How do you spot depression? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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How do you spot depression?

Recently one of my two degus passed away. After 2 years of being together, Boost is now all alone. They were friends since they were little. I put in a little stuffed toy for her to cuddle with. One day she had a fit looking for her friend and threw the shavings and her toys all over the cage. A few days after she was chirping for her. I can't tell how much she's eating. She does eat all the snacks I feed her, but I don't know about her regular diet. I have shown her alot more attention than usual, is there anything else I can do? What are they're tendancies when a friend passes away? I am not willing to get another degu, but I do very much want to keep her. However, if she makes a turn for the worse I want to be able to spot it and in the case that she doesn't perk up I am willing to get her into a new home with other degus. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 06:27 AM
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I think degu's know when their friend has passed away in my experience and i think they know when its been for the best such as through illness etc... They seem to have this sense about them. The normal signs of depression are a dull looking roughed up coat and a lack of appetite, even refusing the treats you offer them and sometimes they become lethargic and don't really want to do much. If you give her enough attention every day she should be fine as degu's can and do live alone if they are given enough interaction with their owners and can lead happy normal healthy lives.

Basil my eldest lost his friend about 4 years ago and he won't accept another degu at no cost and he has been alone in all that time and he is very happy. I give him as much attention as i can and he has his daily cuddle and a tickle and i've never had any problems with him although i do have another 6 degu's in the house so i don't know if that plays a part with him too. Just keep on doing what you are doing at the moment and giving her lots of extra attention, give her new things to do to try and keep her occupied such as maybe making her work for her treats etc... For example hiding them in something so she can smell them but has to work to get into it to get to them. Or if you don't already try letting her out as exploring will definately keep her occupied. Also rearrange the cage frequently as if will have the same effect. Do you have any other small pets? As i found when i lost one of my first degu's and i couldn't find another for a good few months that when i put my hamsters cage next to the degu's it made him have an interest in something and he used to listen for the hamster to get up every night. And just by having the cage near him it gave him an interest and also company when i went to bed at night. If you do think she is lonely and maybe needing a friend then i'm sure you will do what is best for her. I hope it all works out for you and you have a happy few years together yet

Kirsty


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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Awh, thanks. She was the more friendly of the two but she isn't as social as probably all of the degus on here combined I can't pick her up often at all, I pet her occasionally and she runs away, but she's always been like that. Maybe without the other to have an influence on her she will become more friendly. I do let her run around our small bathroom but she gets bored and just sits there. I transport her there via her big running ball. I have a greyhound that sleeps in a crate next to the degu cage every other night or so. Don't know if they really like eachother that much LOL I'll let you know how she progresses and thanks for the tips.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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My friend's degu, and my beloved degu-friend, Deghoo, went into a state of absolute GRIEF after her Gerbil friend, Bob, passed away. As you all know, gerbils live much shorter than degus...and he was getting on in age when they began living together...She would not move, eat, and then seemingly went into paralysis. She looked like she was dying. Her heart was beating more slowly than a human's, and she was hardly breathing...My friend rushed her over, and I REALLY doubted her survival. After using the blender to get some healthy veggies and pellets mixed up with a lot of water, I took a hand feeding syringe I had used for baby birds and fed her. The more she ate, the more she woke up. I put a light over her to keep her warm, and that made her heart quicken and gave her more body heat. Sometimes, degus just need to be loved--all animals do. My gerbil, Danny, was one day looking kind of under the weather. He was skinny, bony and really tired. He even shook when he walked. I put him on a heating pad on medium, just warm enough to make him comfortable, and gave him his favourite treats, and soon enough, he was as healthy and happy as can be. By the way, Deghoo survived, and now she has a mate that she absolutely adores--Brom. I was babysitting them, the other day, by the way, and they got into a huge fight...Sometimes Brom is abusive. He has cut her on the face and the chin, and Deghoo has been through a LOT of abuse. But she still squeals for him and cries without him...So I just had to monitor them. They're back to normal now.

If you want to see some pictures of Deghoo when she was in absolute grief, I'll supply them... If your degu becomes like this, offer food and water in a syringe, and keep her warm. If that doesn't work, rush to the vet. Do not stay away from the vet simply because I didn't have to go...Some degus are worse than others. I mean, Deghoo was bad, but I guess I just have luck.



This is her taking a nap, still looking incredibly lethargic, after having some watery veggies.



Here's her from a different angle, showing her cute, pink little ears.



Here she is, recovering...




And here's my buddy enjoying some delicious broccoli...

So there I am, rambling on...But it's just an educational story. Give her a LOT of love and yummy treats (remember, no sugar), and make sure she's eating and drinking...They can be such emotional animals. Good luck.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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OMGSH, yeah I hope that never happens to Boost. She has the rather large cage now all by herself. I have a heating pad but haven't found it that effective. I dont want to put it directly in the cage as the two of them used to be very destructive and would prolly electrocute themselves. I put it on the aluminum catch tray that's under the board we have (so they don't get bumblefoot) and I can't imagine that it gives off alot of heat. Any thoughts as to what to do with that to make her more comfy? They never used to go near any type of fabric. I never did try a ferret hammock because of this. She sleeps in a different place all the time so it would probably go to waste if I leave it in the corner where it used to be.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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I'd say just give her a lot of attention, and talk to her a lot. After all, degus do talk to each other a lot. You might want to keep her cage in your room or close to it, as then they feel closer to you...Heck, when Deghoo got into a fight with Brom, I kept her close no matter how loud she was. (And they can be so loud, can't they?)
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 12:02 PM
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I'd just keep on doing what you are doing and give her lots of attention. I don't use any form of heat pad with my lone boy, i just make sure he has lots of bedding materials such as hay and straw and he also has a hammock if he chooses to use it although he has actually shreaded it and won't touch it now Just keep on doing what you are doing, talk to her and give her lots of attention and in time she will trust you and i'm sure she will be fine and you will become her new best friend

Kirsty


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2006, 03:09 AM
 
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I have wo boys who lost thier buddies, and now have two lone degus (having trouble joining them)...

I've found that extra attention really helps... and mine LOVE their heatpads (snugglesafe microwave ones). I've found one thing that each of them loves and make sure they both get it.... jerry - tickles on his belly, raisin - snuggling up my jumper. Its actually bought me closer to them; raisin has let me tickle him on his belly for the first time ever this week (at least three years).

There is some great advice here... i've not tried the teddy.... they'll get ripped to shreds in my cage!!
Talking to them, spending time near them and showing them you care is the best thing you can do!!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2006, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, she only ripped a small hole in the teddy and its one of those super soft ones so I think whatever stuffing she took out is used as a nest now. The other little stuffie is in fine shape. I wonder though, should I totally disenfect the cage of her previous friends smell? I wonder if smelling her is effecting her, in both ways, either its a constant comfort for her or that she's troubled by her friends smell and is annoyed.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 11:48 AM
 
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But make sure you get those waterproof heating pads, because then they don't pee all over them and get hurt. Giving them treats, holding them and talking to them a lot will make them appreciate you a lot more, and they probably won't get depressed if you do that enough. My friend was gone for the day after Deghoo lost her pal, Bob, so she was all alone and got really depressed...It's amazing how these little creatures can feel absolute emotional agony...
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