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Degu help!

2524 Views 11 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  sara_warren5
I recently bought two degus. They were born around the week of March 17th. They are about 10 weeks old now. I have had them now for about two weeks and they are very comfortable with me, the both of them are. They come on me and my boyfriend all the time no problem. We go near the cage and they are sqeaking all mighty to get out. They even crawl on my sisters no problem. We bought them a cage that wasnt cheap its 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide by a depth of 1 foot. It doesn't seem small or anything for them. I put one of my shirts in there and have changed the shirt 3 times now so they can get used to my scent. I have also made them a hiding area so they can go and feel safe. They are spoiled! They have a wheel, 4 levels of running space. I feed them 2-3 times a day and they have toys to chew. I clean their poo off the levels every single day and clean their bedding/shavings twice a week. I also give them some "muffets" for treats which are non fat and non sugar shredded wheat I dont give them a lot of it just a tiny piece everyday or every other day. They are developing really bad behaviour. The both of them wont stop sqeaking for the past 2-3 days now. If I let them out they stop but they try their very best to get free from me and my boyfriend. They have even jumped right off my shoulder or even my hands right onto the ground so they can get free. Now to me this doesnt seem like a good thing. I dont believe it has anything to do with their cage which I have read on other sites that it could be. I feed them proper chinchilla food with no fruit. They dont seem to be in pain at all or seem hurt/limping anything like that. If I leave them alone completely they stop but this takes quite a while after for them to calm down. I dont understand.

Can anyone give me advice?

The male hasnt been sqeaking for "20 mins straight" as I have read that means they just mated. Its normally the female who never shuts up. And their squeaking at me not eachother. I always give them attention. Maybe too much?? I dont know I need some help figuring out these little creatures because I want to feel like they are getting used to me but it seems like their scared or something.

Help! :)
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Wait, are you keeping a male and female together on purpose? They need to be separated or the female is going to get pregnant (she is too young to safely give birth).

As for the squeaking, is it kind of like an alarm clock (every second or so, timed, etc.) or is it more frantic? Is it loud? Is it a rodent-y type squeak or more like a bird noise?
Well my boyfriend brought them home one day and said he was sure they were both boys. The pet store we bought them from said they should be both the same sex. When we got home and researched it best we could we discovered that we THOUGHT one might be a girl but still couldnt tell the difference. We are sure now that one is a girl and one is a boy. I dont want to get rid of them because ones a boy and ones a girl. We have spent a lot of money on them. Im not sure what to do and everytime i try and tell my boyfriend I dont like this idea he says theres nothing we can do and hes not taking them back. So yah I am keeping them on purpose but im not proud of it. I dont know what else to do :( I dont wanna seperate them either because I heard they can get really sick and lonley. And as for the squeaking it can be frantic squeaking like if I talk to them they squeak really loud or if their just sitting in their cage and no attention its hard to explain. The squeaking is loud and frantic when I go to let them out or go near their cage and talk to them or when im feeding them (they cant eat together they fight badly) Other times when their just in their cage like normal they squeak but its a lot quieter and normal sounding like chattering.
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at its worst it sounds like loud guinea pig wheeps.
The thing is, females can breed back to back. In other words, the moment she gives birth she can mate again. This means constant litters (if they survive...often one litter will suffer) and a shortened lifespan for the female. This isn't a case of you should separate them but rather you need to :(. Could you have two cages and bond them each to same-sex partner? Or get the male neutered?

Some degus are just vocal and it sounds like they want attention. There isn't much you can do about that besides waiting until they're quiet before letting them out/giving them attention. The quiet chattering is them talking to each other.
yeah I have seperated them now but one of them is in a hamster cage because one i dont have the room right now for another big cage and i dont have to money to go out and buy another big cage. What would you do? I really dont know what else I can do.

And well yeah I realize that when I let them out they stop squeaking. But their always trying to escape the best they can. They will do anything to escape and I know their curious creatures but they never stop and its hard to take care of them like that. I dont want them getting into anything or even worse getting away and gone forever..
I would re-home one of them, get the male neutered, or look for a cheap/free cage.

I used to let new degus out in the bathroom since it was a confined space and I could keep track of them :). Do you have an area like that? Maybe a large closet?
well i dont think ill separate them all together i mean that will be silly having two degus in two different cages. How much is it to get the male neutered? and if not that.. who would take only one degu if i was to re home one of them? i think that would be the best bet.

also yeah i have a room like that but they eat dust and stuff off the ground and i cant stop them from that im scared there gunna get sick. also how often should i let them run around a room and for how long of a time? -- do i need to pay attention to them that whole time..
The cost of neutering is going to depend on your local veterinary costs, you'd have to call and get an estimate.

I have no idea who would take a degu, that's something you'd have to look into. Either way, the remaining degu should then get a same-sex partner. Why not bring back one of the degus to the pet store and get the right gender?

I recommend letting degus out for at least 1-2 hours a day. More if the degu is alone. You do need to supervise, especially with new degus. Several of mine could be free-range without direct supervision but that was when they were trained adults.
yeah. I heard neutering was dangerous like it could really hurt the degu?

I was thinking of bringing one back to the pet store I'm gunna look into that.

Wow thats a lot of time of out the cage a day and okay ill consider that. Thanks.
Neutering isn't too dangerous when done by a degu-experienced vet (which you should have lined up already in case of an emergency...if not, find one asap since many vets don't even treat degus).

It is a lot of time but remember that what you have are exotic pets. They aren't domestic like cats or dogs. Degus are extremely intelligent and active animals. If they don't get enough exercise and stimulation it can lead to bad behaviors like constant escapes, constant squeaking, destructive behavior, and fights. If you aren't able to provide the amount of exercise and attention required perhaps consider a less demanding rodent. I don't mean that in a rude way and I know you're doing your best. But perhaps a pair of gerbils (who can be a lot of fun, by the way!) or rats would be better :). They don't need quite as much time outside the cage, are very easy to sex, are inexpensive, and will be easier to find vet care for. Just an idea.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck! I hope everything works out :). Degus are awesome pets IMO but they can be challenging compared to other "pocket pets".
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thanks for the help i will consider this. im gunna have to try and find a place that will neuter him.
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