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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Degu Penis Problems

What is up with degu and penis problems? I am really scared….

We had two boys last year, and then in the end of October one of them got an infection on his penis. At first it was just big and red and to be honest, I thought he was in heat, as this is the first degu we have owned. After about a day and a half, I noticed it had a sore and a little blood on it, so we took him to the vet. The vet said the infection was caused by using pine wood chips, and had us change to newspaper right away instead. He gave us ointment to use on him, and we were feeding him the Critical Care feed, but five days later, he died. I think he was just too sick by the time we realized. It was devastating for my son especially.

In January the remaining degu stopped eating, and we did not know why. We took him to the vet, and he said he could not find anything wrong with him. The vet put him on an antibiotic and we had to feed him CC for three long weeks, but once he was done the meds, he starting eating again, and all was well.

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed his penis is red and has a white sore on the end, just like his brothers looked before he died. Right away yesterday, we started using the ointment. So far he seems fine, like he is not sick, he is playing and eating and such. We are using the ointment three times a day, like we were instructed with the first one, and watching to make sure he is eating and such. I am scared for him, and feeling bad….

Has anyone else had this problem? Obviously it is not caused by wood chips, since we no longer use them. What causes this? Does it always kill them? Is there anything I can do to help him? Do degus always have penis problems? Has anyone had a degu that has had this problem and recovered? If he dies too, I am really going to have some devastated children on my hands, and be very upset as well, I am still not over the first ones death totally yet….what can I do?? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 11:12 AM
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What exactly is the ointment? Is the vet experienced with degus?

The problems you're describing aren't common and I've mainly kept females so I don't have much advice . At this point you probably know that they don't go through "heat" cycles or anything so something is definitely wrong.

The one degu refusing to eat after the first died sounds like depression (common when one degu in a pair passes on). So it might be unrelated to the actual infection.

I'm kind of surprised the vet didn't prescribe antibiotics or anything, you might want to get a second opinion if possible. Good luck.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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The ointment is called Surolan. This is the only vet in the region that deals with small animals, and to be honest, I dont think he knows a ton about degu....

I am so scared
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 11:41 AM
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Where in Canada are you? Maybe another member here will know of a vet in your area.

If he doesn't improve soon and you're getting nervous, I would call the vet and explain your concerns. Maybe they can prescribe something else. He's still eating, right?

Make sure you keep the cage really clean. You could look into paper-based bedding like Carefresh, it'll be more absorbent than plain newspaper.

Sorry I can't be of more help, I hope he does ok, that's really strange. If he pulls through, consider getting another so he has a buddy.




~Stephanie

"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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He is still eating and playing, and his penis is actually starting to look better...the swelling has gone down, and its only a little red this morning. It looks like we caught it early enough that he might be alright (fingers crossed). We cleaned the cage Sunday, and are going to do it again tomorrow....instead of next Sunday as usual. At this point, I am just going to keep praying that he keeps getting better and doesn't have a set back,....he is such a happy boy and it would devastate us if something bad happened to him too.....thanks for your help....
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