Common Diseases For gerbil – Gerbils are strong by nature and do not usually fall ill. Anyway, if your gerbil is less active than usual or weak, consult the veterinarian to find out what is happening and, if necessary, know how to treat it.
Below is a list that lists the main conditions of gerbils.
Some gerbils may experience attacks. In most cases they are caused by the stress of being in a strange environment or suffering from excessive manipulation. They are more common in young people and as time passes they tend to go less. When they take place, gerbils begin to suffer spasms, move their ears backwards, and they may drool. If this happens, put the gerbil in a quieter area. In a matter of minutes, they will recompose and return to normal behavior. If your intention is to dedicate yourself to breeding, avoid reproducing the gerbils that suffer from this problem, since it can be passed on from generation to generation. It is an annoying problem, but if you follow the above, they will recover. There are few cases in which gerbils have died due to an attack, probably there were other secondary problems.
In many cases this problem is caused by allergies. Gerbils are easily irritated when they come into contact with the oils produced by the cedar shavings. Some are even allergic to pine. For this reason, you should use paper as bedding. Even staphylococcus may be responsible for the disease. Your veterinarian can easily treat and recommend an antibiotic-based treatment. Gerbils locked in cages often manifest this problem because the nibble bars do the hair fall around their nose. The only thing to do is move the gerbil into another large cage where you can dig at will.
Luckily this problem is not very common in gerbils. However, when sawdust comes into contact with the eyes of these animals it irritates them, and they begin to produce an abundant amount of mucus. In this case, seek the help of the veterinarian, he will prescribe a few drops of antibiotics.
They cause excessive cleaning or the presence of mites. Mites can be eradicated with products that you will find in pet stores, but more serious infestations need to be treated by the veterinarian. Sometimes, gerbils also have tumors, in the form of pink cauliflower, that grow rapidly. If they touch, for example when cleaning, they can bleed. But unless a tumor is blocking the ear canal it does not need to be removed, since they are usually benign.
Loss of the tail
The tail of a gerbil is very fragile and the abrupt handling of this one can make that tufts fall off. Frequently, the bone remains, dries and self-clears a few days later, and eventually heals itself naturally. There are cases in which the entire tail falls. When this happens, have your gerbil examined by a veterinarian to verify that no other type of damage has occurred. The gerbil will adapt to the loss and will hardly notice his injury.
The gerbil has a dull staring coat and the breathing is very obviously labored and may be accompanied by clicking sounds. Prompt veterinary treatment is vital in the form of antibiotics. If treated early, there is a good chance that the gerbil will recover.
The diarrhea is very serious and should be investigated immediately, as it can be a sign of Tyzzer’s disease. Any gerbil that manifests symptoms of diarrhea should be separated from the gerbils around it. And then you should visit the vet so you can treat all your gerbils with antibiotics. The infections that cause this problem spread very easily. Everything that has been in contact with gerbils, including your hands, should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Not all gerbils suffering from Tyzzer’s disease have diarrhea, this is just one of the many symptoms, including paralysis. Other causes of diarrhea in gerbils are Listeria and Salmonella. They should be treated in the same way as Tyzzer’s disease.
Mites and fleas
Fortunately this problem is not usual. If mites and fleas appear, it is due to an infection through bedding, food or even other animals. Today it is possible to buy non-prescription products against mites containing Ivermectin. They can be applied directly on the gerbil and it is completely safe. Ivermectin will also provide protection against new infestations for a few months, although it may be necessary to repeat the treatment and consult the veterinarian if there is a serious infestation.
Problems of the inner ear
They are more common in older gerbils and are recognized by the inclination of the gerbil’s head. It is mainly due to a cyst in the ear known as cholesteatoma. These cysts are common in gerbils and cannot be treated. However, the gerbil’s chronic condition of loss of balance, turning around and keeping the head at an unusual angle, is treated with antibiotics. This chronic condition is caused by an infection secondary to cholesteatoma. The best treatment is an anti-inflammatory injection administered by your veterinarian and antibiotics. In most cases, the inclination of the head is reduced but the turns can remain for a while. Your gerbil will adapt to this situation and can enjoy life as much as before. Note that this problem may reappear.
As in humans, these are more common in older gerbils. It is recognizable by paralysis or weakness on one side. The best treatment is to make the gerbil feel as comfortable as possible, keep it warm, and ask the veterinarian for help as soon as possible. In some cases the spill is followed by another and the gerbil may die. Recovery is possible and if caught in time the gerbil can recover partially or fully. The important thing is to feed and drink until you recover enough to do it on your own.
Tumors of the odoriferous gland
If you take a look at the belly of your gerbil, you will see a large area of dry-looking skin. This area is known as an odoriferous gland, and secretes a sebum-based odor that gerbils use to mark their territory. The most dominant gerbils will rub the belly for all the objects in your house. Sometimes this gland becomes inflamed and is usually due to the existence of a tumor. Normally it is not very aggressive and remains in the area of the odoriferous gland. It is best that the veterinarian removes it. The procedure is performed under anesthesia and is not free of risks, but it has a high percentage of success and the tumor does not usually return if the surgery is carried out as soon as the problem is identified.
The gerbil manifests respiratory difficulties and may have swelling in the abdominal area due to the accumulation of fluid. It is best to ask a veterinarian for help in extracting excess fluid and making the gerbil feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not usually very good in these cases.
Only older females suffer. It seems that the female is pregnant because her abdomen will be swollen or it will look like she has a lump on one side. They can be very large, but they are usually benign and can be ignored. There may be problems if the cyst presses against a nerve or an organ and prevents it from functioning properly. If your gerbil is less active than usual, consult the veterinarian. It is possible to remove the affected ovary, but it is an important procedure. Your veterinarian better than anyone can advise you what is best, since it depends on the case.