Post by miniloplover on Dec 4, 2010 2:40:18 GMT -8
Hi, One of my gerbils has lost quite a bit of hair on her noise. She hasnt been chewing bars or anything like that and i am concerned because it has now started bleeding a bit and has gone scabby. Her condition is not improving and only getting worse. Also she seems to have a wet belly, as the others do (the others look wet and sort of greesy all over). Any ideas what could be the cause?
1: the coat could look kind of greasy due to stress and the environment (so I hear) and you could get some sand bath for them to bathe in which should help their coats.
2: the wound-- have you witnessed any chasing or anything between the gerbils? If she hasn't been chewing on bars my first thought is a fight. My other thought would be mites and she's been scratching.
I haven't had gerbils long enough to experience a wide range of ailments but these are my theories. I hope she gets better and maybe someone else can respond with better knowledge.
for the nose,you can try manuka honey,can buy them at health food stores where honey is sold,as it sold as a food and not as an antibiotic as you can use for gerbils. It is expensive but safe,just make sure not to put it in their noses or near where they breathe. As for a wet belly,is it urine or something else? If they seem like they are sickly,i'd get them to a vet,if just urine,wipe it off with a damp qtip or paper towel and see if it happens again.
You can treat the gerbils, but until you know what is causing the problem the issue will exist. What type of enclosure are they in? what type of food, what type of bedding? just because you don't see them chewing the bars doesn't mean they aren't.
Post by flibbletigibbet on Dec 19, 2010 21:23:03 GMT -8
It sounds like your gerbil has sore nose. The 'blood' you've been seeing is probably actually porphyrin excretion. Porphyrins, commonly referred to as 'red tears', are naturally excreted by gerbils in small amounts and are red like blood. When excreted in excessive amounts, they cause irritation and hair loss, which is why your gerbil has been losing hair around its nose. Until you identify and resolve the underlying condition, the red tears are probably not going to clear up.
According to this article at eGerbil, excessive porphyrin excretion can be caused by any number of things.
1. Environment- A bedding allergy or inadequate food is probably the easiest to resolve. What type of food and bedding do your gerbils use?
2. Infection- A trip to the vet may be in order if changing the bedding or the food doesn't clear up the red tears. The vet can prescribe antibiotics, so hopefully that will clear up the trouble.
3. Stress- This is harder to identify and resolve. Have you noticed any signs of aggression between your gerbils? Any bullying behavior, such as chasing or boxing or stealing food? How many gerbils do you have, and how big is the cage? Reading the above article might be helpful in pointing you in the right direction.