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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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*Gerbie the lonesome gerbil*

Hey guys i have a few questions for the gerbil folks on here.

I work at a pet store and a little girl brought in a black male gerbil as she could not keep him any longer. We usually dont accept animals that havent been purchased from the store but i bent the rules as i didnt want this little guy to end up at the spca. She told us that she had bred him and her female gerbil and they lived in a small cage with their babies, she gave away the 2 male babies and kept the mom and girls, she didnt say why she seperated Gerbie from the others but im assuming it was so that she wouldnt end up with another littler. After she left i looked in on him and noticed that he had a red irratated nose and he seemed to scratch it constantly, i put a mild polysporin solution on it and rubbed it in really well so that he wouldnt ingest it. This continued on for a month and i realised it wasnt working, he was really lonely and seemed to be scratching his nose out of boredom and he had started biting the fur from his two front hands. One day while i was away from work one of my coworkers gave him a wire wheel, and when i came back he had broken (or so it seems) his little left hind leg. This was too much for me so i set up a cage that my boss said i could have (a habitrail playground we werent using) and took him home. He has been living with us for two weeks now, ive bought him every toy imaginable including a safer wheel, things to chew a house tubes and a mirror (to look at himself maybe not be so lonely) and i have been searching for a gerbil playmate for him.

I just found out that a pet store about an hour away has a litter of gerbil pups and i have called to tell them to put one aside. Then i realised i didnt know whether to get a male or female. I wouldnt mind a litter of gerbils as i know that there are many good homes waiting for them (we have 2 pages in our request book for gerbils) but i cant help but worry that gerbie might pass on his traits to his young.

So long story short i would rather have him in with another boy, how should i go about introducing them? Is it safe, will they get along?

I was also wondering if anyone has had experience with broken limbs in small animals, should i take away gerbies wheel (i know i should but he loves it so much) and do you think his leg will heal?

Im sorry for the long story but as anyone who knows me on here knows im incapable of telling "short stories".

Thanks everyone
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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First of all, congratulations on the new little gerbil.

Ok, if it's been 2 weeks since he broke his limb, he should be almost healed by now. Second, his nose could get worse in that cage, since they usually chew the bars of the cage, and lose the hair on his nose that way. I've had a couple of compulsive chewers, who chew everything in sight and lose their nose and cheeks hair. Doesn't seem to be passed on by generations, though...just their personalities. Then, check that he's not having allergy to the bedding. Try by changing his bedding to unscented, uncolored toilet paper (or paper towels) to see if he stops scratching.
Still, I suggest that you get him a companion, as they are very social animals. The prefered method to put 2 gerbils together is the split cage method, in which you put a wire mesh division in a cage, and put a gerbil in each side, so that they can see and smell each other, but can't fight through it. It words pretty well with males, females or male/female pair, but works better if one or both of them are still pups (5/6 week old pup). You have to switch them from side every couple of hours so that they get used to each other's smell and after at least a week, put them together in a neutral environment and clean very very well their cage before you put them. Sometimes with males and very young pups, you can put them together in neutral environment and they can get along, but it's a risk, and you have to watch them very very closely for a long time.

Good luck with them. 8)
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Thank you for replying so quickly. Im going to take your advice and put them in a split cage, i have a 30 gallon tank im going to get a lid for and they can live in there. My chinchilla visits gerbie's cageside every night and they just sit and talk to eachother, so i think gerbie is pretty lonely, and my chinchilla is confused (or hes appointed himself head of the welcome commitee?)

I will update as soon as i have some news, thanks again.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 10:39 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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ohhhh the chinnie sounds so cute!!! I am glad you are taking good care of the gerbie too!

Christine
Mommy to:
2 cats: Suess and Jezebel
2 horses: Winter and Junior
3 dogs: Panda, Maggie, Snoopy

And the rest:
5 cows, a bull and one mean buffalo

Gone but not forgotten:
Jester, cat
Waffles, dog
Gunny, ferret

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