2 strange tiny patches(1 looks like the fur has been cut)on 1 of dd's gerbil,please help she's very worried and only 8

(9 Posts)
PolkadotCircus Thu 24-Jan-13 09:54:09

1 patch is behind one ear, I thought it was a bald patch but actually it looks like the fur is just shorter.Dd has just noticed a patch she thinks is redder but from what I can see looks like she's been dabbed with charcoal(she hasn't)no loss of fur so hard to see on a leg.

She is white,don't think it's mites.She is the less dominant one so do you think she could be being bullied?If so what do we do?It can't be boredom as their cage is enormous.Dd cried for half an hour when I suggested overgrooming and maybe one would have to go.sad

Firstly, gerbils are social creatures, so getting rid of one would be cruel to both of them. It might be a skin disorder, but really you need to get it checked by a vet.

You say the cage is enormous, but is the sawdust/sand deep enough for them to dig? When I kept gerbils the bottom half of the "cage" was a large aquarium with several inches of sawdust, then a top half with tunnels, solid wheel (so tails don't get trapped), cardboard tubes and food.

PolkadotCircus Thu 24-Jan-13 10:48:33

That is what we have,it's the huge one on Zooplus. What do you think it is,say it is bullying,what the heck do I do?

fuzzysnout Thu 24-Jan-13 11:01:56

What world says. You need to get the gerbil checked by the vet ASAP as if it is a skin disorder it could get worse/ spread to the other one.

fuzzysnout Thu 24-Jan-13 11:12:44

What bedding have you got & how deep? The wrong bedding or not enough can cause problems.

PolkadotCircus Thu 24-Jan-13 11:17:12

It's Pets at Home sawdust and deep.The tank is half full and it's deep enough to bury their wooden chalets,tunnels etc.

It's odd,don't think it's mites as she 's white and has no black dots,other gerbil is fine.Can't even see the skin on the behind ear one,it just looks like some fur has been cut,it's white not red skin under.

If it is bullying what do you do?

KRITIQ Thu 24-Jan-13 11:41:39

Getting the gerbil checked just to make sure there is nothing untoward is the first thing. Sometimes they can over-groom. Guinea pigs "barber" each other, but I'm not sure that gerbils do (it's been a long time since I had gerbils and I don't remember them doing this.) Is it possible that the gerbil had a previous injury or skin problem, maybe before you got her, and the fur is just growing back in, but you've only noticed it? One of my GPs had a fungal infection when he came to the rescue, which was successfully treated, but it took another month or so for the fur to grow to the same length as the rest.

Also, if you can watch them to see whether there is bullying going in. I think I'd want to witness something really bad before I'd consider separating them as they will be much, much more content as a pair. It certainly wouldn't be good to separate them based (if you will) on circumstantial evidence!

I've only had one solo gerbil, whom I fostered and kept until he went to the rainbow bridge. Gareth had always been a solo rodent, lived in a fishtank filled with peat and straw which he could tunnel in, didn't like being handled and kind of did his own thing in there, like Robinson Crusoe. I had the tank next to the guinea pig enclosure though, and often saw them checking each other out. When Gareth died, one of the pigs kept going up to that end of the cage looking for him. It was really sad. Maybe if the worst comes to worst, you could have tanks/enclosures butted up next to one another so at least each would be aware they weren't completely alone. But, don't go down this route yet.

Good luck!

PolkadotCircus Thu 24-Jan-13 12:01:43

Many thanks,I'm actually wondering if it's wild play.They have a lot of wooden things in their tank(dd spends all her money on them)high and low and I wonder if she's pushed her head through something a lot and rubbed the fur off also on her leg as that is where the pressure point would be re climbing.She is very active!

I've never heard squeaking,I think if it was bullying we'd have heard that< hopeful>.

Sooooo maybe it's fungal or injuries??

Got a friend who is a vet so will get her to take a look,will try and calm dd down!

BonkeyMollocks Thu 24-Jan-13 12:46:45

Sawdust/woodshavings are really really bad for gerbils.

Try changing your bedding to see if it helps.

All your current one will do is irritate the skin.

Plus due to tanks that gerbils live in it can cause problems with breathing due to less ventalation.

Good luck, hope shes ok!

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