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