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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was lucky enough to come across an ad today for a free degu in my city! when we checked him out he seemed to be in rough shape.. he lost his brother a year ago and has been losing hair steady ever since.. he is also missing probably the last inch of his tail... I was nervus introducing him to my two females but the encounter went very very well, not so much as a shoving match=) they are now sharing there habitat without any issues, im wondering if hes lost hair from stress if in time it will start to grow back.. or if the insides of his back legs will be naked forever?
 

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Rodentologist
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So you're breeding a random free degu with no health background that you found that also has unidentified health problems?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You could assume that or you could ask what the vet told me, There are no signs of anything wrong with him, nothing parasitic nothing contagious, my bad for saving a degu and introducing him a community.. next time I'll just release them into the wild, thanks for the HELPFUL comments..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would never introduce any animal to a pack without having him fully checked out so seriously hows about you not assume im 13 years old and don't know **** all.=)
 

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It has nothing to do with "being 13". There are plenty of non-infectious diseases that are genetically transferable. Why if he's got a thyroid problem? Why would you breed an animal with a thyroid problem? Not to mention you know nothing about his pedigree at all -- so you have no idea what he is or isn't passing on to his offspring.

There are plenty of ways to rescue an animal that don't involve having it make babies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And maybe its the fact it was living in a cage that was 10 times to small for him without a wheel and without a mate and thats the reason hes in rough condition and if so why shouldn't he enjoy a normal habitat, I have read every post on this forum on hair loss, talked to my vet and talked to a friend on youtube who knows tons on Degus and none of them say he should be quarantined and forced to live alone, so whats your problem.. im not in this to get pups, I didnt even sex it before I brought it to the vets, I still havnt even sexed it until it's 110% comfertable with me im not worried about it, im worried about it having a natural life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so yeah he could be a she, either way it dosn't matter, my VET said it was healthy enough to live with other degu's and shows no sign of any problems but aparantly you know more about him then I do so tell me what to do here?
 

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Ideally you'd do a quarantine before introducing to guarantee that there's no spread of infectious diseases or parasites. We do this for every animal that comes into our rescue. Just because he is healthy right now does not mean that he is not harboring illness. For example, I'm perfectly healthy right now. But maybe earlier today I opened a doorknob covered in flu germs. If I went to a doctor, they'd tell me I was healthy. But I can be healthy and incubating an illness. That's the purpose of quarantine -- to allow any potential illnesses or parasites the chance to incubate and see if they develop without putting your current animals at risk.

The quarantine period is an excellent time to interact with this degu and gain his trust. At this time he can be sexed. If he is a male, it's also the perfect time to neuter him so that he's not giving you unwanted litters. If he is a female, it's not an issue.

Again, responsible breeding involves knowing the animals involved, not letting them live together and breed over and over and over again, and in making sure that the health of the animals comes first.

If he's truly just in need of a better habitat, a month in a better habitat will show this. If he's developed some nutritional deficiency causing it, a corrected diet will make him well. Quarantine before introduction is just good practice, especially with unknown animals of questionable origin.

If you want him to have a natural life, he shouldn't be in your house in a cage. If you want to keep him as a pet, you owe it to him and to your other degus to make sure that they're not producing litter after litter and contributing to the overpopulation problem. What would you think of a rescue that went and picked up a strange intact dog and then tossed it into a kennel with other intact dogs to mate? Would you consider that a good rescue that was caring for the animals, or would you consider them irresponsible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You know what I agree with you 100% on the quarantine and I will put it into effect right after I finish writing this, and I do thank you for the opinion but I just wish you didn't assume so much, I have two females and if he was male I would separate as soon as he started to try and mate, the only reason we would want one batch of pups is so he would have a male to live with permanently at this time we have only done the one introduction and my females have been completely docile... my questions are if I do put him into quarantine can there cages be near by or is that to risky if a problem does come up? and how long is a standard quarantine?... thanks
 

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Since they've already been introduced, quarantine won't really be useful since anything he had they've already been exposed to. Watch them all like hawks, watch out for any fur loss on their behalf, and pay special attention to their breathing for respiratory infections.

Typically we quarantine for at least 3 weeks -- 21 days is the incubation period for ringworm, and to the best of my knowledge, it's got the longest of any common diseases. Respiratory infections tend to show up in the first week, and parasites in the 2-3 week range.

Keep in mind that even one litter can be several degus, and even then you may not end up with a male. We had 3 litters of guinea pigs born in our rescue in March, and of the 10 animals, ONE was female. And the rest were all males. 2 litters of completely males! Guinea pigs aren't degus, but there's always a chance of having all of one sex.

We've just had so many accidental litters from people that were "right there watching" when it happened, that my personal policy is if you don't want babies, keep them apart or neuter one. Could you possibly neuter this gentleman and let him live with your ladies? Then you're not making extra degus and he's got friends. :)
 

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Some vets are more specialized in exotics than others, so if they're experienced in doing rodent surgeries, neutering may be a good option. However, we have had a lot of problems with vets that aren't experienced with small animals doing surgery on them. Their systems are very different and they can die from the procedure.

We had two bunnies come in from a local shelter that had severely botched neuters, and the rabbits came in to us in stasis, bleeding, and almost dead. In the end we figured out that the vet had managed to miss a testicle in both rabbits! They were excellent dog and cat vets, but exotics are a whole other ballgame. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yeah thats why I didn't want to take that route, especially if he turns out to be perfectly fine and could have a single litter down the road, who knows another male degu could show up around here somewhere (im in Canada) I just dont want him to be alone... hes already acting way better, when we found him he would just sit still almost in shock, they had very young kids who played with it and tons of cats in the house, now ever since he's seen our degus he's really energetic and wants to see them, our habitat is seperated on the middle floor (top half is females) and hes on the bottom, so since I blew quarantine, is supervised play time allowed? or should I avoid direct contact for awhile...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I should mention they have done work on rodents and rabbits buuuuut as you said there a lot different and there not specialists so it does concern me, would be horrible to lose him
 

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If it were me, I wouldn't let them have playdates now because of the risk of preganancy. I'd can't advise you on that, unfortunately, as we do not breed animals under any circumstances. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
well I can stop them from having sex we keep a constant eye on them I mean just so he can socialize, its been a year since his mates been gone, so I imagine it's good for him to be around other degus..
 

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Why not put him in a cage next to the females? So they can sniff each other through the bars, and that's socialization in a way. After you quarantine, that is, if you're quarantining. Then work on getting him neutered or whatever you're going to do.
 
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