My first gerbil had a scent gland tumour and I decided to leave it because I thought it wouldn't affect him. Moreover, surgery was very costly. I did feed him baytril though. Within 2 months, it grew to about 3/4" in length. It was very swollen, constantly bleeding with pus discharge as he often chew on it. I saw how it hindered his movement and appetite and he dropped to 60g in weight. I finally made the decision to let him undergo operation. He was about 3 years old and survived. He was very weak, did not touch any food or water and wobbled when walking. Sadly, he went into a cardiac arrest while I was syringe feeding him and passed away. It was only the 2nd day of post operation and I was very heartbroken... I still can't get over his death and I wished I could turn back time and let him be treated earlier.
Last Edit: Dec 22, 2013 3:19:52 GMT -8 by polkafroot
I have some photos of my boy Bo's SGT, that I thought might be helpful for this thread - specifically showing how it has progressed over the year.
I first noticed it when he was 2.5 years, when it looked like a small scabbed pimple (pictures 1 & 2). 11 months later, he is now 3.5 years old and it is much larger. You will also notice he's lost a lot of weight (pictures 3 & 4) - he used to be a porker! Sadly I don't think that he will make 4, although would be delighted to be proved wrong and he did recently pull through a worrying mystery illness. He still enjoys all his day-to-day gerbily activities, digging and munching and coming out of the cage for a cuddle.
Personally, I have chosen not to have it removed. He's been seen by the vet, but we don't have a small animal specialist close to me and my vets have never done a SGT removal before. It doesn't seem to bother him much, even when it bleeds. He grooms and itches it occassionally. I know I am lucky that it has progressed quite slowly. Considering these factors along with his age, the vets and I have agreed to go with a palliative care strategy and keep some Metacam aside in case it ever does look like its causing him pain, and to keep an eye out for signs of infection - which he has never suffered from to date. When he was sick recently I thought it was down to the tumour, but after a few days of rest and Metacam he is doing much better.
(I feel a little bad that it looks like I am squeezing him quite tightly in the first photo! Please rest assured I was gentle and he was securely scruffed, and completely non-traumatized by this experience.)
My 3 yr old male had a scent gland tumour. I'd not experienced then before so photos online were helpful. Unfortunately I'd been away and when I returned he'd already got quite a lump on his belly and there was a little blood from the gland area. I took him to the vets (this was a month ago)and they successfully removed it and he's recovered totally from that. The main worry after surgery was keeping him warm and undisturbed but also making sure he was kept occupied enough not to chew his stitches. Thankfully he was great and healed up really well. He had an antibiotic shot and painkiller at time of surgery but i didn't have to give him any further meds. Just ensured his tank was clean and he kind of sorted himself out from there. It's not cheap surgery - think was £50 total (2 appointments and the surgery & meds) but so so worth every penny. If the tumours are left, they'll get infected, cause a lot of distress and you'll end up having to have your pet put to sleep which is unbearable. Would defo recommend. And make sure you check your gerbils often - especially older males.
Hi there. I have 2 female gerbils that I recently adopted from a friend. They're sisters and will be 2 in September.
I noticed one of them has a rough, scabby spot on her scent gland. From what I've looked up, it seems more common for tumors to occur in older males. Could it be anything else? It's not bleeding and I don't believe it has grown.
I took her to the vet last week and the vet wanted to try antibiotics to rule out an infection. We did a one week course of SMZ but her stomach is still scabby. Are there any other steps or should I just get it removed?
Lumps and bumps on scent glands occur all the time tgq - and they are nearly always a form of Scent Gland Tumour (SGT) - however, these tumours are benign in the sense that they are only ever on and around the scent gland.
Dominant females can get them too - but they are much less common than in males. There is of course the chance that it is just an injury like a scratch or scraze - which can take more than a week to heal up anyway - so maybe give her plenty of access to a sand bath over the next few weeks and then take another look after that - give it time to clear up. However, if it starts to look more like a single wart than a scratch, then it most likely is a SGT.
Sometimes they first appear as tiny lumps or a scab, but then they don't go away. They can stay small for ages and not be a problem to your gerbil - or they can gradually grow and grow until they become itchy, sore and often infected.
The operation to the remove them is common for most vets now - as it happens so often in the gerbil world. So if you want to go ahead with it - you may just need to search around for a vet you are happy with and a price you are happy with as the cost can vary considerably.
Oh thank goodness. I recently noticed that in Faith's stomach and me and my mum were wondering what it was. It's a scent gland, now we know. We thought it was dangerous or somethin. thanks for the help