I live in Canada and it is getting colder and colder everyday and even snowing in October! My Gerbils all look like they are getting fat, but then the next day theyre tiny again! Do they fluff up for warmth when it gets colder?
Post by Shooting Star on Nov 7, 2008 11:56:49 GMT -8
Like all animals with fur, their fur will stand on end when they are particularly cold, to trap warm air between the hair shafts close to the body. Try giving them more nesting material, like tissues, toilet paper, or paper towels.
remember in the desert (where the gerbils come from in Mongolia) it gets very hot in the day, and very cold at night..... they are quite adaptable when it comes to temperatures...... as long as they have pleanty of bedding , hey will be fine (and yes, fluffing up is normal..)
Fluffing up is a normal reaction like ShootingStar said, but you want to keep in mind that you don't want them to have to do that. While gerbils are desert animals and they adapt well to different climates like sharkrider said, bare in mind that your gerbils have been captive bred and not at all exposed to having to cope with such temperature changes.
This is Brian, 2 days before he died
Here is a healthy fluffed up gerbil
Just make sure you've got lots of things for them to chew and make nests in. I always make sure there's a minimum of 5 inches of bedding in the winter, and I give them plenty of cardboard and toilet tissue.
As long as they're still active and otherwise healthy looking, then I'd not worry Just give them tissues and I'm sure they'll be fine!
Mine are sometimes fluffy if they've just woken up and started moving around. After a while, their fur starts to flatten again, but it's funny to watch a half-asleep fluffball finding some food by scent and sitting there eating it! Some even eat with their eyes shut!
Uh oh. Ritzie, why exactly did your Brian die? Yesterday I noticed that Val was sitting like that, with her all poofed up and sick-looking, like Brian looks in the pic. I separated her from Jacky to be certain that if she was sick, Jacky couldn't catch it. Apparently Val had lost a nail on her right hind foot. Don't know how. The toe was a bit pinkish/reddish, and there was what looked like a drop of dried blood on the end where the nail used to be. Rather than spending $80 on meds at the vet in addition to a fee for the vet visit, I've started putting triple-antibiotic ointment on the affected toe twice a day to prevent/counteract infection. She looked a little better this morning when I left for school, and better than that when I got home. So I put her back in the tank with Jacky, who seems much happier now that she can see her again. She's eating and drinking (I think she's drinking; I rarely see the two drinking, but man I can hear them at night). I'm going to continue the triple-antibiotic ointment for a week, and pray she gets better. Do you guys think it'll help? Was that the right thing to do?
Post by flibbletigibbet on Nov 17, 2008 16:03:12 GMT -8
If by triple-antibiotic ointment you mean Neosporin or some generic form of it, don't use it! It's formulated for people, not for gerbils, and it's way too concentrated for something as small as a gerbil. That's why it's been known to cause liver damage in rodents. And besides, it's meant for external use only, and you know your gerbil will only lick it off, which will compound the problem. Hoot lost one of her toenails once and it grew back on its own without me doing anything for her. Hold off on the ointment and just keep an eye on her. If it starts to get infected, you can take her to the vet and they can prescribe real antibiotics in the right concentrations.
Yes, it's Neosporin. Okay then, I'll stop. I was just really worried, and my mom's already said that we probably won't go to the vet. The vet that's closest to me would $80, which I know I can't afford, and I don't know how much the vet I regularly go to would charge, or even if they take small animals. I've only used them for my cats. God, I'm gonna feel just awful if it gets infected. She was just looking so awful, exactly like that pic Ritzie's got up.