Earlier this month Shiva and Leandra suddenly squabbled a little and then Leandra was found dead, biten. Their behavior seemd odd, and inexplicable. They had been getting along well for many months.
A few days ago I noticed a small number of mites in the tank of Edan and Sapphire (name AND color). Edan was an unusual DEW but with a lightening gene.
Edan was older than Sapphire who was intro'd to him several months ago. They got along just fine.
I was out of the usual insecticide powder, and the store had none in stock. So, I reverted back to usimg "8 in 1's" Ultra Care spray, and disinfecting the tank. The wooden things were all put in the freezer.
So, they went into a mostly empty, but with bedding and wheel, 10 gallon holding tank. I heard a little agitation, but I might expect that in an empty tank, although in a dark place.
Several hours later I found Edan dead on the floor with about five bites in various places. Each had blood, but none seemed especially deep.
Sapphire will be living alone now, as will Shiva. I have no idea what caused him to go nuts. Yes, he was sprayed, but so was Edan - and so were two other gerbils in a second tank who are just fine. I see no reason why spraying with anything and getting the fur somewhat wet would result in aggression.
Sapphire was not even that jumpy as I sprayed him and rubbed it in, nor did he try to bite me, although he is generally a bit hyper compared to other gerbils.
So, we have another mystery death. Edan is in the freezer now awaiting a good time for a proper burial.