Like every other animal, a gerbil also needs to have regular checkups by a veterinary doctor. Gerbils are not particularly predisposed to any particular health problem. However, they do get sick and suffer from different ailments from time to time. Gerbil health issues are a lot like your other pets and the first rule of good gerbil health care is to get your gerbils checked by a qualified vet on a regular basis.
Here are some common gerbil health problems:
A sore nose in gerbils is usually a sign of an airborne allergy. Wood shavings and shedding can cause allergies and therefore they should be kept away from your pet gerbils. A sore nose may heal on its own as soon as the allergen is moved away from your pet. If the nose doesn’t heal on its own, the vet may prescribe an antibiotic cream or lotion to be applied topically.
Gerbils may often lose teeth as a result of an injury. The teeth may grow right out if they have been lost in a fight. However, if the teeth have been falling due to old age, they may keep falling. Lack of calcium or vitamin C can also cause tooth loss in gerbils. Gerbils should get adequate sunlight along with a good diet. If you feel that your gerbil is gnawing at its food for too long, but is still losing weight and becoming weak, there may be some problem with your gerbil’s teeth.
Gerbils may develop tumors in different parts of their body. Male gerbils have a small bald patch on their stomach. If you feel a lump on the stomach, it may be the sign of a tumor. These are tumors of the scent gland that can be removed by an experienced vet. They may also develop several tumors on the ears and nose. These tumors are benign but may be irritating for the gerbils. The gerbil may scratch the tumors, causing them to bleed and get infected. These tumors can also be removed by a vet.
Some of the tumors may not be benign. Gerbils have cancer too and as they get older, they are likely to develop cancers. These tumors cannot be treated. More often than not, the suffering gerbil should be put to sleep to save it the pain and agony of the disease.
There are several other health conditions that your gerbil may suffer from. However, most of them are associated with old age. Therefore, as it grows older, it is important to pay a little more attention to pet health care and diet.