Odd gerbil injury/death. Does anyone know what happened?
I've been searching the internet for some explanation as to why my gerbil passed away. So far, I've had no luck. I was hoping that someone on here could possibly help me.
One of my three boys, Skahottentot, is dying. He is just under 2.5 years old, a honey cream (pictured in avitar). I've been very happy with all of my boys. They are wonderful animals, and I'm happy that he can finally be at peace.
I'm not sure what went wrong with him. In early July, he started limping on his back legs. I assumed he had jumped within the cage and twisted/broke something, which with gerbils, usually heel on their own. The injury became progressively worse. His back legs were functioning less and less. I suspect that it was some sort of spinal degeneration because it came on gradually over time. By late July, he was dragging his back legs behind him, only moving around to get the food that I had to hand-feed him. For the last two months, his back end was half as wide has his front (probably thanks to his rib cage). It was a sad sight to see.
Late on Tuesday night, I noticed that he had a separate nest from the other two gerbils. This is usually an indicator that something is wrong especially since they were all together the nights before. He was unwilling to move, smell my finger, or eat, but he was still alive. I held him and tried to give him water from the bottle. He could only drink about 2 licks before giving up again. I could tell he was almost gone because there were bite marks on his feet and dried blood all over his back legs. The other 2 gerbils were very kind and helpful the last few months. The fact that they were finally marking him an outcast suggested that the time was near. I made a separate cage for him so that he could pass peacefully over the next few days.
Does anyone have any ideas as to what happened to my gerbil? Is it hereditary? Just for information purposes, he was from a reputable breeder and had a healthy diet up till the end of his injury.