What is Proliferative Ileitis?
Proliferative Ileitis, also known as “Wet Tail”, is a serious, life-threatening intestinal bacterial infection resulting from stress. A bacterium (singular for bacteria) is a single-celled organism that cannot be seen by the naked eye (note: not all bacteria are pathogenic). Bacteria that are often responsible for Wet Tail are: Escherichia coli (E. coli), Campylobacter species, Cryptosporidium species, and Chlamydia species (3). There are mixed opinions that Campylobacter jejuni can cause Wet Tail. Hanes states that this organism has been isolated from infected hamsters and from normal, healthy hamsters. It is proposed that hamsters can “shed” this organism (3). In addition, a study concluded that this organism in pure cultures does not reproduce the disease (9). It is found that Wet Tail is misdiagnosed often by owners and veterinarians. It is important to remember diarrhea is a symptom of Wet Tail, not the disease itself. Wet Tail is a bacterial infection. It happens many times that