Post by alexthepenguin on Jul 31, 2020 7:11:22 GMT -8
My two males will be 4 this year and have been very healthy and active. Recently they've been more irritable at each other and today I noticed red scabs behind Yin's ear and on his belly, and one of Yang's ears is folded over and red and icky. They've been eating and drinking fine and are still active but i know something must be wrong. Any advice? Any idea what's going on? Thank you
i would watch them more closely to see if they are getting along and causing these issues or they are sores. If they look bad enough, i'd get them checked by a vet esp. if they look infected as they would need antibiotics. You could try saline and manuka honey as well if they will let you do that.
mom to Kirby,Theo and Tristan my newest rescues, RIP Saphira and Sophie, may you both be together forever in heaven, I miss you more than you'd ever know.
Hey alexthepenguin, 4 is a great age, and I am sure old age will start to be having an effect on thiem in some way - but that doesn't mean they haven't got plenty of time left in them - they are just old men.
It could be mites of course - which can happen to anyone unfortunately - so a full enclosure clean out would be my first port of call.
It could also be them getting grumpy at each other for whatever reason (possibly their own discomfort and wanting to GET comfortable without the other one in the way) and this can lead to over grooming or general grouching - but we can potentially help reduce this conflict.
I would (and these are all personal thought and suppositions of course as I am not a rodent vet) potentially reduce down their bedding a bit and ideally go for long-thread paper or tea bag threads for substrate (like safebed brand), as if the irritation around their heads is caused by discomfort or some internal hormonal changes, the cooler and cleaner they are, the less effect that will have - and the less annoyed they might be over it. I'm sure if I was feeling grouchy or itchy, being in a completly new fresh room with crisp new sheets on the bed would certainly make me feel better short term.
Also, if it isn't already, put their enclosure in a bright, but not directly in the sun, spot which is fresh and open. I would also start, if you aren't already, to scatter feed them on every level, and to introduce two water sources in different places. As gerbils get older, they often don't have the fancy to walk to far to eat or drink (or toilet) and so they eat and drink less and start to toilet close to the sleeping quarters. So by offering them plenty of eating spots and drinking spots (ie at ground level rather than only on shelves or up ladders) can help them get more nutrition.
Also, if they only have one small 'bed' perhaps consider adding a second larger bed/nest. I certainly wish my sofa was bigger right now - but it is the only one I have got so we sometimes hit elbows and feet...
If it was caused by mites or space issues hopefully these changes can smooth it out at least short term.