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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Question Overgrooming... again

Yes again.

I had posted a few months back how Bruce the Poppa Degu of George was overgrooming his son's back and removing all the hair.
Well I expanded the cage and it worked, Bruce stopped butching his poor sons fur.
Well months after George had a full coat, he's now even balder then before The new hairless spot is about 2 inches around on his sholder blades.

What is strange is Bruce is bigger then George, and shows Dominance except when it's food time, George will not allow his father near the dish, so i give Bruce his own dish and he sits on my hand and munches away. But it confuses me to who's actually dominant from this behavour

Now we had talked about Bitter Apple spray, i'm just affraid of using any products on them, Has anyone else used this ON degus (It would need to be on his skin remember), and does anyone have the list of ingredients?

I posted my delema on a all Degu bord, which really didn't help at all, the only answer I got was to get more Degus.
Is this something that would stop the hair chewing? Getting them another friend or two?
I don't have allot of room, the cage i have is what I have, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable putting another Degu into it (1 maybe, 2 no way). I also have MANY pets and foster pets in my home, we're pretty maxed on cages right now. (Also I've never done a Degu introduction before)
But.... the rescue has just picked up 30+ Degus, so if I wanted to get another one of any age it's totally an option that way, they need homes/foster homes.

Ideas, Suggestion???
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 05:28 PM
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What an odd answer to be given....get another degu I run my own degu board and i'm glad to say no one on there would give an answer like that as adding more degus would just add to the problem and cause friction. Which would stop the fur chewing for a while but Bruce would either go back to chewing George eventually or he would just chew on another degu so you would end up back to square one. Plus the whole introduction process with males is hard as they are territorial, i've recently wrote a guide on it and boy did it bring back memories

I don't think the fur chewing is a dominence issue at all especially not if it stopped for a period and restarted suddenly. I think its more likely to be an issue in his environment thats changing or a boredom issue as you say it stopped when you rearranged the cage around last. I've had an occurence of fur chewing in the past when i haven't been able to let two of my boys out for a period of time due to illness (they normally come out every other day) and because this changed they both chewed fur of each other (probably as a boredom relief mechanism even though they have a cage full of toys and a wheel each ) but as soon as i started letting them out again as normal it stopped and they haven't repeated this behaviour since. I've read many a time degus tend to fur chew as a mechanism to cope with stress which can be either self inflicted or inflicted upon another degu. And there are many causes of stress as we all know including changes in the environment and boredom. So maybe there is something that is bothering Bruce slightly that might not be noticible to anyone but him. Has anything changed in his environment? I would maybe try and rearrange the cage around so you give Bruce something to do (i.e exploring) so it occupies his mind and stops him thinking about chewing Georges fur as you said changing the cage helped last time. Do you let them out for a run?

If you wanted to use an anti chew spray i would personally look for ones designed for chinchillas as they are prone to fur chewing and it might be safer to use then bitter apple spray as they are closely related to degus


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Amethystbelle is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-15-2006, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,379

I didn't think getting another Degu was the answer, and I don't want to slander others forums but i have not gotten ANY helpful information within the site I was using, I don't believe i will go back (I wil however check out yours ).

I wish I could make their cage bigger, btu we just don't have the $$ for it, i will try to change around there toys inside and see if that makes things better.
I let the boys out to play on me, I also let them out in the grass inside a large rabbit cage lid on nice days, they really enjoy that play time. Even when playing in the grass i have seen Bruce chew on Georges sholders.
I want to be able to let the boys play in my livingroom with me, but i find they just are not tame enough yet. If they were to get away from me, trying to catch them may be to stressful on them.
So far I can walk around the rodent room with them on my sholders and they are ok, so we are getting much better, Bruce better then Georage is with this.

A Chinchilla remedy would sound much safer then something they use on dogs. Maybe I should ask Chinchilla owners what product they would recomend.

Tonight I added a hay Rack to the boys cage, so there si something new for them, I'm also going to give them a different bath so many these new things will help keep Bruce occupied.

Thanks Again for your helpful responce
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bitter apple spray, hay rack, rabbit cage

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