to show all members of your family how to properly handle hamsters (or any other small animal). 

   Please keep in mind that changing any animal's diet drastically is very stressful, and the combination of this and the stress of shipping from suppliers to customers can cause fatalities. Our hamsters have been given a diet of laboratory chunks, a processed food containing all the nutritional requirements the hamsters need. A heavy diet of sunflower seeds or soybeans will cause digestive disturbances and predispose the animal to wet tail. 

   We strongly recommend that you continue a "lab chow" diet. With this diet you need not give any vitamin supplements in their water, which can be upsetting to the animal's digestive system. 

   If you follow these simple care guidelines, your hamster (or hamsters) should settle in and thrive for you. If, despite these measures, your hamsters should develop problems, promptly consult your dealer.


   Bacterial diarrhea and enteritis, commonly called wet tail, is the most frequent cause of illnesses among hamsters. It is primarily related to stress. It is caused by a bacterial infection of the intestinal lining, which interferes with the absorption of water into the blood. This causes rapid dehydration and death. 

   Dealing with wet tail involves trying to eliminate as much stress as possible and treating the animals with a preventative medication to protect them after the stress of shipping and the change in environment. 

   The hamsters your dealer has obtained from Fish Mart are routinely put on a Neomycin Sulfate 

solution at a dose of 2 cc. per 8 oz. of water. This is a stronger dose than we would normally recommend, because air shipping is more stressful than the ride to your store in one of our climate-controlled vans. 

   Our treatment ensures healthy arrival of our animals in your dealer's store. After you receive your hamsters, we recommend a dose of 1 cc. Neomycin per 8 oz. water bottle for up to one week. 

   In the event an outbreak of wet tail does occur, it would be advisable to increase the dose to 3 cc. per 8 oz. bottle until all symptoms disappear.

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