My new friends!
Betsy and Scruffy!
Bo x #degu #degusofinstagram
Daily Daisy #Hamster
My most recent chinchilla kits, born July 22. MHAC D27 and MHAC D28. The ebony is a male, the violet is a female. I’m obsessed with them.
My baby rats <3 They are 18 days old.
I am quite taken by them.
Super friendly Red Squirrel at Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, Helsinki
More pictures of the meeces! I got them a little castle birdhouse from Michaels - it was on clearance for a whopping 30 cents. They love it! And yes, they can both fit inside. Barely :)
Some random photos of Milkshake from yesterday. I’ll probably take some more today when I clean her tank.
This happened a few weeks ago, but I think I’m finally through grieving enough to address it.
This is Degas, a degu that we rescued back in early January (her owner had been neglecting her for a least a year and had the sense to realize she could no longer take care of her, so she asked us to take her in). She integrated right away with a couple of other girls (also rescues) and for the first time in apparently three years, had the company that she craved. In the last couple months, however, Degas began to show signs of illness (sneezing, trouble breathing, not wanting to eat). We tried her on steroids, antibiotics, and even inhalers for a while, in case it was an infection or respiratory issue. Finally, we took her to a specialist here in the city to get her X-rayed. As it turns out, she had an extremely advanced case of elodontoma, where the roots of her teeth were growing so out of control that they blocked her nasal passages. This disease is terminal and inoperable, and she was in so much misery that the vet assured us that, sadly, kindest thing we could do was euthanize her.
Dental disease is one of the primary killers of degus. Like all rodents, their teeth are very important, and often a poor diet can result in tragedies such as this. Degus, in particular, are so extremely prone to diabetes, and their ideal diets should consist mainly of flowers and other plant life, along with a variety of seeds. Anything high in sugar, fat or carbohydrates should be given to them VERY sparingly. We only feed our degus what they would naturally find in the wild, but the damage had already been done long before we took in Degas, who had been fed rabbit food prior to her coming into our care, and was given nothing to wear down her teeth (like sticks or lava rocks). She had a good six months with us, and in the company of her own kind, and our two other girls, Fraggle and Fizgig, are still showing signs of grieving in her absence.
The reason I am posting this is to encourage anyone and everyone to NEVER adopt an animal, particularly one that is considered exotic, without doing ample research on their needs beforehand. Not all rodents are the same; not all food pellets are the same (and, in fact, degus should ideally not even be fed pellets). NEVER cut corners and buy rabbit food for your chinchilla because it happens to be on sale. Do NOT buy exotic animals for very young children who have no sense of responsibility and cannot properly care for them. A bird cage is NOT an adequate home for a creature that is not a bird, requires lots of exercise and room to run around. Wood stove pellets are NOT meant to be flooring for any animal. These are living, breathing, feeling creatures that, born into captivity, have no choice but to depend on you for their survival and well-being.
Sorry for the rant, but considering we have four other degus who can also be considered rescues, you would be surprised as to how many “responsible” adults just don’t seem to know what they are doing. Degas was a sweet little girl with an outgoing, silly, and affectionate personality, and we miss her very much. We can only hope that we got to our other girls and boys in time before something so terminal could develop.
I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I agree - careful research must be done before getting any pet.
Gerbils do not understand concept of wheel
Oh goodness, your gerbils are cute! Gimme that fluff.
What is the diameter of that wheel, though? It looks too small to me and if that’s the case then of course they wouldn’t use it! Also, wire mesh like that can be uncomfortable for gerbil feet. It can even cause injuries like toenails being ripped off. Injuries like this are more common in hamsters but it’s still a better idea to steer clear of non-solid wheels.
I would recommend either a wooden wheel that is at the very least 8.5 inches, /or/ the 12-inch silent spinner, which may be the one plastic thing I’ve never heard of gerbils chewing to pieces - comfort and wodent wheels don’t have thick enough plastic, I think. They may or may not figure out a suitable wheel, but if they have a too-small wheel that hurts their feet then chances are they never will even try.
In this video they mostly just seemed interested in leaving the tank to me, though. Do they get much time out for play time?
Also, I would really really recommend filling the tank up with waaaaaay more substrate than that. You can then have fun burying all their things and putting treats inside boxes for them to chew through and get and such. You’re already providing more than some people do, and I’m so happy to see that, but a really deep layer of substrate is the best in-cage enrichment for gerbs. The more digging room the better. (Also, I find a mix of substrates is best for holding up tunnels. Hay is particularly good for this, and they don’t eat it, but they do enjoy tearing it into pieces.)
Hope this info helps!