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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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have read some books but still got lots of questions, please help.

Hi there,

About 4 months ago I have adopted a rescued male degu, Safi. Things were getting better, he started to sit on my lap to eat his treats. Then, a friend of mine recommended me to adopt another male degu for him as a friend. Robert, came 3 days ago. This made me realize that I don't know what to do with bonding degus, and in fact, I don't know much about degu in general. I needed some help...

Here are some general questions:
What kind of vegetables do degus like?
Do they need Vitamin C tablets and rose hips for extra vitamin C?
Safi is slightly over weight, but he loves to eat, what should I do?
Safi got a watery eye, the vet gave us some eye drops but didn't seem to help, only to stress him out even more, what should I do? I have changed the bedding and trying my best to keep his cage clean.
Robert tend to be active from 6 pm to 12 am, but Safi can be active any time during the day, is this normal?
What is good/healthy treat for degu?

I put the 2 cages side by side. At the beginning, they chatted quite a bit , then I thought they seem to be very eager to meet, so I let them out in a neutral area, but as soon as they are out, they start to mount and fight. The fighting last until the end which is about 15 minutes later. I separated them and put them back in their cage. Fortunately, they didn't hurt each other. Robert likes to mount, Safi tried to bite him every time he got a chance. Not a nice scene...

Then I went on this blog and read some posts regarding bonding 2 male degus. I began by putting their poops in each other's cage. I'll try to do this for the next few days. Then I'm planing to switch their bed and try to see if they will use the same dust bath.

I'm wondering how can I tell when is a good time to reintroduce them again?
Is there anything I need to do or I can do to help the process?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 09:37 PM
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What kind of vegetables do degus like?

I fed the following (there are probably more I'm forgetting) : romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, baby spinach (sparingly), chickory, escarole, alfalfa sprouts (sparingly), cucumbers, zucchini, carrot greens (sparingly), dandelion greens (sparingly), cilantro, parsley, basil, oregano, mint, and clovers

Do they need Vitamin C tablets and rose hips for extra vitamin C?

Rose hips make a good supplement (along with other dried flowers and petals) but they don't seem to require supplemental Vitamin C like guinea pigs.

Safi is slightly over weight, but he loves to eat, what should I do?

Feed him less pellets and more hay/vegetables. Limit treats. Let him out more. Same as any other animal but make sure you do something, it's very unhealthy for a degu to be overweight.

Safi got a watery eye, the vet gave us some eye drops but didn't seem to help, only to stress him out even more, what should I do? I have changed the bedding and trying my best to keep his cage clean.


What did the vet say was wrong? Can you get a second opinion? What bedding do you use (I had a degu allergic to aspen shavings, for example)?

Robert tend to be active from 6 pm to 12 am, but Safi can be active any time during the day, is this normal?

Degus tend to be active throughout the day so that's perfectly normal.

What is good/healthy treat for degu?

Carrot slices, sugar-free cereals, nuts, and flowers all make good treats.

I'm wondering how can I tell when is a good time to reintroduce them again?


I'd give them a few weeks minimum to cool off since the fighting you saw wasn't a great sign.

Is there anything I need to do or I can do to help the process?

Take things slow. Spend time mixing bedding between cages to get them used to each others scents. When you do introduce them, meetings should be very short at first (a minute or two). Slowly increase the amount of time. 15 minutes was a bit too long for a first introduction, especially with males. Males are the harder sex to introduce (but it's definitely possible!).




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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know that they can eat almost anything that we human eat. I'll try to give them some more leafy greens & herbs. At this moment they are getting endive, green beans, broccoli & occasional carrot.

Safi love to be let out, but because of Robert, he goes to his cage and stand there without moving around much. The vet wasn't sure what is the problem with his eye. He said that it might be sensitive to the bedding, I have already change the bedding (originally was Carefresh) to IKEA paper (like a newspaper) with a cloth underneath for some softness.

Robert is getting slightly closer to me. Safi seems moving away and focusing his attention on Robert... interesting! I just hope they get along well and Safi's eye will get better soon. They both used the same dust bath tonight, should be a good sign, right?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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When I said "they can eat almost anything that we human eat", I was thinking about my diet - a raw vegan diet... sorry for the confusion.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hi there,
I have a few more questions. Robert is only eating his vegetables but not his pellets and hay. I noticed that his poops are getting smaller. I wonder would that be ok? When I tried to give him less vegetables to see if he would eat they hay & the pellets, he would protest and still not eating those.
On the other side, Safi's eye is still not getting better. I booked another vet visit but while I'm waiting for the appointment, is there anything I can do? I have removed the bedding and use paper instead. I have also taken out the cotton I gave him to nest and to sleep on. I tried to remove the hay, but his poops size decreased, so I gave him back the hay. I'm thinking, may the fleece cloth I use to lay on the wire cage be a problem as well?
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