Gerbil De-Clan - In need of suggestions - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Gerbil De-Clan - In need of suggestions

Well, this is the 3rd De-Clan this year for me. But first for males.

So let me explaine,

I have two 10 gallon tanks connected with tubing, this set-up houses 3 young male gerbils. 2 spotted Agouti brothers (Jimmy & Dakota) and a Siamese who was introduced when the agoutis were 8 weeks old, the siamese was 5 weeks old then. All have been living together since mid March.
Jimmy is the larest brother, and dominent of the tank, Peej comes in second in size, then Dakota.
We had a bit of chasing (no blood) probably in September or so, where I split Dakota for a night. Everything was well up intill last night.

Last night while only out a couple hours for dinner, I came home to find Jimmy in the second tank by himself with a blood stained coat.
Dakota & Peej were in the main tank nestled in the wooden house together, also with blood on them.
I checked everyone and then decided Jimmy was in the worst shape and got him cleaned up first.
He had some pretty good bites on him, but nothing that won't heal up with time.
Dakota and Peej hardly had any bites on them (Dakota maybe 2/3) mostly they had the other gerbils blood stained around there mouths. Peej did however have a small puncture on his face.

This morning I went to check on the two downstairs (in the "gerbil room") and found Peej was chasing Dakota, well I didn't need anymore of this and put the split screen between the two.

Peej's side of his face is swollen today. And so I have a water bottle with ornacycline in it, but i also have some Chlor Palm from the Vet I think I'm going to give him. The swelling is noticable, he looks like a chipmunk storing goodies.

Now I have 16 gerbils, i do not want anymore.
I am thinking my loner female who's in the tank next to theirs may be in heat and set them off.... BUT then she wasn't around then when we had the last little "tiff".

So what are my options?
I have a 55G tank with no stand not being used, Someone is giving me a cracked 47G tank. There are no lids for these huge tanks, i would have to make some.
Do I make one of these into 3 sections and house them indavidually?
Do I get them neutered? (yikes talk about $$$)
Do I try to intro just 2 of them?
Or?

Getting 3 more gerbils is NOT an option. I ended up with 2 more I didn't plan for just last week, b/c of one gerbil not accepting another type deal.

I can say as much as i love my little gerbils I will never have this many again. To many bad things happen when you have so many.


Suggestions (not critisism) Needed, Thanks.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 08:43 PM
 
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I related the story of my first gerbils, who I got as pups, before: Chrissie and sister Crystal, and the four guys: three black brothers and their golden uncle Cliffy. The guys were all happy for over a year in a 20 gallon (four unrelated girls have been happy in the same tank, after all thre guys passed) until I found my favorite, the smart one who climbed all over me, Tommy, dead, apparently of natural causes. A few days later I heard weird noises, and a nick on Dill. They seemed calm then, but a day later he and brother Phil had a terrible battle for dominance: both were mangled; despite my efforts Phil passed away, but Dill recovered and lived a long happy life with Cliffy, who was uninvolved in this.

Dill Injured

Dill Injured, second photo

Once any fighting starts, I separate permanently and immediately now.

How do you connect tubes to tanks??

>> We had a bit of chasing (no blood) probably in September or so, where I split Dakota for a night. <<

Why?? Why did you take him out? In that tank with the four girls Ginger (agouti spot) and Laurel (nutmeg) occasionally chase each other, and "head wrestle" a bit. This has gone on for months and I have never seen them ball up, fight, nor have I seen a nick or bite mark of any kind.

I have not heard of de-clanning in a single night. Yikes. I know that from experience with gerbils who escaped for 24-36 hours, and then were put back home without incident.

Neutering. THIS THREAD is about a successful neutering. Better have a vet who knows anesthesia in small animals!

I have had females and male living in the same room for years in close proximity, and I can think of no time the males were "set off".

>> Do I try to intro just 2 of them? <<

Doesn't that mean only one would be housed individually? Sounds best to me.

My Shiva suddenly fought with Leandra awhile back. I posted on this on the Mongolian Gerbils board. I think most bites were post-morten being on one side; the side of the deceased Leandra on the bedding was not nearly so bad. They had chased a little previously but nothing much. I fear Leandra was developing an illness/tumor/? and this (change in scent??) set of a dispute. Shiva is 2.5 years old and is living alone, apparently happily.

Anyway, of you can't have a situation where two get intro'd, the separate enclosures in the big tanks seems better than neutering - for them and you. Of course, if you have a great vet experienced with this, and money is not a big deal (group rates?!) you can consider that. It worked for the fellow in the thread I mentioned above. Let us know what you do. . .

Last edited by Zouave; 12-19-2005 at 08:47 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zouave
How do you connect tubes to tanks??


Quote:
Why?? Why did you take him out?
I have not heard of de-clanning in a single night. Yikes. I know that from experience with gerbils who escaped for 24-36 hours, and then were put back home without incident.
I didn't take him out, I placed a divider in their tank, so he just couldn't get beat up any longer. I took it out in the morning when I could watch them.
How long do you think a de-clan should take?
They had previous scuffles, as i mentioned before. So it's not like it was completly out of the blue, I just didn't think it would result in blood shed being they have been so good these past months.

Quote:
Neutering. THIS THREAD is about a successful neutering. Better have a vet who knows anesthesia in small animals!
I actually have a Vet i worked for who I assisted in many small animal surgeries, we never lost a single one
Though I was more thinking towards getting one neutered (the one who dosn't go back with the other two) and then placing the neutered one with my single female.

Quote:
I have had females and male living in the same room for years in close proximity, and I can think of no time the males were "set off".
Someone had mentioned to me they think that's what started there de-clan of males once. I do remember when I brought the girls home, my 2 older boys scuffled a bit more. But it's been almost 2 years they've been living in the same house as the females, and they never 'fight'.

Quote:
>> Do I try to intro just 2 of them? <<
Doesn't that mean only one would be housed individually? Sounds best to me.
I just don't know 'what ones' to try and re-house together. It's hard b/c i'm not sure who started it, and such.
Plus how about the "once blood is shed, the bond is broken"....

Quote:
Anyway, of you can't have a situation where two get intro'd, the separate enclosures in the big tanks seems better than neutering - for them and you. Of course, if you have a great vet experienced with this, and money is not a big deal (group rates?!) you can consider that. It worked for the fellow in the thread I mentioned above. Let us know what you do. . .
I rather not neuter if possible. I don't have the $$ that's for sure.
I will read the link though, i'm interested.

A lady on another board sent me pictures of her 3/way split tank she did. I'm hoping to get a little mroe info on how to build it, as this may be the best for them.

Do you personally think there is any hope for these boys to be homed together again? Either all 3, or just 2?
it seems I've been getting along on comments of putting 2 back together, so i'm curious what the thinking behid that is.

Thanks again
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-20-2005, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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Q - What is your description of a "de-Clan"?

All the stories I've been hearing of peoples gerbils de-clanning are horrific. My 3 boys are totally healed up today (I'm sure there are a couple scabs under the fur), but they're back to their old selves.

I've of course asked this thread on multiple boards, and some people have had their gerbils fight liek this and then get along again... So Last night I played with all the boys in the play pen, everyone was happy.
I put them into a tank together, again happyand cuddling in the glass jar. I took them and seperated them b4 i went to bed. But this mornign pout them into a tank together, and still no problems.
If this was my loner females, even after beinbg split caged, she would have torn a hole through them by now. But these boys are back to there old selves without any problems.
However when I leave for work this morning, I will be seperating them back into the split.

So I guess I'm asking your opinion, Do I have a de-clan on my hands? Or is this something else?

thanks again...
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-20-2005, 08:11 PM
 
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Ohh, interesting how you connect the tanks. And the gerbs have no problem going up the plastic tubes and they do not chew the bottom parts to pieces?? I have seen that they almost never gnaw wny plastic that moves (such as a wheel), but something like that I wonder about. . .

I see. You split them with a divider. How could they de-clan when in immediate scent proximity?? Since I know some of mine did not de-clan in 36 hours I would assume 2-3 days, minimum, which is what I have read elsewhere.

If the chasing and scuffling was that bad and common I would have figured on doing a permanent separation.

Now I am wondering about what happened with Shiva and Leandra - can gerbils after a long while, or due to developing internal illness or other change, alter their scent to such an extent it will agitate a tankmate? Maybe so.

I am glad you have a good vet. I once went to an emergency vet who claimed to know hamsters. She could not even sex an adult female! But she was caring and did some research and gave me the treatment and Baytril I needed.

I have heard people worry about the male-female proximity/scent issue. I have never read of a definite case. I also was told never keep more than two females together, but I have three and four in two groups doing just fine for over a year.

>> It's hard b/c i'm not sure who started it, and such. Plus how about the "once blood is shed, the bond is broken". <<

Yes. My lack of knowledge of that cost Phil his life. I should have separated him and Dill the moment I saw that nick on Dill, but then I was not sure who was fighting. I should have used a "test" tank and watched each one. Have you considered putting them (in pairs) in a smaller tank, watching closely, and maybe discerning aggression?

All three being homed together again? Maybe, but it is a risk. I certainly would try all variations of pairs in that test tank which I would keep in front of me for many hours, every now and then moving the third one in, replacing another, if you know what I mean. I should have done this with Dill, Phil, and Cliffy after the first minor fight (but their was blood). You saw Dill; Phil merely had a few smallish abdomenal bites, but he faded away. I assume they were in more vital areas.

I still feel lousy about that; for a long time they were a great group of four guys.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-20-2005, 08:22 PM
 
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by andreaS15
. . .
So I guess I'm asking your opinion, Do I have a de-clan on my hands? Or is this something else?

thanks again...
A de-clan is when they forget or become alienated to the other's scent; when the acceptance of that scent as "one of our group" is lost. I had always figured this would take days of separation, but in the case of Leandra cited above I think their might be another way this could occur.

In the case of Dill and Phil cited above it was likely something besides de-claning that caused their battle; i.e., who is dominant?

The entire issue of the occurence of gerbil aggression is interesting.

Best to yours. I would be very worried coming home and looking in the tank. Keep us posted.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-20-2005, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Zouave,

I always think about your little guys and the pictures from after their de-clan I also use your story when trying to help others with the same situation.

And the gerbs have no problem going up the plastic tubes and they do not chew the bottom parts to pieces??
Nope, not a problem at all. There are little "steps' inside for them to hold onto (and tiny air holes), they did however chew the steps off the top tubes that go across. After it was flat I haven't had a problem with them chewing it. Now if it was in my tank with 2 boys, it would be distroyed in days.

I am glad you have a good vet.
She's now over an hour drive away (I moved), so i take my guys to a pretty nice clinic here, I don't 'know' them though, so for anything serious, I would drive the hour to see Mellisa.

So I have another thought, Do we think the boys could be getting along now b/c they have esstablished a new dominent male in the tank? I'm guessing the new boss would be Peej.
They have been together in just one 10g tank today, they are back to their regular day to day happy gerbils. Though I will be seperating them during the night (can't watch them when i'm sleeping).

If I could figure out who works the best with who, Then i may just build my 55G tank into a large permenent split, and adopt a 6 week old honey cream male my friend has available for the loner gerbil.

Man I SO wish i spoke Gerbilish!
It would make everything so much easier.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-20-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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>> Do we think the boys could be getting along now b/c they have esstablished a new dominent male in the tank? <<

Maybe. But your dominant gerb did not first die (an apparent natural death) followed by the fighting.

>> There are little "steps' inside for them to hold onto (and tiny air holes), they did however chew the steps off the top tubes that go across. After it was flat I haven't had a problem with them chewing it. Now if it was in my tank with 2 boys, it would be distroyed in days. <<

Depends on the gerb?

Crittertrail tubes?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-20-2005, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zouave

1) Maybe. But your dominant gerb did not first die (an apparent natural death) followed by the fighting.

2 )Depends on the gerb?
Crittertrail tubes?
aahh... yes. Would one just "give-up his dominent roll to the 'winner'? Or is this only settled through fight to the death?

2) Yes, definetly. I have some big chewers and some less so.
And I belive they are Crittertrail tubes, or some replica of them.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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I can see two in a group fighting after the dominant one dies. Sometimes.

Would they fight to the death? Mine, as I said, initially fought, and I saw a small bite on Dill. But they then seemed OK, as I watched closely for awhile. So I left them together - mistake.

When I next found them both Dill and Phill were quiet and hunkered down under stuff in corners. I guess they both had enough. I have no doubt they would have gone at it again if able.

So, I THINK the loser would have to be seen as "non-moving" by the winner. So my opinion is they would fight to the death, in a sense.

But I once tried to intro one male to a bonded male pair. (Mistake). They did not fight, but Mauve, the new guy, got a small bite on the base of his tail. Nothing else. He seemed slightly lethargic but I thought it nerves. I found him dead later, that despite bacitracin treatment of the wound ASAP. (?)

So it is an enigma. They can be that. *shrugs*

Glad you found some who do not gnaw up the CT tubes.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well i've been only keeping them together when i am home and can watch them. Otherwise I have been keeping them in the split.
Still when together they are happy, and all sleeping together in this glass jar (so cute).
I've asked my B/F to help me next week (after X-Mas) to build my 50G tank into a split. Hopefully in the time it takes to build this i can see who is better friends, then i will house 2 on one side, one on another.
I 'may' introduce a pup to the other... but I'm not to fond of '1' more (it's never JUST one).

Let's hope Jimmy's leg heals up. It's pretty swollen, he's not walking on it, though he will sit on it. I'm giving him .5 cc of Chlor Palm twice a day, and then iceing the leg every night.
I think in the morning I will put polysporn on it, maybe that will help too.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 08:41 PM
 
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>> 5 cc of Chlor Palm <<

(?) From a vet?

They are lucky to to have you. Keep watching, and keep us posted.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zouave
>> 5 cc of Chlor Palm <<

(?) From a vet?

They are lucky to to have you. Keep watching, and keep us posted.
Yes, it's from the Vet. They gave me this moster sized bottle (for 'a' gerbil LOL). The Vet said she prefered the Chlor Palm over Baytril. This stuff is more milky.
I just gave Jimmy his dose this evening. I think his leg looks less swollen, but it's still sore as he's not walking on it. Though if i let him near the wheel, he's in there as fast as he can

Thanks I'm lucky to have them, they really are a good little bunch of critters.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 07:03 PM
 
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When I got Baytril for Princess the Syrian I was amazed at how little there was in the bottle. But it proved enough. Two doses a day, and two feedings with yogurt in between that - it kept me busy! Each time I opened the petting zone of the CT2 cage I was glad she was alive. She survived and lived another six months.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-23-2005, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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What was she ill with?
I was given an antibiotic for one of my gerbils eyars ago who had a bladder infection, My Vet at the time gave it to me in a small vile type container. I did end up having to get more, only because I split it LOL... I was kind of thinking this is what this current Vet would do... But now I have critter antibiotics till 2007 LOL

Jimmy is walking and standing on his leg today This morning I noticed how much the swelling had gone down, and tonight, I can't really even tell it's swollen (if it is still, it's very minimal).
My 6 week old pup that got attacked 2 weeks ago, perfectly healed up. The fur just need to grow back where i had to cut it, but other then that, she's a perfectly healthy little girl.
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