Ugh, what a long day. - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2006, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ugh, what a long day.

So today was cage cleaning day for the degus. I gave them their dust bath first because I always sprinkle in some of their already rolled in dust so that they won't fight in the clean cage. Everything went fine and I put them back into their clean cage. They seemed perfectly happy and there were no signs of fighting. An hour passed with no problems. I went downstairs to get some lunch and my mom yelled "CHANTELLE YOU BETTER COME QUICK!" I ran upstairs and there was blood everywhere and two very hurt degus. This fight could only have happened in like a two minute window but I could see that it did a lot of damage. The fight was over by the time I got there and they were both on seperate levels of the cage. At first I could only see a couple of scratches on their ears but then I looked closely and blood was pouring out of Jay's mouth. I also saw some pieces of bloody "tissue" or something in the cage. I freaked out. I decided that because he looked seriously injured, I would seperate them for a bit (just so I could assess the damage easier and they could both rest).I put Jay in another cage with a fluffy towel and some food. Both degus at this point were just laying flat out looking nearly dead. They were just resting though. I really wanted to get them to a vet but my parents wouldn't take me because it's Sunday and it would cost tons more to have the vet come in special. So I spent the entire afternoon just observing them. Jay's lower lip started swelling up quite a bit but the bleeding seemed to stop. I've learned that after several fights, degu injuries pretty much always LOOK worse than they are. After the blood dried on both of them and they started cleaning themselves off, they looked so much better. Silent Bob has a scratch on his ear but you can hardly tell now. Jay still has some dried blood on his face but it just appears to be a scratch beside his mouth. He also has a scratch on his ear.

Then came the question - to put them back together or not? I tried once but Jay seemed so scared (he was shaking and making really strange whimpering noises) so I stopped. About an hour later, I tried again. They both made really weird noises that I've never heard before but there were no signs that they were going to fight.

It's now been about an hour since I put them both back into the same cage. They are avoiding each other a bit but they have been grooming each other off and on. Right now they're both resting. They've both eaten and had a drink and they've both had a run on the wheel. Things seem okay at this point but I'm going to keep a close eye on them for awhile. I think I'm just about as tired as they are, lol. I've been watching them all day now. I'm glad that their injuries seem superficial and they're getting along again.

I don't know why I made this post, I guess just because I'm so relieved. Ah, the wonderful world of degu ownership
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2006, 07:02 PM
 
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Wow, I'm glad they're ok! I hope things continue to go well!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2006, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately they're starting to get snippy with each other again. No real fighting but they're definitely squabbling. I still have them together in hopes that they work it out themselves but they really aren't enjoying each other's company right now. I wonder what happened that made them so angry with each other though. They've been bonded since birth and aside from a few fights when I first got them, they've been wonderful together.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 01:43 PM
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Aaaawwwww i'm so sorry that has happened It is awful when they fight like that as i have been there once and had to seperate the two of my boys for good but my boys weren't related. Its really odd that they are fighting like they are as they are brothers and its unusual. Male degu's are more prone to the odd squabble but its unusual for them to fight like that without reason, i have 2 groups of boys and aside from the odd wrestle they get along very well and the reason the two boys i had to seperate didn't get along was simply because they wasn't related and it caused friction. I think if the fights do continue and as there is now being blood shed that you will have to consider whether they will have to be split or not if you can't find a cause for the fighting and they can't get along. There has to be a cause so if you can find it then your answer to solving it will be there. I can't remember if i have asked you before (i'm too laxy to go search ) what size is the cage? Do you have 2 food bowls, water bottles, wheels etc....?

Kirsty


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 02:03 PM
 
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some degus are weird to figure out, if only we understood degu talk lol. mine always fight over food, i have 2 food bowls but they all seem to wanna fight for the one on the top level :/ crazy little creatures. how old are your degus?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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I have no idea how old they are (I'm the third home that they have had since coming from a pet store). I've had them since December and I think the first two homes only had them for a few months each.

As for the cage, I'm not sure the exact dimensions. It's a large guinea pig cage that I modified and added some levels and other stuff. It's quite big and there's plenty of space for both of them but it still could have been a territory thing.

They spent the rest of the day being snotty to one another yesterday. I debated whether I should leave them together for the night and I ended up keeping them together. They spent all night cuddled up together! What's up with that, lol. They're being nice to each other today but they both seem...different. I can't pinpoint it but they don't seem the same anymore. Poor Jay's little lip is still swollen He's eating and drinking fine though. I've got the other cage on standby in case they decide to attack each other again.

I'm really concerned over what caused the fight in the first place. It was just so quick and so brutal. Nothing has changed in their environment (besides the cage cleaning early in the day). Could the heat be making them irritable? It's been really hot here lately. I keep a fan on them to keep them cooled off but it's probably still uncomfortable.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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you keep a fan on them? i dont think thats a good thing for them because that could cause them to get pnemaunea (however you spell it)rocks help them to keep cool and the chinchilla marble slaps at the pet store.

i know the only big fight mine had was when they were in thier smaller cage... pinky lost a chunk of fur and showed alittle blood. ever since i put them in thier new cage ive yet to see a crazy fight. just the regular food fights.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 05:37 PM
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Degu's are like humans and have their squabbles and there has to be a cause. There always has to be a boss and maybe both are trying to be in charge hence the fighting. Like i said in my previous post there has to be a cause and if you can find that it will hopefully resolve the problem. It could be a territorial thing (going back to one being the boss again) as everytime they have fallen out it has been when the cage has been cleaned so this is more than likely the cause plus you don't know what has happened to them in the past with their previous owners. If it is when the cage has been cleaned then i would suggest maybe instead of one big clean doing spot checks daily and when you do clean them out fully try mixing a little of the old bedding and substrate back into the fresh so when they go back in they have a comforting smell and see how you go on from there.

As for the heat when hot, degu's tend to keep still and lay flat out to keep cool as they cannot sweat. So i don't think the heat would cause them to fight, it might cause them to be aggrivated though.
Vinamp is right it isn't a good idea to keep a fan on them as they cannot tolerate constant changes in temperature and it can cause things such as colds and pneumonia which prove fatal in degu's. The best thing to use to keep them cool are either a shop brought marble chinchilla slab (chinchillers as they are often known ) or if you have any ceramic tiles knocking around they will work just as well as they are the same principle as the marble slab and remain cool so when the degu's get hot they can lay out on them. Rocks will also work well as they also remain cool too and are also good for keeping the nails trim

Kirsty


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice

Awhile back when they were fighting more when I cleaned their cage, I started mixing in some of their old bedding as well as dust from their bath. I sort of weaned them off the bedding and was just using dust in the clean shavings and they were doing fine for quite awhile. I guess I'll go back to mixing in shavings.

I've stopped putting a fan on them. I figured it was okay because it was really only circulating the gross warm air in the room (not really creating any cold air). It's SO hot here lately and we only have one AC unit which doesn't get to my room. I'm planning on going to the store to buy some marble tiles so hopefully that will work for them throughout the summer Do you just stick them in the fridge/freezer and put them straight into the cage?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 05:54 PM
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If its really hot then i would chill then slightly first so they last all day but just don't let them get to cold just chilled a tiny bit say for 5-10 minutes. But on an average warm sticky day they will be ok just as they are

Kirsty


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