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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Questions.

Hello, I am a new pet owner of Degus and we have a male and a female. They never knew each other but they don't seem to fight a lot. I don't know how to tell if they are playing fighting or actually fighting. Also, when I speak or pet Lucy, she squeaks a soft squeak. I looked it up online and they call it a "weep". When Desi messes with her, she squeaks loudly. Earlier today, he climbed slightly on to her back and nuzzled into her back. She didn't respond for a moment than ran away squeaking. I assume the issue is that she has been alone and untouched in 2 years. The male is 6 months old, he has never been around her till we put them together. Yesterday, he kept chasing her around the cage for 15 minutes. I don't know what that means but she squeaked and ran the whole time.

Please let me know what all this means. Also, Desi got me yesterday. Is there a chance he will bite me again?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 12:00 AM
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Welcome!

If you're new to degus, you really shouldn't keep a male/female pair. They can breed back to back which is very bad for the female (and will result in tons of litters...what is your plan for all those babies?). The behavior you described was most likely the male trying to mate with the female and female becoming very stressed.

Degus rarely bite when handled correctly, what were you doing when you got bit? If the degus are new, they shouldn't be handled much yet anyway. I've had five degus and only got bitten once in all those years (and it was totally my fault, I was trying to hold a degu who wasn't used to me yet).




~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 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Our plan to purchase them was to have them breed then sell off the liters. And I wasn't aware. Desi biting me was my fault as well. I was trying to move him and it didn't go over well. But I did hold him the first night he was here and he was just fine. Do I need to separate them? I want them to be happy.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 11:53 AM
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What was your plan if you couldn't sell off all the babies? Do you have the resources for medical expenses if there are complications? I really suggest separating them, especially since you're new to degus. There is a LOT to consider when breeding ANY animal.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aharris57 View Post
Our plan to purchase them was to have them breed then sell off the liters. And I wasn't aware. Desi biting me was my fault as well. I was trying to move him and it didn't go over well. But I did hold him the first night he was here and he was just fine. Do I need to separate them? I want them to be happy.
I would separate them, yes (even if you were purposely breeding them you'd have to separate them on a regular basis anyway). Just get each degu a same-sex companion .

As for handling, you want to start by letting them come to you on their own terms. I usually recommend sitting in a small, enclosed room or even the bathtub. Let them come over, sniff, climb on you, etc. Occasionally offer treats. As they get used to you, start gentle handling keeping in mind that degus generally hate feeling restrained. They don't usually like being held the way, say, you can hold a hamster. Mine always preferred to sit on my shoulder or in my hoodie, actually .




~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 #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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So, here is update. I do believe that both Degus are the same sex. I can't really tell on the younger on but I got a good look today. Pretty sure he is a she. Lucy is scratching a lot and I don't know what that means. I thought it was fleas till me fiance pointed out that Desi would be doing the same thing. So it can't be fleas. And how do we get Desi to be more social able? When we pet him he flees. Lucy, who was alone for 2 years without a degu, loves it and comes to the door when we walk by. Desi just tries to get out and run off. What do I do?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2012, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by aharris57 View Post
So, here is update. I do believe that both Degus are the same sex. I can't really tell on the younger on but I got a good look today. Pretty sure he is a she. Lucy is scratching a lot and I don't know what that means. I thought it was fleas till me fiance pointed out that Desi would be doing the same thing. So it can't be fleas. And how do we get Desi to be more social able? When we pet him he flees. Lucy, who was alone for 2 years without a degu, loves it and comes to the door when we walk by. Desi just tries to get out and run off. What do I do?
Just because the other degu isn't scratching doesn't mean much, it could mean that the other hasn't caught them yet. I doubt she has fleas but mites are a possibility, keep an eye out for increased scratching, bald ears, fur loss, etc. Scratching could also mean she needs a good dust bath and it could also be a symptom of allergies. What kind of bedding do you use?

Try letting them both out in a small, enclosed area. Let Desi come to you on her own terms, don't try to pick her up or anything. Offer her small treats and let her climb on you. As she gets more comfortable, you can try petting her gently .




~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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