It depends on what they're sick with, I suppose, but as a general rule, probiotics aren't medicine and don't treat illnesses. I love them to pieces, but they're a preventative more than a cure - among other things, they can prevent stress-induced diarrhea and the (nasty) side-effects that antibiotics can cause.
If the hamster has "wet tail" (bad diarrhea and the most common ailment/sickness in hamsters), then it needs to be taken to the vet ASAP (do NOT use an over-the-counter supposed wet tail remedy from a pet store instead of going to the vet - that's a good way to end up with a dead hamster!).
[Yes, I realize this question is nearly three years old and my answer is far too late to help the asker, but Proliferative Ileitis (aka wet tail) is a fairly common, very serious, potentially fatal and often improperly treated condition in hamsters and someone else could easily come along with a similar question later... given that *good* information can be the difference between life and death in a "wet tail" situation, I thought it best to go ahead and give a detailed answer anyway ;)]
Proliferative Ileitis is caused by a bacterial infection, which can be fatal and requires antibiotics to treat. Whenever antibiotics are given to an animal (or human), probiotics (like this product) should also be given. Antibiotics target indiscriminately, so they kill off some of the beneficial bacteria in the body (mostly in the GI tract) in addition to whatever they're supposed to be killing. This can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting (in creatures capable of vomiting) and diarrhea. You read that right - the cure for diarrhea can actually CAUSE diarrhea itself even as it remedies the original cause!
Probiotics replenish the good bacteria in the GI tract that have been killed off by the antibiotics, preventing those nasty side-effects and helping the hamster to recover from the diarrhea faster. After a couple run-ins with stress-induced diarrhea when bringing home new sugar gliders (and subsequently discovering that a) when probiotics are given in addition to the antibiotic a vet prescribes for the diarrhea, the glider recovers much faster, b) if the diarrhea is mild/you catch it early enough, a dose of probiotics can re-balance the intestinal bacteria in a matter of hours and prevent a vet trip (and antibiotics) from being necessary and c) giving probiotics as a precaution prevents the diarrhea from happening in the first place even in a *very* stressed out glider), I consider them a MUST when an animal is undergoing stress or on antibiotics.
answered 2 weeks ago
San Antonio, TX
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