Keeping your Degus Healthy

There are no products matching the selection.

Keeping your Degus Healthy

General health care Common health problems General health care You can tell if your degu is feeling poorly by their behaviour.  If you notice a change in their behaviour or if they are not eating and drinking this could be a sign that they are ill.  Teeth – Degus teeth should be checked to make sure they are not over grown or uneven. A healthy degus teeth are orange coloured, not white!  White teeth can be a sign of vitamin deficiency.  Symptoms of teeth problems in degus are loss of weight, difficulty eating, pawing at their mouth, drooling or weepy eyes. Your degu will keep their teeth trim by chewing so make sure you provide plenty of hay for them which acts as roughage and gnawing toys to help wear their teeth down.  If your degu does suffer from overgrown teeth make an appointment with your vet to have their teeth trimmed. Mouth - Degus are prone to infections of the mouth and it is very important that your degus water bottle is kept clean.  We recommend sterilising your degus water bottle regularly to keep it germ free and safe. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Nose - Your degus nose shouldnt be crusty or runny.  Degus can catch colds so a runny nose could be a sign of a cold or respiratory infection.  Degus can catch colds from humans, so avoid handling your degu if you have one.  If you are concerned that your degu is not recovering from their cold should contact your vet. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Eyes - Your degus eyes should be bright and clear, with no signs of runniness, redness, swelling or soreness.   Some degus can develop eye infections caused by dust from their dust baths and from and bedding that they kick about in their cage.  Eye gels are available to help treat this problem and you should contact your vet for anti-inflammatory and antibiotic treatments.   Check your degus eyes for signs of cataracts (cataracts tend to be white and opaque or a milky blue colour).  Cataracts are a sign that your degu may have developed diabetes and you should contact your vet for advice if you think your degu has them. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Claws - Degus claws can become sharp in captivity because they dont have to scramble over rough ground, or dig burrows as they would in the wild. Long claws can impede your degu’s movement, cause pain and risk getting caught or pulled out.  If you are worried about your degus claws being too long contact your vet to have them trimmed. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Skin, coat and tail - Loss of fur, inflamed skin or flakiness can be caused by allergies or mites. It is important to seek your vets advice to rule out other illnesses in case there is an underlying cause for your degus poor skin and coat condition. Degus are usually free of parasites, but occasionally they can suffer from mites.  Signs of mites are scratching, brown matter in the ears, bald patches on the coat and irritated broken skin.   Hairless patches on your degu can be an indication of over-grooming, which is a sign of boredom so ensure your degu has plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Degus can sometimes be aggressive with one another and if their skin, coat or tail are in bad condition you should check them all over for any signs of injury caused by squabbles or fighting.  Small bites should heal well but more serious injuries will require a vet’s assistance. Visit our Degu Products section for a selection of Treatments for Mites Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Feet - Check the underside of your degus feet regularly to make sure they are not sore, inflamed or have broken skin.  This will help you spot the early signs of bumblefoot which is caused by constantly walking over wire mesh. Preventative action can be taken by ensuring the floor of your degus cage is solid and not made of wire. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. BackTo Top Common health problems Diabetes - Diabetes is common in degus as they can not metabolise sugar well so do not feed  your degu sugary foods such as fruit and only feed them degu-specific treats.  Only feed your degu nuggets that are degu-specific as these do not contain molasses. Symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst and drinking a lot of water, urinating more than normal, urine with a sweet or acetone (nail polish remover) smell, sudden weight loss or gain, cataracts, tiredness (sleeping more than usual) and increased appetite.  If you think your degu may be diabetic ask your vet for advice.   Call Vet Clinic at Petstop Visit our Degu Feeding advice to learn more Cataracts - Degus can develop cataracts as a result of diabetes.   Cataracts tend to be white and opaque or a milky blue colour and you should contact your vet for advice if your degu has signs of them. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop Bumblefoo t – (pododermatitis).   Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection which commonly affects degus. It is often caused by degus walking on wire surfaces, which leads to inflammation on the underside of your degus feet, soreness, pain and broken skin.   Symptoms are difficulty in walking, cries of pain, swollen feet and sores.  To avoid bumblefoot, remove the wire-mesh bottom from the pet’s cage and replace it with a solid base. If your degu has bumblefoot you should contact your vet for treatment. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop Mouth Infections - Degus are prone to infections of the mouth and it is very important that your degus water bottle is kept spotlessly clean as it can harbour bacteria.  We recommend sterilising your degus water bottle regularly to keep it germ free and safe.   Symptoms of mouth infection are problems eating, constant grooming of the mouth, crying, drooling and loss of weight.  If you are worried your degu has a mouth infection you should contact your vet immediately. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop Heat stroke -   Degus are very sensitive to high temperatures and can develop heat stroke very quickly as they can not sweat like humans. Ideally pet degus should be kept at a room temperature between 18 – 22ºC.  In hot summers you can place a   granite cooling tile in your degu cage for them to rest on.  Granite naturally maintains a temperature below that of the room and will help your degu feel nice and cool.   Symptoms of heatstroke are lying motionless or appearing dead and feeling hot to the touch.  If you think your degu has heatstroke slowly immerse their body in cold water and take them to the vet immediately. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop Diarrhea - Diarrhea can result from a number of infections or from excess fresh greens in their diet.  You should only feed them to your degu in small amounts as a treat.   Degus can dehydrate very quickly, which can be fatal, so take your degu to your vet as soon as possible. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop BackTo Top