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Signs You May Shockingly Over Look – Dying Gerbil Symptoms

Dying gerbil symptoms – gerbils are quite robust and resilient pets if they are well cared for. It is basic that they are housed in a proper cage, have a good diet and clean water always available. Any change in their behavior such as lethargy, weight loss, sudden aggressiveness, dirty hair or agitated breathing can be indicative that something is not right.

List of the main problems suffered by gerbils:

 Falls: the gerbils that have access to the outside of the cage, spoiled or escaped, can suffer accidental falls, either from a table, bed, bookshelf etc. The falls if they are of great height taking into account the size of the animal can cause serious injuries like fractures, contusions and even the death. It is possible that we find the animal lethargic, immobile and even in shock. In this case, it is necessary to place it in a comfortable and warm place and notify the veterinarian promptly.

dying gerbil symptoms

 Heat hits: gerbils are quite susceptible to heat stroke if they are exposed to direct sunlight or housed in a very hot room and especially if they have no access to shade or water source. A gerbil with heat stroke is weak, dehydrated and can convulse and die. You have to go urgently to the veterinarian. If at that time we can not, you have to put it in a cool place and wet your extremities with warm water (avoid cold water) and if you have swallowing reflex give it with a syringe or a dropper some water or sugary whey.

lesions on the tail: the tail of gerbils is quite delicate and their skin comes off very easily. This can happen if the gerbil is held by the tail, if it is fought with another partner or if the tail is hooked with some element of the cage. It is very spectacular since its tail is with the musculature and the bone exposed. In that case, you can not do anything but amputate the exposed area, which must be done by a veterinarian. Leaving the piece of lacerated tail is a significant risk of new injuries and infections that can compromise your life.

Wounds and cuts: either by fights, by scrapes with elements in the cage or by self-mutilation, a gerbil can show wounds in any part of his body. Superficial wounds rarely need intervention and heal quickly. Larger or bad looking wounds require cures and even sutures. We can heal a wound with a little diluted iodine.

Dental overgrowth: it is not a frequent condition in gerbils, but it can be the case if they have any malformation in the mouth or do not wear them properly due to a bad diet or bad lodging.

List of the main diseases that affect gerbils

– Respiratory problems : may be caused by allergies (especially to the substrate) or by infectious processes, whether contagious or opportunistic. A respiratory problem in a gerbil can be serious and can be the cause of a sudden death if it is not treated.

– Diarrhea: diarrhea can have a nutritional or infectious origin (viral, bacterial or parasitic). A gerbil with diarrhea is easily dehydrated. The visit to the veterinarian is mandatory in this case, without wasting time. One of the causes of diarrhea is Tizzer’s disease, highly contagious and lethal.

– Dermatological problems : either external parasites, ringworm or scabies. It must be borne in mind that some cutaneous diseases of gerbils are zoonotic. The veterinarian must perform the relevant tests to know what is the reason for the dermatitis or alopecia of the gerbil and thus give it the appropriate treatment.

– Masses: especially in gerbils of a certain age, the appearance of masses may be indicative of tumors. The tumors must be removed surgically, today there are many clinics prepared for it.

Despite its status as a healthy rodent, your gerbil is quite sensitive to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. Like all rodents, any disease can be fatal.

Signs of a sick gerbil

Your gerbil is surely sick if it has any of the following symptoms:

  • She has dull hair
  • The back is dirty, following a diarrhea
  • She does not eat anymore, lean
  • She remains prostrate in a corner, do not move too much
  • Her belly is swollen
  • She has trouble breathing
  • She has crusts or sores on her skin

All these signs should prompt you to consult your veterinarian.

Musculoskeletal conditions

Nasal dermatitis

The origin can be various : the stress, a litter too dusty, the overpopulation. If you do not take enough care of your gerbil, it will be prone to this nasal dermatitis which is manifested by a redness of skin that can drift in crust. This dermatitis can become chronic , resulting in a poor prognosis for your gerbil. The treatment will consist of cleaning the cage, changing the litter and putting a less irritating one. You will also have to make sure to limit his anxious state. Your veterinarian will probably prescribe an antibiotic as well as a local disinfection to do.


The moth is a very limiting parasite for your gerbil and even for you, since you may be transmitted. Your rodent will have dry depilated areas before they drift to a fairly large state of redness . The face is the first affected area, before the legs and trunk. The treatment is based on enilconazole.

A necrosis of the tail

This only happens when you have mishandled your pet. The tail can break and promote necrosis. In fact, it will be necessary to amputate the part of the reached tail.


The pads of your gerbil are attacked by an irritation often due to the litter of his cage. Blisters form under his feet. To prevent this from happening, go to your veterinarian quickly for proper treatment.

Digestive diseases

Dental malocclusion

It is the common disease of all rodents. It has several origins: food, congenital, traumatic. In fact, it causes a slimming of your gerbil, which will eat less or no more. The salivation can take over. Your pet weakens, which promotes the appearance of bacteria . The treatment consists of pruning each week if the cause comes from there. In the case of a poor diet, it will be necessary to rebalance the diet .


Your gerbil dies in 90% of cases . The salmonellosis is transmissible to humans . It is therefore better to find out quickly to clean all the habitat of your rodent and try to save it if possible. Your gerbil will show slimming, dejection, hair loss and diarrhea to promote dehydration. Sometimes no clinical signs are observed, but your gerbil dies.


Unfortunately, diarrhea is often fatal to your gerbil. Indeed, they can come from a bad diet, a bacterium or a virus. In all cases, it causes significant dehydration. Without a quick reaction, your rodent can die in a few hours.

Respiratory diseases


Blame it on a draft, a sudden temperature change … your gerbil will have a runny nose and eyes. Attention, this disease must be differentiated from nasal dermatitis , which has similar symptoms. The treatment consists of local disinfection and antibiotic therapy.

Eye diseases

Harder’s gland

It plays a role in the appearance of nasal dermatitis . It can also hypertrophy. Your vet might choose to excise it.

Nerve diseases


Its origin may be parasitic, bacterial, an excess of cerumen or a tumor. Your gerbil moves with your head tilted. A rapid intervention is necessary for the treatment to act and prevent irreversible sequelae.


They often reach older gerbils. Thus, one can find in all the regions of the body. They are often malignant, especially in the male because it is often on his ventral gland. Euthanasia is often recommended because the gerbil, too old, is unlikely to wake up.



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