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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11063
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Dark red / black sore on gerbils belly I noticed a dark red

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Dark red / black sore on gerbil's belly: I noticed a dark red / black sore on my gerbil's belly (about the size of a dime), and it seems to bleed infrequently (spot bleeding). My gerbil has been an otherwise healthy female; I have had her and her "sister" for 3.5+ years now. I have not noticed any personality changes -- she still eats well, hangs out with her sister, and chews the life out of any toy I give to her.

Any advice you can offer would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thank you!

I'm sorry to see that no one has responded to your question earlier. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online and saw your question.

At 3.5 years of age, your gerbils are elderly. As they get older, they're more prone to developing tumors, both benign and cancerous. Skin cancer often appears as a dark growth, but there are other possibilities, too. You'll have to make a decision about what to do. You could take her to a vet to have the sore diagnosed, and possibly removed. If you decide to do that, the following links will take you to directories of vets who treat small rodents. At the first site, you'll come to a log-in page. Sign in as 'member' and use 'member' as your password XXXXX well.

The other option is to keep an eye on the sore, and take a 'wait and see' approach. Since your gerbil is behaving normally, this growth/sore may not cause a problem for a long time. If you choose this option, you can try cleaning the area with some Betadine (available in first aid departments of discount stores and pharmacies), and then put on a light coat of plain Neosporin to prevent infection.

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your gerbil will be fine.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you very much for your response; it is very helpful. One question, though, regarding the Betadine/Neosporin approach: I'm a little concerned about my gerbil picking at the affected area after I apply the medicine (or my other gerbil ingesting it while grooming her) -- is there a good way to cover the sore so that neither gerbil runs the risk of ingesting the medicine? Or is it not dangerous to the gerbils?

Thank you again!

Hi Michelle,

Betadine dries quickly. Just hold the gerbil until it is dry. Neosporin can result in diarrhea if the gerbils consume enough of it. That's why I suggested a light coat of it. If you prefer not to use it, you can go with only the Betadine once per day. That will kill bacteria, and once it's dry, it poses no danger.


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