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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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Death of my Gerbil - help and advice

Hi everyone, i've looked around but i can't find anything that directly answers my questions so i thought it post here.

Sadly last night one (of two) of my gerbils died. I was placing a cardboard egg carton for them to chew when i noticed he was lying down on one of the levels of the cage underneath his climbing frame. He was very weak and his eyes were droppy and mostly closed, he looked really skinny and his fur was all matted as well. I tried giving him some water and he managed to pull himself away but he was very off balance and falling over. Later in the night he deterioated and he didnt even have the energy to stand on his legs, lying flat down, only breathing. I put him on some cotton wool to make him comfy and he didnt react at all, for the next hour or so he lay there just breathing before he passed away.

This came to a great shock to us, as hes not even a year old yet (august was his birthday). Over the past couple of weeks we noticed when we put him in is exercise ball his was less energetic than usual, and when he woke his eyes were closed for a few minutes. But after a few minutes he would be back to normal, running around his cage, and he was eating because i put in some biscuits a couple of days ago and he ate them all, and the chocolate treat i gave him, so i don't understand why he was so skinny. Also when i found him he was on a raised level which they need to jump up to to reach, so it must have happened while he was up there cuz he definatly didnt have the energy to jump at all. The only thing i thought of was that it has been a very hot weekend but my other Gerbil is fine so im not sure about heat exhaustion or something either. So we're really stuck on what could have gone wrong, it seemed to happen so fast.

Also im not sure what to do with my other Gerbil. Do i leave him on his own? or do i get a another gerbil? i heard gerbils dont take to kindely to new gerbils so im worried about anoher one getting hurt, but then i've heard that they can get really miserable on their own.

Thanks for all your help

Jon
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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no one can help?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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I have no experience with gerbils so I can't help to answer your questions but I'm sorry for your loss.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 06:01 PM
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Hi Jon

It sounds like something in his brain went on, possible brain tumour that probably gave way and bled. I am so sorry, unfortunatly sometimes these things happen in young animals.

With regards to you other gerbil do you have any small animal rescues that have gerbils? We bought a gerbil recently she is lovely but was left on her own in the shop she was very depressed skinny hardly eating and would have died if we hadn't got her a friend. We went to a rescue who had gerbils we tried her with a few different ones before she got on with an older mother gerbil who had had a few litters with the previous owner. She loves the other gerbil treats her like a mum and vice versa. We also have the mums older babies 4 of them live together.

I would definatly got to a rescue that way you can try your gerbil with some others, otherwise you are going to have to buy some and hope for the best but atleast with rescues you can try them together.

Hope this helps

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Provenelk View Post
and he was eating because i put in some biscuits a couple of days ago and he ate them all, and the chocolate treat i gave him, so i don't understand why he was so skinny.
Jon
I was reading over your post again and came across this. Do you feed your gerbils chocolate?

Chocolate is extremely dangerous for animals of all kinds and should never be fed to any pet much less small pet. If you're feeding them chocolate please stop. Look for small pet appropriate treats, I don't have gerbils so I can't suggest any but I'm sure the others have some great ideas.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2009, 02:44 PM
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RenishaS is right, never feed chocolate to small animals. You can get chocolate made for small animals but personally I aviod that too, too much can be bad and too much is easy to reach, depending on each individual animal. Looks
like yours may have just reacted badly. My first thought was a brain tumor, they can take a while to show up so you may not have caught it anyway. Gerbils are very freindly creatures and will take kindly to a new freind if introduced and bonded properly, but if left without a freind your remaining gerbil may die of lonliness. I am sorry for your loss, RIP little gerbil
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 11:16 PM
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Never, ever feed your animals chocolate. They may just say it's bad for Dogs, but it is bad for all animals. Sorry for your loss!

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 04:34 AM
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mine died too

Hi there. I've just googled death of a gerbil leaving other behind and it brought me to your post.

Last night our little gerbil Heather died in a very similar way. My husband got them out for a play as they like a good run around in the lounge as often as possible. Unlike her usual self she was just sitting in the corner struggling for breath while her sister tore around quite normally. Her eyes wern't open properly and she really didn't look well so we took her straight to the vet. The vet said gerbils can deteriorate very quickly and not to expect her to make it through the night but her coat was very healthy and so was her sister so she gave us some anti biotic to try incase it was an infection. She had noticably lost weight when I held her and had pleanty of food and access to water. Just hadn't wanted it.
The vet also gave us a syringe with some solution for the water to give her and help her rehydrate.

We got her home and put her in the pen so I could try out her medicine. I held her in my hand and tried to syringe the anti biotic into her mouth and as usual she put up a fight (typical of her) but she then had a heart attack and died

If I hadn't pissed her off I'm sure she would have died just like yours did. Still feel terrible about it tho.
Heather was 2 and a half years old which is older than your gerbil but the symptoms you describe are the same as mine and sound very typical of what the vet said is normal for gerbils when they die. 1 year is a little short lived for a gerbil but I guess we're the same. Some of us only live to be 50 and some of us are rocking grannies at 100. It was their time. RIP our little gerbils
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 12:27 PM
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when we had gerbils and one died my mom put a small mirror in the cage and he would talk to that mirror for hours a day it helped with the lonliness i think and he went on anoth year or two after that

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 01:24 PM
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Sorry for your loss.

We once had a female who had to be separated from the colony for a surgery and her daughter wouldn't let her return. We got her another "old lady" gerbil and put them in an aquarium together with a wire frame separator so they could see and smell each other. Before long they were climbing over the divider to snuggle together. She was about two years old or more at this point. I think females take better to new friends than males, because we had trouble putting some of the boys together (doesn't mean it's impossible). If your other gerbil is still young, I would try and introduce a new friend since they are so social.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2011, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
. I think females take better to new friends than males, because we had trouble putting some of the boys together (doesn't mean it's impossible).
Interesting. I never had any trouble putting males together. The females would always try to kill each other. I would be careful either way. Good luck. I know it's difficult to lose a pet

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 06:17 PM
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I am so sorry about your gerbil passing away.
You definitely need to get your remaining gerbil a buddy to keep him company. Gerbils are very social animals and your remaining gerbil will be very lonely and depressed without a new friend.

Vlad

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You will always be with me, my sweet boys. I will see you at the Bridge.
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