Something's wrong with my degu!! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Something's wrong with my degu!!

I just got home from school and my mom informed me that one of my degus had been bleeding. She said it was from his paw. I was terrified to go in the room because I didn't know what I'd see.

There's little prints of blood going up the ladders, into the food dish, on the nesting materials and on some of the wood shavings. All in all, it doesn't look like a huge amount of blood was lost but it doesn't look pleasant either. I took a look at my degus and at first I almost fainted because it looks like one of them (the one my mom said is NOT the hurt one) has a chest full of blood and seems lethargic. But I looked at the supposed hurt one and he IS holding his paw up and it appears to have more blood on it than anything else. My mom said that the degus had been cuddling earlier and that was how the other degu got blood on his chest. I'm so scared!! I think it was an accident with the wheel. I have a free-standing wheel (that has cross bars on it, so I guess it's possible that a degu could get a body part snagged). I came in the room and the wheel was totally off its little pegs (and my mom said she didn't do that). So yeah, where can I go from here?? I'm shaking right now. They are both eating and walking around, so I'm probably just overreacting. I had been planning on cleaning their cage tonight, do you think it's okay to do that still? What should I do about the paw?? It appears to be a cut across the top, but I'm not entirely sure because of the blood. Also, if this turns out to be something superficial, what should I do about the blood on both degus? I know degus are only supposed to have dust how will the blood come off?

My main question is what to do for the paw at the moment. I really don't want to turn around and look in the cage because I can't stand to see my babies hurt I don't have any degu injury experience so anything will help. I live in a very small town with only one vet office. This vet doesn't have experience with degus. It's after hours right now as well. I'm going to call around the surrounding towns to try to find a vet but for now I'm on my own. Please help before I lose my mind!!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Just an update. I keep trying to get a closer look at his injury but he won't let me. He keeps his hurt paw close to his body but I did notice that he puts weight on it when walking and he uses it to hold food. Can that much blood come from a little cut on the paw?? That's all I can see.

I still haven't determined if the other degu is injured. The only real reason that I suspect he is is because he is unusually lethargic. They are both just laying down together and the "uninjured" one is making continual soft noises that I've never heard before. When I touch him, he just squeals. Usually he runs away.

Please help me...

Edit: Oh, and I gave them their very favorite treat. Usually they're bouncing off the walls when they hear the bag. I gave them each one and they buried it. They ALWAYS eat their treats right away.

Is it possible that the other one is just depressed or upset about his buddy being hurt?

Last edited by DorkyChantelle; 01-11-2006 at 05:19 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 05:34 PM
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I wish I could help but I'm not sure what else to do besides talk to a vet .

I hope they're both ok.


"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 #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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I've come to the conclusion that the other one isn't hurt. He's acting pretty much normal, except when the hurt one is around.

On a positive note, the hurt one is still trying to mate with the other one, lol. I really can't see much breakage of the skin though, so I wonder if they just bleed quite a bit from their paws? I just see a bit of a scrape over two toes on the top. I'm still trying to find a vet though, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm still open. And still very worried
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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One more question and I'm done, I promise, lol.

Would it be okay to use newspaper and paper towels as bedding for just a couple days? I know it's not good because of the ink, but is that more of a long term thing? I didn't want to put the wood shavings in because they're kind of dusty and it just doesn't seem quite as clean as soft materials like newspaper and paper towels. I just don't want him to heal well and give him a couple days of pampering. He has stopped bleeding and is running on the wheel again (a new SAFE wheel) but still doesn't use his paw as much as he used to.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 08:41 PM
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Sorry to hear that your baby got hurt I know how you feel.

When my degu got his foot wound he didn't bleed too much, as a matter of fact i didn't even know he was hurt until I saw the wound its self. I don't know if all the blood is normal or not.
As for cleaning your degu, you can wipe his belly down with water, he might not like it but as long as hes not hurt it's ok.
If I were you I wouldn't use the newspaper, but that is only my personal opinion, someone else may have different advice.
It is good that you're looking for a vet, I think that going to the vet would be your best bet.

Sorry I don't have much advice for you but I don't have much experience with bad wounds When my degu's get small wounds I just watch it for a few days to make sure theres no swelling, puss or redness. I also put neosporin/polysporin on it if its raw (not scabbed up) but for the most part I just let nature take it's course.

If you are really worried for him, go to the vet. That is the best advice I can give you. Good luck and I hope he gets better soon.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you He seems to be doing alright. His wound appears to be scabbing up, and although he doesn't put much weight on it, he does use it gently. The situation looks a whole lot less scary now that the cage is cleaned of the blood. There really wasn't THAT much blood, just some bloody pawprints around, but it still looked awful. I'm going to continue tomorrow to look for a vet (it will be easier during office hours) just to make sure, but I think he looks okay. I'll keep my eyes open for anything getting worse.

The blood on the other degu seems to be coming off on its own. I'm not sure how but it's fading. I'm glad about that since I'm sure he wouldn't let me touch him with something wet (lol, most of the time he doesn't let me touch him in general).

Is the problem with newspaper inks the toxic fumes that come off of them? My degus are in a well-ventilated cage and all. I just don't want to put him in dusty old shavings He's in a mixture of shavings, paper towel, newspaper, and a bit of hay right now. We're going out tomorrow to get better shavings or some other suitable bedding.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 04:41 AM
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I'm so sorry your degu has hurt his paw

My only advice for you is to keep an eye on it and if you are unsure consult your vet. Personally i would leave the wound alone as if its healing over you don't really want to mess with it so i wouldn't advise bathing it etc.... for now! As for the bedding i would just use paper towels for a few days and keep them off the shavings and hay etc.... till the wound has healed up as shavings and hay could both become irritants and if they got into the wound cause an infection. I'd also maybe leave the wheel out for a day or two if you can and try and encourage the degu to use it as little as possible to allow it to heal faster. I hope he is back to his normal self in no time and the wound heals ok


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 08:29 AM
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aww poor degu.. yea i do believe the inks on the newspaper can be toxic but its more for the colored newspaper. i still put newspaper on the top layer of my cage so i dont have to wipe down the wood as often. hope your degu gets better soon
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 06:16 PM
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How is your degu now? Give him a hug from my lot!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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He's doing much better He's using his paw a lot more (still holds it close to his chest a lot though) and putting weight on it. He's just as energetic and chipper as always

The funny thing I noticed is that Silent Bob (the hurt one) holds his hurt right paw to his chest. This morning, Jay (the definitely not hurt degu) has begun to hold HIS uninjured right paw to his chest as well. Haha, sympathy pains? Or maybe he's jealous of the attention Bob's beeing getting? It's pretty funny anyway. I wonder if he thinks he's fooling me.
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dust bath, dust baths, nesting material, wood shavings

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