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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2003, 12:08 AM
Malygris
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Bald degus

I have two mail degus, about four years old. They get on quite well. very well behaved, and are well taken care of. But one of them seems to be going bald, very slowly. I first noticed it several months ago; a patch of hair across his shoulders seemed to be thinning out. Originally it looked more like the hair had just been kind of parted, rather than missing. Very slowly, however, the patch grew, until it became obvious that it was indeed a bald patch. It's continued to grow, very slowly but steadily, and has reached the point where it runs across his shoulders, and from the back of his neck to almost halfway down his back. He doesn't seem at all bothered by it, but it looks a bit odd, and I'm concerned that it may somehow have an adverse affect on his health.

The other degu shows no signs at all of this, and they're basically inseparable, so if it was some sort of communicable disease I'd think that they'd both have it by now. (This has been going on for the better part of a year.) They both seem perfectly happy and healthy and all that, one of them just happens to be going bald.

Any idea as to what this might be?
 
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2003, 04:59 PM
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It could be parasites such as mites or it could be ringworm.Is it red in the area where the hair has come off? You might want to take it to your local vet just to be safe.Both of these can be spread to your other pets.Either of these can be treated and cleared up if that is what it is.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2003, 12:44 AM
 
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Kinda sounds to me like a parasite or fungus of some sort. I agree with Runt, a vet trip is in order and whatever it is can probably be cleared up easily. Good luck!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2003, 04:28 AM
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No, there's no redness or any sort of discolouration anywhere in the area. The skin tone is fine, everything seems fine, except for the lack of hair. I almost think feel like I'd be happier if there were some obvious sign of distress because at least then I'd know for certain that something was wrong.

I may see if I can get him into a vet in a city, because the vets around here tend to be pretty basic - dogs, cats, and farm animals. They're as likely to assume he's a gerbil and try picking him up by his tail as anything else.
 
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-05-2003, 07:06 AM
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I work for a small town vet.He tends to dogs cats and farm animals.He isn't an exotic vet but knows a little about them.He treats all kinds guniea pigs, birds,ferrets,sugar gliders.He is good with my chins and has access to other vets that are good with exotics if he don't know the answer.THat is what I like about him.If he can't find the solution he will get on the phone or get out his book to find the right answer.
I just wish you lots of luck in finding the answer to your degu's hair loss problem.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 02:20 PM
 
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Could the other degu be grooming the one loosing the hair, too excessively (barbering)..usually this is a sign of domiance in small animals and you find that the most dominant one will groom another way to much causing hair loss. Not sure if this applies to degu.

It may also be down to mites although only one is showing hair-loss they both would have mites - stress is another cause. Most animals have mites under the skin but never have any problems until they become stressed, under the weather and so on.

Could he be rubbing himself against something? Maybe his wheel?

Diet is another factor for hair loss. There are in fact quite a few reasons for hair loss so I advise a vet check, taking both degu.

Best of luck!

Wendy
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 11:39 PM
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How is your degu doing


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 11:55 PM
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He's fine. He's getting balder, his near-hairless spot is halfway down his back at this point, but he's as active as he ever was, eats like a pig, knocks around with his roommate, chews everything in sight... He seems perfectly fine in every way, except that he's going bald.

I've decided to just stop worrying about it. It's been going on for the better part of a year now with no apparent ill effects, and if it was some sort of parasite or something, the other degu should be showing similar symptoms, but he's totally... hairy. So, hey, people go bald, so do degus. I guess.

I'd still like to hear for certain what this is, but since nobody seems to have any clues about it, I'm just going to let it slide and see what happens.
 
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-06-2003, 09:03 AM
 
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The right thing to do would be to take your degu to a vet..there's obviously something wrong with him and leaving it may well cause serious problems later on.

It may well be he's allergic to the litter you use or the food you provide, have you tried changing the litter to a different brand/type, or his food and anything else that he comes into contact with in his environment? Serious or not, this degus is losing hair and continuing to do so and needs to have a health check via his vet.

Wendy
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-09-2003, 12:43 AM
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They've been using the same bedding, eating the same brand of food, drinking from the same bowl, and doing everything else the same since they day they were born. (Well, the day they came home... you know.)

Anyway, story time. Several years ago, I had a hooded rat, name of Hammersmith. He was an old rat, pretty nice, kinda crotechtey sometimes but a cool rat on the whole. One day I noticed a growth in the area of one of his back legs, which slowly grew larger and larger as the months passed. Didn't seem to be bothering him at all, but it was freaking me out a bit. It's not often one sees a two-assed rat.

So eventually, I took him to the vet. The vet, who seemed to think I was a bit weird for bringing him a rat in the first place, gave him a look, poked at him a few times, and then asked me a couple questions. Is he moving around alright? Is he eating? Is he drinking? Has his behaviour changed at all? My answers were yes, yes, yes, and no. And so, the vet proclaimed Hammersmith the Rat to be healthy and happy, and sent me on my way.

And on the way out the door, he said, "That'll be 35 dollars, please."

So today, I look upon my little degu, who lives well and happy with his brother in their gigantic ferret cage, and I ask myself the same questions, and I give myself the same answers. He bounces off the walls, he eats, he drinks, and he has his thrice-daily fights with his brother to see who gets to be on top this time. And so a trip to the vet just isn't in the cards for him right now. The moment he starts exhibiting any sort of symptoms of illness, I'll have him there in a heartbeat, but as long as he's just going bald, then... he's just going bald.
 
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-09-2003, 07:41 AM
 
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I'm a stickler for seeking veterinary treatment when my animals show sickness, injury etc. if I don't like my vet, I seek another. I never take chances with my animals, I guess we differ somewhat with regard to what we see is best for our pets.

Best of luck

Wendy
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2003, 08:55 AM
 
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I'd take my degu to the vet. Hair loss can be a sign of an adrenal problem or possibly his nutrition needs have changed and he hasn't gotten enough of what he needs. Either way he'll need to be treated. Adrenal problems are a very slow death for animals. Please take your degu to the vet.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 06:07 AM
 
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Question my bald degus

i have two degus one of them is bald and i was thinking it could be stress, (if they can get bald from stress) it used to have two bald spots but one has gone now, I have read what it could be on this web site and I thought it would be a good idea to put it on here PLEASE HELP ME!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 06:11 AM
 
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malygris
I have two mail degus, about four years old. They get on quite well. very well behaved, and are well taken care of. But one of them seems to be going bald, very slowly. I first noticed it several months ago; a patch of hair across his shoulders seemed to be thinning out. Originally it looked more like the hair had just been kind of parted, rather than missing. Very slowly, however, the patch grew, until it became obvious that it was indeed a bald patch. It's continued to grow, very slowly but steadily, and has reached the point where it runs across his shoulders, and from the back of his neck to almost halfway down his back. He doesn't seem at all bothered by it, but it looks a bit odd, and I'm concerned that it may somehow have an adverse affect on his health.

The other degu shows no signs at all of this, and they're basically inseparable, so if it was some sort of communicable disease I'd think that they'd both have it by now. (This has been going on for the better part of a year.) They both seem perfectly happy and healthy and all that, one of them just happens to be going bald.

Any idea as to what this might be?
Perhaps it could be stress
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-31-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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Hi,

I have 3 male degus, 1 of which started going bald about 2 years ago and is now significantly bald (permantly so). I took him to the vet who said it was due to : hormonal alopecia (sp?) and not mites or anything or it would have spread to the others. He is also not bothered by his bald patch, so I've decided to leave it be.
One of the others did start to develop a bald patch, but then it grew back and now it's going bald again.
I was told that the first degu probably went bald due to stress (they were in a smaller cage at the time), and because it was there for so long it will be permanently bald (not that I mind). The other one I've been told is probably shaving/barbering when the more dominant degu grooms too much.

Basically my message is DON'T WORRY, if your degu is happy, healthy and normal behaviour then I'm sure he's fine!
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exotic vet, farm animals, hair loss, sugar glider, sugar gliders


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