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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20550
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a gerbil, Regina. I give her cardboard tubes

Customer Question

Hello. I have a gerbil, Regina. I give her cardboard tubes to play with. I gave her one that was smaller than usual and she got stuck in it. I didn't notice for about an hour.
I cut her out and found blood on there. It appears that she has a wound on her foot. She won't let me get near it to clean it.
She's been pretty sedentary since. However, when I open the cage she tries to stand to walk to me, but I can tell the foot hurts to put pressure on. She's eating and drank some water.
When I leave her alone, it appears that all she wants to do is sleep, which is unusual for her.
I'm so worried and feel awful. Please help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. Poor wee lass!That will have been very stressful for her and her being lethargic/sleepy isn't unexpected here. She likely is in a but of shock at the moment. Often in these cases, we just need to keep things calm, keep them warm, and let them settle. In regards ***** ***** foot, we do need to keep that clean. Therefore,we'd want to consider moving her to a single story aquarium (no mesh/wires) with newspaper or a towel for flooring. This way we can keep the wound clean and free of contamination.As well, since it can be tricky to clean a single wound on a gerbil's foot. Still to do so, we can try soaking the foot or putting her into a small cage/litter box lined with paper towels saturated with a mild antiseptic (ie dilute chlorohexidine, salt water -1tbsp salt to a pint warm water). This can be done 2-3 times daily. Otherwise, I would just note not to be tempted to use antibiotic creams, since they can lick them off and this can cause GI complications. Of course, if she is very sore, the wound is swollen or has puss-y discharge; then those would be signs to have her local vet dispense oral antibiotics and pain relief to treat this from the outside in and get it settled.Overall, it sounds like Regina has been through quite a bit of a trauma. Therefore, her behavior post-episode is not unexpected and likely a side effect of shock. Therefore, from here, we'd want to use the above to help care for the wound while keeping a close eye. And if that wound is struggling to heal at all or you see any of the above signs, we'd want to have her seen by her vet so that that further treatment can be dispensed. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )