or get the surgery. My vet isn't exotic species specialist, but she did say the the tumor was big and far along. She suggested either going to the vet collage were there is an exotic pet expert or putting him to sleep asap as even though he isn't showing it he is probably in a lot of pain. Also she said that it may have already spread further, but the fact that he is acting totally normal may be a good sign. He is 2 1/2 and closer to three.
It is big and scabby looking (the scab over the scent gland tumor). With the age and little information I have provided would it be more humane to euthanize him or see if surgery is an option. Please help! He is male if that is relevant.
Hobes is my gerbil's name. I don't want to put him to sleep but surgery is expensive and he is old I think? What are your experiences with gerbils around his age and surgery, what do you think would be more humane?
I would find out how much the surgery is and if there are any other options. If he is acting the same as always,i would just treat his sore(saline and manuka honey is the safest) and watch if he seems to be in pain. There is metacam for pain,only need a drop a day,but if he is really ill,then i would consider pts. Hope Hobes is doing ok otherwise,if he was my gerbil i'd do all i could afford and get expert advice before pts.
Thats a tough one. Surgery can be risky too, being that he is small and older. If you choose not to do the surgery, Im sure you can keep him comfortable with medications for a little while longer until he shows symptoms. There must be a vet in your area that sees critter pets, as opposed to going to the vet university.?? You could get a second opinion. One of my gerbils had no symptoms but was getting really fat one week. The vet did an ultrasound and there was fluid in the abdomen and a tumor near the liver. There wasnt much room for more fluid to build up and he started seizuring so I had him euthanized. Point being, dont feel guilty if you dont choose surgery. You can keep him comfy til he is syptomatic. If he is painful there is a medication called metacam (meant for dogs) you can ask the vet about. My other gerbil was on about a tenth of a drop size for a couple days with kidney issues, until I had him euthanized. kristy
Thank you so much for all your replies, although I'm not much closer to a decision, every opinion helps as my vet only knows what she looked up about gerbils. Does anyone know if gerbils show pain? I tried googling it (as my vet said they didn't because a hawk would pick them up if they showed weakness), but I didn't find anything.
I had decided to get Hobes PTS because the only exotic vet lives one hour away (three hour drive for the next one) and the surgery costs 800 dollars. But now he is still acting totally normal, except for two things: I don't think he is eating much and he doesn't seem to burrow as much, but he still chews the same amount and works on his den.
I don't know if this is bringing back a dead thread or if I should start a new one or not, but does anyone know how gerbils react to pain, and if the fact that he is not eating much a sign? I'm so worried about making the wrong decision, he even looks healthy. But I can't stop crying and I don't know what to do. One day I think it's for the best, then I take him out and he seems healthy- except for what I mentioned earlier.
Your vet is right, gerbils tend to hide any pain (this is down to them being prey animals)
Normally I would say him not eating and burrowing is a bad sign, but it doesn't really go together with the fact that he is otherwise still active and acting normal... I really don't know what to suggest for the best, but personally would probably think as long as he's still looking healthy it can't be too bad? Can you vet give you anything against the pain?
I read on Yahoo Answers about quite a few old gerbils that have survived an op to have the tumour removed, though there are a few that haven't.
Could the not eating and not burrowing be due to a teeth problem, maybe too long if he's stopped chewing (gerbils often have these when they are old I believe), if so, the not burrowing could be from a lack of energy due to not having enough food.
I used an electric chopper thing to grind the food for Storm's food.
When he really isnt eating and is just sitting there I think it would be time to euthanize. If you do it anytime that is up to you. When you feel you're ready. Also talk to your vet about the humane way to euthanize. I dont mean to be graphic, but there is a drug ( i forget what it is) you put on a cotton ball and then put it in a closed tupperware with your gerbil so he falls alseep first. Then they euthanize him.
Just an update. He didn't eat for three days and was getting more lathargique each day so I got him PTS by the vet. She gave him the needle and it hurt him a lot. If anyone is looking at this as reference- make sure to ask if a vet in your area does CO2 Because the needle made Hobes freeze upward in pain and before then he was chewing at the needle and the vet nicked a vessel so he was bleeding. Worst thing I've ever seen and now I'm regretting taking him to the vet. There must have been a more humane way. Better than weeks if suffering, but still horrible.
I'm sorry you had to see that. I have never had to have one put to sleep but that sounds like a horibble thing to see. I can see why you regrett it but remember that you had no way of knowing and he is ok now in gerbil heaven.