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Why a Pet Gerbil Might Stop Eating (And What to Do About it)

Why a Pet Gerbil Might Stop Eating (And What to Do About it)

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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Gerbils make really good pets, and people love them so much that they have become pretty common in America. These little furry friends can be a lot of fun to take care of, but you still need to be able to care for them properly so that they can thrive.

If you’re worried about your pet gerbil because it hasn’t been eating, then you might not know what you should try to do about it. Keep reading to get more information about why a pet gerbil might stop eating as well as how you can try to turn things around.

Your Gerbil Is Ill

When gerbils get very sick, it’s going to be possible that they will just stop eating entirely. This is one of the biggest reasons why it is so worrying when gerbils stop eating like they normally do.

It’s going to be a good idea to keep a close eye on your gerbil to see if its behaviors have changed much. Trying your best to get the gerbil to eat is going to be helpful, but if the gerbil just doesn’t seem to want to eat, then it could be that it has become ill.

At this point, you are going to need to contact the veterinarian so that you can go over your options. A veterinarian will be able to take a look at your gerbil so that you can figure out exactly what is going on.

Sometimes gerbils will be able to get back to being healthy in a fairly short amount of time once they have seen the veterinarian. For instance, your gerbil could have some type of infection, and this might mean that antibiotic treatments will be enough to clear things up so that your gerbil can return to normal activity.

The best course of action is going to be to follow the advice of your veterinarian very closely. If your veterinarian decides that your pet gerbil needs to take antibiotics, then you need to ensure that you give the medicine to your gerbil for the entire two weeks.

Don’t cut things short if your gerbil appears to start feeling better after a couple of days. It’s always important to err on the side of caution, and veterinarians truly know what is best when it comes to getting gerbils to become healthy again.

That being said, it is also possible that your gerbil might be old enough that the illness is going to eventually take its life. This depends on many factors such as what is wrong with the gerbil, but your veterinarian will be able to give you a realistic prognosis.

Many gerbils will simply stop eating when they have a sense that they are close to death. This isn’t uncommon, but it can be very tough for pet owners who just want their pets to be able to live happily.

Your Gerbil Has Dental Issues

One potential reason why your gerbil isn’t eating is that it might have significant dental issues. There are situations where gerbils will wind up breaking their teeth while they’re playing or doing other things.

You can actually take the time to check to see if your gerbil’s teeth are how they should be. If you can part the gerbil’s lips with your hand and check their teeth, then you should be able to see a gap between the top and bottom teeth if all is well.

If this gap isn’t there, then something is definitely amiss. You see, when gerbils break their teeth, it’s possible that the teeth will start growing up into their mouths.

When this occurs, it’s going to cause the teeth to dig into the gerbil’s mouth, and this can be incredibly painful. The pain that the gerbil is experiencing is going to cause it to not want to eat, and this could be the reason for all of the issues that you have been taking note of.

Thankfully, this is an issue that can be fixed by any skilled veterinarian, and you don’t have to worry about this permanently preventing your gerbil from eating. The basic solution is for a veterinarian to cut the gerbil’s teeth so that it can feel better and start to eat like normal again.

You’re going to want to take the gerbil to see its veterinarian as soon as you can so that you can get things figured out. Ignoring this issue will be very dangerous for your pet gerbil since it might not return to eating, and this could eventually cause your gerbil to pass away.

Pet owners have noted that taking care of dental issues will make gerbils feel a lot better fast. Within a few weeks, you should notice your gerbil acting much more like it did before it developed dental issues.

Just know that veterinarians always need to be the ones to handle issues like this since they are trained to take care of pets such as gerbils. Do not try to attempt to solve the gerbil’s dental issue yourself since you might wind up doing more harm to your gerbil than anything else.

Try Feeding Your Gerbil its Favorite Foods

Another potential cause of your gerbil not eating is that you simply have a picky gerbil. There are gerbils that will turn their noses up at certain types of food, so to speak.

You might be able to get better results if you try feeding your gerbil its favorite foods. This is going to give your gerbil a chance to really consider whether it wants to eat or not, and you should have at least some idea of what foods your gerbil seems to like to eat.

If the gerbil doesn’t show any interest in its favorite foods, then that is not going to be a good sign. That would likely mean that the gerbil is ill and that it isn’t eating for a reason.

You shouldn’t wait to take your gerbil to the veterinarian if you suspect that your gerbil is ill in any way, but you can try to change the type of food that you’re offering the gerbil to see if it changes anything otherwise. There is always the possibility that introducing new gerbil food could pique the interest of the gerbil and turn things around.

Of course, you need to ensure that you’re using the right type of gerbil food so that the gerbil gets what it needs. You can always ask pet store experts or your veterinarian if you need gerbil dietary advice.

Feeding your gerbil properly is one of the most important parts of caring for them, and it isn’t too hard to get things right. So long as you’re buying high-quality food for the gerbil, it should want to eat it unless something else is wrong.

What About Gerbils Not Drinking Water?

It’s also concerning when you notice that your gerbil doesn’t appear to be drinking water like it normally does. Admittedly, gerbils are peculiar when it comes to water, and they don’t really need to drink that much of it to survive.

Even so, your gerbil is going to need to drink some water so that it can keep on going. It’s possible that your gerbil might not be drinking because it is ill.

Gerbils that live with other gerbils might be more likely to stop drinking water when they get sick. You see, they have learned to conserve resources for other gerbils through evolution over time, and this causes them to make the judgment call that they shouldn’t drink the water if they’re unlikely to survive.

This does mean that having a gerbil that doesn’t seem to drink water could be a sign that it is dying. You’re going to want to take the gerbil to your veterinarian to get things checked out properly so that you can make a determination.

Remember that you might not be seeing your gerbil drink, but that it could be drinking when you aren’t around. You don’t likely spend all of your time staring at your gerbil’s cage, and you might not be catching the times when it decides to go drink some water.

One way to tell is to just pay closer attention to the water bottle or dish that you have given the gerbil. Be mindful of how much water is in there, and try to use that to gauge whether the gerbil has been drinking or not.

If you suspect that the gerbil hasn’t been drinking properly, then it’s best to err on the side of caution and just take the gerbil to the veterinarian. They will be able to treat the gerbil, and you’ll be able to determine what is going on so that things can move forward.

Final Thoughts

Now you know a lot more about gerbils and why they might stop eating and drinking over time. Hopefully, this informative article will help you to decide which course of action to take for your gerbil companion.

There are a good few potential reasons why your gerbil might not be eating, but it’s usually best to just consult with a veterinarian to get the problem solved no matter what.

Take the best care of your gerbil that you can, and you should be able to turn things around as long as nothing is seriously wrong with your pet.

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