We have 3 male gerbils who are brothers and are about 2 years old. Since early on, one has been significantly bigger than the others (fat) We have tried giving him more excercise and feeding him less, to no avail. We noticed last week that he was acting strange and I am afraid that he's had a stroke. He was having trouble walking with his right, front leg and would fall over when trying to get around. He also had his right eye half closed until yesterday, when he closed it completely. He has not opened it since... He is doing better with his walking and is still eating and drinking. He is also still active and chewing on towel rolls that I put in for them to chew on. Anything I can do at home to help him and save me a costly trip to the vet.?
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 2
Type of Animal: gerbil
Name of Animal: Thunder
Watching, testing his abilities, let him rest.
If this was indeed a stroke(which is common in older gerbils) make sure Thunder can reach the water bottle the water bottle. If he cannot feed himself, you can syringe feed some baby foods or Oxbowbow critical care which will help with recovery. Some cooked oatmeal is a good food if he is having problems with chewing. If he has problem with the water bottle, then an eye dropper or syringe works well to be sure he has a good fluid intake.
Giving him a quiet area in the tank by covering with a towel and keeping in a low foot traffic area will help with recovery. Stress will slow recovery time time, so keeping him quiet and comfortable is very important.
Strokes in gerbils will usually resolve on their own over time. Most Vets will not give any medication for a stroke, but give you the same info that I gave above. If Thunder starts to get worse or having more strokes, then at that time a Vet visit will be needed.
Vet Tech for 30+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
What is Oxbowbow critical care? Thanks! How about diet and his weight?
Oxbow critical care is a supplemental food given to ailing small animals: http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/vets/products/critical_care
The company also makes a staple food for hamsters and gerbils that is excellent to help with the weight and feeding. Many foods have a lot of seed and fat foods which does not allow an over weight animal to loose the weight.
Once he recovers from the Stroke I would recommend toys for activity to keep him active. that will help with the weight too.
The two best foods for Gerbils is Mazuri or Oxbow which offers a good balnced diet high in fiber, but low in fats.