We have a male gerbil who turned 3 in february. In the past week he has "slowed down" significantly. He sleeps most of the time and when he is up moving about he keeps his eyes closed or "slitty". Sometimes he stumbles when walking, and other times is fine. He eats and drinks normally. He doesn't look "puffed up" and his respiration rate appears normal. He is on Baytril as a precautionary measure. Is he declining do to age or could there be another ailment going on? He is VERY difficult to handle and freaks out if touched so taking him to the vet most likely would be quite stressful to him. This is the first we have had to live to this age so were not sure what to expect. Thanks in advance for any help, advice, Keith & Luana Green Mt. Gerbils
Post by kimsgerbils on Mar 22, 2006 22:30:51 GMT -8
I don't know, they all seem to age differently... A few of mine do fine until about 3.5-4, another is over 4 and just now starting to sleep more... Some have begun acting old at 2-2.5... They generally sleep more, lose a little bit of muscle mass, sometimes have problems getting around as well, aren't as perky as they used to be, sometimes they can get moody, especially if they have a painful condition like arthritis... What I do for my oldies is give extra flax seed, put a heating pad on one corner of the cage, lower the wheel and water bottle, and keep the cage extra clean... Extra tissue for nesting is a good idea as well. Some older gerbils begin to drink more, especially if they have renal kidney disease, which tends to happen to a few as they age... It sounds like he should be fine, just spoil him oodles and keep him warm
*edit* Oh yeah, and be sure to keep giving things to chew, older gerbils are more prone to letting their teeth become overgrown and nails *may* need to be trimmed as well... I like to give them paper plates to chew, they're easy for them to chew apart and can be turned into nesting... Hard wooden things are ok as well, but I like to offer a mix of things to chew on as some oldies' teeth get loose and might fall out or break off on a harder surface...