Keeping your Gerbil Healthy

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Keeping your Gerbil Healthy

General health care Common health problems General health care You can tell if your gerbil 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 - Gerbils do not have dental problems very often but their teeth should be checked to make sure they are not over grown or uneven. A healthy gerbils teeth are yellow, not white!  Your gerbil will keep their teeth trim by gnawing and chewing so make sure you provide gnawing toys to help wear their teeth down.  If your gerbil does suffer from overgrown teeth make an appointment with your vet to have their teeth trimmed. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Nose - Your gerbils nose shouldnt be crusty or runny.  Gerbils can catch colds very easily so a runny nose could be a sign of a cold or respiratory infection.  Gerbils can catch colds from humans, so avoid handling your gerbil if you have one.  If you are concerned that your gerbil is not recovering from their cold should contact your vet. If your gerbil has a scabby nose this caused either by poor quality wood shavings used as substrate (flooring material) which cut your gerbils nose when they dig, or from your gerbil chewing inappropriate things out of boredom.  To avoid this happening, keep the burrowing material in the tank beneath their cage nice and soft and make sure your gerbils have plenty of toys. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Eyes - Your gerbils eyes should be bright and clear, with no signs of runniness, redness, swelling or soreness.  Some gerbils can develop eye infections caused by dust 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. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Claws - Gerbil’s claws can become over grown.  Long claws can impede your gerbil’s movement, cause pain and risk getting caught or pulled out.  If you are worried about your gerbils 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 gerbils poor skin and coat condition. Gerbils 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.   Our qualified staff at Petstop are licensed to sell a full range of anti-parasitic treatments, which you would normally find at your veterinary clinic. Hairless patches on your gerbils tail can be an indication of over-grooming, which is a sign of boredom so ensure your gerbil has plenty of toys to keep them occupied. If you have gerbils living in pairs or colonies and their skin, coat or tail are in bad condition you should check them all over for any signs of injury caused by fighting or aggressive behaviour.  Small bites should heal well but more serious injuries will require a vet’s assistance. Visit our Gerbil Products section for a selection of Treatments for Mites Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Scent gland – gerbils have a scent gland on their underside which is a small, bald patch that they rub against things to mark them with scent. Males can be at risk from tumours in the scent gland, so feel gently to see if there are any lumps. Tumours grow very quickly, but can easily be removed by your vet if theyre found early enough. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. BackTo Top Common health problems Diarrhea - Diarrhea can result from a number of infections or from changes in diet like eating too much of foods that are high in water, such as fruit and vegetables. Gerbils with diarrhea can quickly become dehydrated, so it’s important that they drink plenty of water. Stop feeding fresh foods, and don’t offer them again until the droppings are back to normal. If your gerbils diarrhea does not stop quickly or the conditions get worse you should contact your vet for treatment. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. Tyzzers Disease – a nasty disease that causes the infection Clostridium piliforme, which can be fatal.  Symptoms include watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, hunched posture due to abdominal pain, coat in poor condition and depression.  It is spread when gerbils eat contaminated food or water.  If you think your gerbil has Tyzzers Disease contact your vet immediately. Call Vet Clinic at Petstop for a consultation. BackTo Top