| If Gerbils are properly cared for they are usually hardy, healthy animals, however, there may be times when they need treated by a vet and it is your responsibility to ensure your Gerbil is treated. |
Below are the average statistics of a healthy gerbil:
Life span: 2 - 5 years
Temperature: 94 to 103°F
Heart Rate: 260 - 600 beats/min
Respiration Rate: 70 to 120 breaths/min
Gestation Period: 24 days
Weight: Up to 120 g (4.2 oz)
Length: 10 - 12 cms (4 - 4.75 inches)
Tail: Approx. 10 cms (4 inches)
Gerbils are quite hardy pets if cared for correctly but you need to be vigilant and keep a close eye on them, watching closely for any signs of illness. Signs that there could be a problem include a runny nose, coldness, sore eyes, or digestive problems. If you are in any doubt about the health of your gerbil, take it to your vet immediately as poorly gerbils can deteriorate quickly.
Like hamsters, your gerbil's teeth will never stop growing so they need something to gnaw on to keep their teeth healthy. Sometimes this isn't enough and your gerbil's teeth may need trimmed. Your vet will be able to carry out this procedure.
Likewise, their claws can become overgrown and uncomfortable for your gerbil if they are too long. Your vet will easily be able to trim them.
Several types of tapeworms and pin worms can infest Gerbils. Signs of intestinal parasite infestation can include a swollen abdomen, weight loss and small seed-like white segments in your gerbil's feces. If you suspect your gerbil has worms, take a fresh fecal sample to your vet and he/she will be able to diagnose the problem. Your vet will then administer the appropriate medication for your gerbil.
Fleas & Ticks
It is possible for Gerbils to pick up fleas and mites, so you need to check them regularly. A range of flea and mite sprays are available that are easy to apply and effective in getting rid of infestations. Ensure you read the instructions on the label before you apply to your gerbil.
Other Health Conditions
Gerbils can also suffer from a variety of other health conditions such as a cold, tumors, tyzzer's disease, diarrhoea, eye problems and nose problems. If you suspect that your gerbil is ill, seek veterinary advice straight away.