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Gerbils had fight & have injuries - advice needed


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#1 Hammy21

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:23 AM

I've had two male gerbils for 3 years in February and tonight noticed they were covered in blood. They now look considerably better since they've cleaned themselves up, the lighter coloured boy obviously looking 10x worse to start with. The larger agouti one isn't as bad - one back foot is swollen which is probably due to the bite mark inbetween his toes I think I can see - he also has one nail missing on a front paw. The smaller (possibly dove in colour) boy is worse. He has a swollen back foot and one of his front paws is injured. The front paw he has slightly to the side, curled up and a little floppy. He has been walking on it and digging, but he didn't appear to be able to hold a dried mealworm I gave him - so I'm not certain if he can hold food right now. They are now separated. Do I even try to allow them to live together again, or keep them separate? I have no intention of trying reintroductions regardless until they're healed up.

Can gerbils have baby food? They don't get a great deal of fruit/veg, so I wasn't sure if baby food is a good idea with quite a large percentage being vegetables. I have some baby food that I'm supplementing one of my rats with, so trying to think of soft food alternatives if he can't manage his normal food.

Would photos of the gerbils' injuries be useful if can manage to get some and post them?

I'm planning on ringing the vets in the morning. I was just there tonight with one of the rats for his teeth to be trimmed too! Typical, eh? I have some Metacam but have no idea of the dosage or if he needs it, so should I leave pain medication for now?

Thanks!




#2 Christmas_hamster

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:04 AM

Until you can get them looked at by the vet I suggest that you use some thyme to cleanup the wounds a little, recipe from MissPixy:

Home-made remedy for minor cuts:
Boil some water and pour it into a mug containing a good handful of fresh thyme herb sprigs. Let this sit for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, you can use a paper towel to filter the thyme-infused water from the sprigs. Use this thyme water to clean your hamster's cut twice a day.


I'm sure a little baby food, oatmeal or soy milk would be fine for nourishment for now.

I don't know if I would intro them again. I guess you would have to wait and see their behaviour. If they both seem depressed then it may be ok. It's odd for gerbils to declan at such an age. I hope they feel better.

Oh and I woudl wait on pain medication for now unless you can call an emergency vet for some advise. They may be able to give you a dosage if you can tell then your gerb's weight.

#3 Hammy21

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 04:10 AM

Thanks for the reply. I will update about the vets later, as I'm using the internet on my phone at the moment.

In the meantime, does anyone know the best and easiest way to hold gerbils to give them meds??

#4 Hammy21

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:06 PM

Update about the vets. There were some more wounds discovered when the vet was examining them.

The nail missing on the front paw of the agouti boy (Nutty) is nothing to worry about and the bite on his hind leg should be fine. A bite on the side of his cheek was found which has caused swelling on the side of his face - so I need to keep an eye on that for any further swelling. He also has some scratches somewhere on his head and under his chin. I mentioned I'd noticed he was making a clicking sound today and was asked if it sounded like teeth or respiratory. I think it sounded respiratory, but it could also be down to stress.

The dove boy (Nibbler) also had a few more scratches that weren't really obvious otherwise, until he was thoroughly examined. The bites on his hind leg, other scratches and the bite to the side of his mouth should heal fine. His front paw might be broken, but can't be 100% sure until the swelling goes down and the usage of his paw monitored. A slight grinding was felt, which is why the vet said there's a possibility it could be broken. He said he'd have been happier if the grinding wasn't there. A good sign is that he didn't flinch or anything when his paw was manipulated. I had a prod while the vet was examining him and it is very swollen, so the stiffness and limited movement of his paw at the moment is understandable either way - broken or not. If it does turn out to be broken, on us it would be like a break just below the elbow and splinting would be of no use. Hopefully the paw will be fine, but if not then amputation may have to be considered. Nibbler bit the vet :shocked:

If really necessary I can give Nibbler a painkiller; Metacam. Any amount he'd be given would be an overdose, so I'm only to do that if he takes a turn for the worse and the benefits outweigh the overdosing. It would be the tiniest drop to be given. He's bright enough right now though.

They are both on Baytril. Nibbler for at least 7 days and 14 days would be best if I can manage it - gerbils are NOT easy to medicate lol. Nutty is to be on Baytril for at least 5 days, but it isn't as vital with him. The dosage is 0.1ml once daily - 5x Baytril oral solution 2.5% and it is diluted to 1 in 5. Does anyone know if this sounds okay?

#5 Hammy21

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 02:08 AM

Thought I'd update about Nibbler's paw with some photos too. It's his right paw that got injured. He still manages to put weight on it, dig, hold food etc (albeit differently) but the paw doesn't look normal. It does still go backwards sometimes, for example if he climbs over something. It is always kept quite clenched like a fist. I don't really see any need to do anything to the paw?

You can see in the first two photos that he holds it lower down than his left paw.

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This one is a bit blurry, but you can compare both his paws and see the right one is kept quite clenched like a fist while his left paw is normal.

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Another view of his paw...

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This one may be a bit clearer...

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