Category: gerbils

Gerbils: Tyzzer’s Disease

Gerbils can suffer from a number of health problems, but Tyzzer's disease is a very serious infectious disease that affects the liver and is usually caught from mice. Good hygiene, the use of good quality bedding and burrowing material will help prevent this disease. What causes Tyzzer's disease? Tyzzer's disease is caused by the bacteria Clostridium piliforme. The... Read more »

Gerbils: Routine Health Care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your gerbil happy in order to maintain its health. If you know your pet you will probably quickly recognise the signs that suggest it is not well. What are the... Read more »

Gerbils: Parasitic Diseases

Luckily gerbils generally don't suffer from parasitic diseases, especially if they are kept in a clean, dry, warm environment. However there are some that you should keep an eye out for, just in case. What parasitic diseases do gerbils suffer from? Although parasitic diseases are rare in gerbils, they can occur, however parasitism of the... Read more »

Gerbils: Nasal Dermatitis

Nasal dermatitis is also known as "sore nose", "facial eczema" and "facial dermatitis". Incidence of the disease is higher in weanlings than in adults, but is a fairly common condition seen in gerbils. What causes nasal dermatitis? Trauma, stress, hypersecretion/accumulation of Harderian gland secretions, and superficial bacterial infections, ie Staphylococcus spp, have all been associated with the... Read more »

Gerbils: Miscellaneous Health Problems

Two medical conditions of gerbils that demand special mentions are nasal dermatitis and Tyzzer's disease, therefore these are covered in separate factsheets. However, there are other medical conditions that affect gerbils that are briefly covered here. Do gerbils suffer from problems in their old age? Older gerbils commonly develop a number of spontaneous neoplasms (abnormal mass... Read more »

Gerbils: How To Tame

Taming a gerbil requires some patience to gain their trust, but it will make handling your gerbils much easier and it is also extremely rewarding. How can I go about taming my gerbil? Here are some simple steps to follow: Give new gerbils a few days to adjust to their new home before handling them... Read more »

Gerbils: How To Handle

Generally, frequent handling will keep your gerbil quite tame. If your gerbil is difficult to handle, and all else fails, bribery with their favourite food, for example sunflower seeds, can help make a gerbil more amenable to handling. Gerbils are particularly difficult to catch if they escape from their cage, so bribery with their favourite... Read more »

Gerbils: How To Give A Health Check

Gerbils are generally very healthy robust little creatures who never have a day's illness in their lives, however just occasionally they do suffer from various ailments. If recognized early, your vet can treat most of these successfully. Gerbils are incredibly healthy compared to most other pet rodents, and 90% of them never need veterinary treatment.... Read more »

Gerbils: housing

In the wild gerbils live in burrows and spend the most of their time foraging for food, so you should try to mimic this environment for your gerbil when creating a home for him. Your gerbil will need plenty of room to eat, sleep and run around. Does my gerbil need a companion? Gerbils should... Read more »

Gerbils: feeding a healthy diet

In the wild, gerbils live partly on dry seeds, but these are emergency rations for when something more nutritious is not available. Gerbils need some animal protein in their diet, so they will eat insects; but also eat fresh vegetable material. What should I feed my gerbil? It is recommended to feed a good variety... Read more »

Gerbils: epilepsy

Gerbils can suffer from spontaneous epileptiform seizures (epilepsy). These seizures may be precipitated by sudden stress, handling or introduction to a novel environment. Incidence of this syndrome is about 20% in natural populations. Is epilepsy life-threatening? Epilepsy appears to be inherited, and both seizure-resistant and seizure-sensitive strains have been developed by selective breeding. Inbred animals... Read more »

Gerbils: behaviour

Gerbils make nice pets and are fascinating to watch. Gerbils are very social animals, and it is not a good idea to keep them singly. Pair bonded or family units of gerbils are usually quite affectionate with each other. Do gerbils need company? Gerbils love to play, chasing each other around, wrestling and boxing. They... Read more »

Gerbils: a history

Gerbils, i.e. Mongolian gerbils, are small rodents with long furry tails that have a tuft of fur at the end. They are larger than mice, but smaller than typical hamsters (syrian hamsters, not dwarf hamsters). The history The wild type coloration is "agouti", where each hair is banded, usually gray next to the skin, then... Read more »