Yet another degu fight :( - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2006, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yet another degu fight :(

Ughh, I'm so frustrated. You may remember me asking for help before with my two boys. Let me just say that 99% of the time, they're as happy as can be (sleeping together, grooming each other, running on the wheel together) but when they fight, they FIGHT. It used to be that everytime I cleaned the cage, they would fight (usually not resulting in injuries). I got some great suggestions on here on how to reduce this (like mix in some old shavings with their new stuff and also mix in some sand that they've both bathed in). For awhile, this worked like a charm. Lately it seems like they've figured out the trick. But still, it's usually just little boxing matches that resolve on their own (they've had two or three fights that ended with temporary seperation).

Today I cleaned their cage. I mixed in used shavings as well as used dust bath. I put them back in and they were okay for a minute but then they fought like I've never seen them fight before. They skipped the whole boxing part and just full-on attacked each other (picture a tornado of degus). I decided I had to seperate them before they really got hurt. I got them into seperate cages and I noticed that one of them has a torn ear He also has a bloody spot behind his ear but I haven't been able to check it out too well. Even though they only fought for 20-30 seconds, they're both exhausted (I've seen them like this before after longer fights). The injured one doesn't seem too hurt, just tired. I'm going to give them some quiet time before trying to put them back together. I always get so sad after fights like this because I just don't know why they do this to each other They're brothers, raised from birth. I just get frustrated when they're loving and cuddly with each other one minute and then tearing each other apart the next.

I'm not sure what the purpose of this thread is for. I guess mostly to vent. If anyone has any suggestions on how to prevent these fights, I'm all ears. Like I said, 99% of the time there's no problem at all. But I just hate when they get like this. I have a huge test tomorrow and I don't want to leave them to study in case one really IS hurt. *sigh*
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2006, 02:05 PM
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I'm sorry they have started to fight again. You are doing everything right from the sounds of it. A couple of questions. What do you do with them when you clean them out? Also do you let one in before the other? The reason i ask this is because sometimes degus can try and lay claim to territory so if you add one before the other the one in there first thinks the cage is his.

Kirsty


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2006, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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I always make sure they both can enter at the exact same time. I usually use their rollabout ball to transfer them. So when I let them back into the cage, I open the top of the ball and usually the dominant one hops out first and the more submissive one waits in the ball for a minute before hopping out too. That's what they did today but for some reason they've just gone crazy.

I waited an hour and then just a few minutes ago, I tried to put them back together again. They're making really strange noises that I've never heard them make before. Usually, they love having my hand near them but when I put my hand close, one started making the EEE noise that they make when they're irritated. I put them back together and immediately the teeth chattering started. They were whipping their tails around (I rarely ever see them do this in a fight) and they were extremely tense. They started to fight again so I seperated them again. I just don't know what to do I'll try again in a bit to put them back together. I don't want to keep them seperated for too long if possible. This fight is just completely different from any other one they've had and I don't know why.

Edited for spelling and grammar mistakes.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2006, 06:29 PM
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Its been a few hours now, have they cooled down any?

Kirsty


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2006, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Actually, yes! I tried at least four times to get them back together and each time they went crazy and attacked each other. I was sure this was going to be the fight that ended up with them seperated permanently but I decided to try one last time. I put them together and they fought a bit but I think they were just too tired to keep going. The final injury count is a torn ear, scratch on the back of the ear, and two scratched lips. Nothing too bad though and they didn't bleed much, thankfully.

I just went up to check on them and guess what? They're cuddled together sleeping. I swear they just like to drive me crazy! I wish I could get into their minds and figure out what makes them act like this.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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To me it sounds like they are having dominance issues, they both want to be the boss.
I have had this problem with Brother gerbils, and ened up they just couldn't live together. Other options would be to ahev a cage with a divider, so they have the company of each other but cannot hurt one another, or a new younger friend for each.
Hopefully they can work things out, but by the sounds of it you have done allot to try and stop this behaviour and it's still happening, I personally would be affraid of them really hurting one another.
Good Luck.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2006, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I do worry about them really hurting each other when they fight. Like I said, real fights don't really happen often (it's usually just mini-boxing matches that resolve themselves without my help). If the number of real fights increases, or if I can't get them back together without tension, I will definitely seperate them for good (or build them something like you said where they can live together but can't get at each other). This time the decision was sort of made for me when I came in and saw them cuddled up sleeping together. I just couldn't seperate them They're doing great still (knock on wood!) and acting perfectly normal. But I'm scared for the next cage cleaning now...
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