April 10 at 8:14 pm #74118
so, a while ago my boyfriend and i bought 3 gerbils from the petstore…and, naturally due to it being the petstore they mixed up the sexes and we have reason to believe that one of them had lice when we purchased them.
things that happened due to those mistakes:
our boys Rubix and Maze fought, took our girl Murphy out of cage. Murph got lonely and depressed. we decided to let her mate with maze so she could have a baby as company later. Had to separate the boys. Maze and murph just wouldnt mate (we left them together for 3 months, we have no idea why they wouldnt). we decided to put the boys back together and remove murphy and just buy her a companion. an hour after we put the boys back they still fought and our Rubix ended up getting his tail torn halfway off. We immediately separated Maze and Rubix and placed Murph back with maze. Things were better but rubix was lonely. we thought maybe maze and murph needed more time to mate so we left them together so maybe rubix could have one of her offspring as a cagemate. they never mated and a recent heatwave came by and out of nowhere HUNDREDS of lice were covering rubix and his cage. I stayed up all night washing these things off him (this is where i learned my boy may be epileptic, he twitches violently whenever he’s stressed out…so i was scared to death :[ ) other gerbils caught it cause of the placement of their cages but they have a very slight mild case. We now have a spray that kills them and have to wash their cages with a mild bleach solution everytime we see a louse. (needless to say, petstores suck, i know it was from the petstore because they have blood lice aka bird mites. they were next to an open tank of birds at the store >:[ )
but…as you can see my baby rubix has just had it ROUGH. he loses his best friend, then gets torn to hell by his best friend, has to be exiled from all gerbils for month, then out of nowhere almost dies from the worst case of lice i have EVER seen. he wouldnt move, and was literally covered in hundreds of these things. i had to stay up all night with a toothbrush under a faucet just scraping them off him. (we were out of town for a weekend and a friend was watching our house…she didnt notice anything so we assume thats why they were so bad)
as of now, we’re on week 2 of treating the lice. i still see a few lice here and there in rubix’s cage, but maze and murphy seem lice free. I’ve noticed that rubix is just fully depressed. he wont move much…he’ll sit on his wheel, he wont run, he’ll just sit there for a good 30 minutes, then he may eat and sleep. thats it. I really want to get him a tankmate! a friend of mine works at a really nice pet shop in a nearby city, they take great care of their animals and have a newish litter of gerbils (with some obvious males). i wanted to pick one up and introduce them…but i didnt know how long i was to wait before i did so…due to rubix’s lice issue at the moment.
also, ive never introduced two gerbils. ive always just bought them from a family so ive never needed to. how should i go about doing that?April 21 at 12:20 pm #665114
wow thats a big mess. Pet stores are horrible for the most part. What are you batheing your gerbil in for the lice? Chemicals could kill him if your useing certain stuff. Have you tried veggie oil bathes? I do that with my rodents if they get mites or lice. You only do this once a week for 2-3 weeks. Just 1 bath per week is needed for the 2-3 weeks. It suffocates the lice or mites. It works wonderfully for me and a few other people I have told to do this. This way the animal isnt getting any chemicals put on him.
Most gerbils I have had, had seizures when stressed. I dunno if gerbils are just prone to this or if there are lots of bad straines around. But I would try the veggie oil bathes and only once a week. Give a rodent a bath more then once a week can kill them.
Gerbils are social but you have to be careful introducing. My advice is getting him a friend whos no older then 2 months old. The younger the new gerbil the easier it will be to introduce. This has been the case for me many many times anyways. You can either use a split cage or you can do what I do since I don’t have a split cage. I usually scrub the cage the gerbils are going to me in really well. Scrub all toys, water bottle, food dish, everything. Even rearrange things in the cage. Place both gerbils in a neutral territory. I but blankets down in our bathtub. Make sure you keep a close eye on them just incase anything happens. After around 5-10 mins if no fighting happens then put some treats in with them or some food. If they eat together thats a good sign. Now I really don’t know how many times to tell you to do this until you put them together. I always did it in one day. I have had gerbils for 10-12 years and never had a problem. You just have to make sure no fighting is going on. If you wanna feel safe about it then do that intro once or twice a day for 2-3 days and then put them in the same cage.
Now, I am sure there will be others who disagree with me. I am not saying my way is the only way. This is just from my experience. Good luck
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