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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
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Question my first two degu's!

hey, i'm in need of assistance in some Degu matters, they do fit into the chinchilla category don't they?

Anyway, i went and bought 2 male Degus about a week ago, the guy at the petshop told me they are about 6 months old.

firstly the guy there didn't exactly look like he knew enough to help a customer with a Degu, and before seeing them there i had no idea they existed. but i've been doing research in order to keep them as happy and healthy as i can. thing is i can't find some specific help i need on the sites i've checked and i still have questions and worries.

One of them is less active and doesn't seem to ever use his hind right foot, he keeps it raised in the air and its dificult for him to climb and jump. even though he seems to be fine otherwise and still runs in his wheel and everything, im very worried because i heard they have a high tolerance to pain and a problem is usually way more serious than it seems.

I have a whole list of wood which is bad for them but what wood is good for them? how about "Apple trees, Pomegranate, pear, Carob, Chestnut or Loquat?"

and lastly i'm worried because they dont let us handle them even though they will come up to our hands and even momentarily climb onto them or use them as a bridge to get them where they want. is it still early for them to trust us? and i only let them out for a run once but its was tricky to get them back into the cage without grabbing them or scaring them, i finally lured him onto my hand with some broccoli and got him in gently, but it really worries me that they're still not quite at ease with us, even though one of them even lets me scratch behind his ear and sometimes under his belly.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-12-2008, 10:57 AM
Movin' Up in the Pack
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Since you bought them from a pet store I would recommend that you take them to the vet to get checked out. Pet stores usually don't know anything about the condition or any underlying issues of their animals. A vet can catch any problems quickly and also assure you that your animals are healthy.

As far as getting them to be comfortable with you, it sounds like you're making great progress. Chinchillas, and probably degus as well, are prey animals and it takes awhile to gain their trust. It will probably take a least a few weeks for them to really trust you. Once you do gain their trust, it is very obvious because they run to great you and instantly want to play. Don't worry about it though, they're just adjusting to new owners and a new home. Make sure you take baby steps and that you don't frighten them and they will start to come around. Also, once they start showing an interest in wanting to come out, make sure that you DON'T let them out until you hold them for a few minutes. They will learn that they must be handled before getting play time and they will hop onto your hand

I'm a chinchilla owner, so all of this information I've gotten from owning them, but I'm sure it all applies to degus as well. I know that chinchillas aren't supposed to eat fresh greens, but I don't know if that is true for degus as well. As for wood, I believe that the rule of thumb is to stay away from citrus trees and trees that have a pitted fruit.

Hope this helps

Oh, one more thing!! Make sure they don't have plastic in their cage because it can be fatal if it blocks their digestive system and make sure that their wheel is a solid surface without any spokes. They can really hurt themselves otherwise.
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