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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I have got 2 degus (both are male) and they are about a year old.
Before 2 weeks, I saw that one of my degus started losing hair.
It strted from the neck to the head and around the ears.
The skin isnt red, its normal.
I went to my vet and he said that maybe stress caused the hair loss but Im not so sure about that.
They are in a cage in their own room, they walk there free and have no contact with my dog.

I would be really happy if anyone could help me with this problme.

I have googled a bit and found another thread on this forum with the same problem, but I couldnt find the answer in it.


PS: Sorry for my bad english, its not my native language :)
 

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What is their diet? It sounds like a nutritional problem more than stress (usually that happens in cramped conditions and your degus have plenty of space).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The last two months I give them Vitakraft Emotion. It is the only food i can get in my city (Zagreb).
In their cage they have straw, some cookies for degus, sand and small pieces of wood.

I am confused, why does only 1 degu lose hair?
 

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Are they able to eat the straw or is it for bedding? Are you able to give them fresh vegetables and grasses?

It's hard to say, one degu may just be genetically predisposed to losing hair. It might not even be diet. Do you notice the other degu grooming him a lot or anything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I put the straw in the cage so they do what they want with it. I saw them sometimes eating it, but sometimes they stack it up in a little house.

Once a week they get fresh vegetables (is it ok?).
They sleep one upon the other (the smaller one is top, and the bigger one is bottom- this is the one with the hair problem). And I see them rarely grooming :/
 

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Do you have access to softer hay or grass like timothy hay or orchard grass? They'd probably eat more of that, straw is usually tougher. I usually recommend feeding vegetables every day or every other day :). I mostly feed leafy greens (like escarole, romaine lettuce, and chickory), herbs (basil, oregano, mint, parsley, etc.), and wild grasses/plants (clovers and dandelion greens are favorites).

Another idea would be to call a second vet for another opinion. Maybe they could do blood work?

Oh, and have you noticed either degu scratching a lot? Mites can cause hair loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok so today I was at a vet specialized for small animals and he told me that I should come back at monday so we can do some tests (blood work, parasits etc.).

And yes, I see the sick degu always scratching in the sand box. Sometimes he scratches himself for lik 30 secs without stopping. Dunno why, but I think I will know more on monday. Will write more after the tests.
 

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Hmm, it could be mites then but the tests should give more clues. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, so today I was at the vet again and they did some tests.
First they took some hair from the degus neck off and then watched it under a microscopce. They said that they couldnt find anything.
Then I went to do a bacterial test and they took again some hair off (it went really easily off so the vet said that there might me some bacterias) and said that he will call me when the results arrive.

But when I arrived home, my mom was really angry.
The tests were really expensive, 320 kuna (croatian valut) whats about 65$.
I paid for my degu 24$...
So my mom told me that I should get rid of the degus because she doesnt want to pay anything more.. Im not sure what should I do?
In my town there arent many people intrested in degus, and I know only few people who own them. I dont want to put them on the street or anywhere else and then run away.. So can you tell me what should I do?
 

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I'm assuming you're younger, right? Could you maybe raise some money by selling some things, like a garage sale? Or maybe offer to do extra chores?

These are living animals, not things that can just be replaced or given away. Degus are very intelligent and emotional, they have a rough time when re-homed. I would definitely not let them go or anything, they'd definitely die out there.

I would wait for the test results and see what happens. If the degu will need more vet care and your mom doesn't want to pay I would try to raise some money or see if someone else who keeps degus is interested.

Good luck, I'm sorry to hear about your situation :(.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I'm 17 years old.
Garage sales aren't very popular in my country like they are maybe in USA.
Not many people are interested in stuff like that.

I got already some money from my grandma and grandpa.
So I think I will be able to get the medication (if needed).
I had a lot of animals (from dogs, birds, rabbits, turtles...) so I really love them.
I told her that I won't "throw them away".

Tomorrow should the first test come, so I hope it'll be negative :(
 

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I'm crossing my fingers for you, I hope nothing's wrong. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good news!
Today I got a phonecall from my vet and he told me that they didn't find any bacterias!
In 7 days I will get the other result (for fungi-not sure if it's the correct name).
 

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Yay, that's great to hear!
 

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maybe its self-inflicted. i have heard of them doing that. :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I dont think so, becaus where ever i pull a little harder the hair goes easily off. :(
And at the spots where the hair fell normally off, the skin is a little darker than from the spots where the vet took the hair off.
I would post a picture but Im not alowed to do that since Im a new member :(.

Hard to explain it.
 

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If all tests come back negative it might be some sort of genetic disorder. If that's the case, you can't do much but it shouldn't harm the degu unless it's all falling out.

What kind of bedding do you have in the cage? Just the straw? I had a degu who was allergic to wood shavings (aspen).
 

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Do you know what kind of wood it is? Some common ones are pine, aspen, and cedar. If you have access to paper-based bedding like Carefresh in your area it might be worth a shot to switch and see what happens :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I am not sure what type of wood it is (I dont have it right now), but I will check it and tell you.

But right now I saw something strange. Both degus were standing on their feet and it looked like the healthy degu was doing something on the sick degus head. I thought that they were just playing, but it looked like the degu was biting the hair off.
It is the first time I have ever saw this.
What could be a reason for that?

I tried to pull off some hair on the healthy degu to see if its maybe infected, but nothing came off.

The sick degu looks bad. Almost the whole head is bald (except on the cheeks and on the neck. He lost hair around his ears and around the right eye. It looks like it is continuing to fall off :(
 
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