Jet and Flint
This evening I looked at the boys just at the right moment, they were starting to box with each other and their posture towards each other made me realise that a fight was about to start. We got them both out separately, made sure we swapped gerbils to mix their scent then, tried to put them back together but after about two minutes they were starting to fight again. I separated both boys and luckily I have a spare tank. So Jet is in there. He did have a sore eye yesterday so I don’t know if that had any relevance to the declaning. I will see how things go.
Flint is turning into quite a character. He speeds around in the wheel, whereas Jet is not interested at all. They both seem to know their names and come out as good as gold. Flint is quite a tall gerbil with quite long limbs. Like Smudge they both steal time from us, as we cannot resist getting them out when they are sat there looking at us.
Both boys have been out to play today. Here are some gorgeous photos.
As Smidge’s tank was empty I decided to contact Leah the breeder that I got Smidge from and asked her if she had any male pups that would be ready this week. She had 5 boys that were 7 weeks old today. She sent me pictures and I chose the two I liked. So today we went down to collect them. As usual they are already hand tame and walked onto Rob’s hand straight away. They are so cute. Rob has said they are my christmas present from him. Here are a couple of photos. there will be more to follow.
Update on all four.
A complete change around of tanks today. Sleet an Snow are now in the bigger tank that Smidge and Smudge were in. A new tank for Smudge. Smidge is in the one Sleet and Snow were in.
Smidge and Smudge are in the same unit so they can hear each other and are downstairs with us.
Sleet and Snow
Sonya the vet phoned me this morning with the lab reports. Unfortunately they were not good. The tumour was a very aggressive skin cancer and she is not sure if it has migrated to his lymph glands. She was very pleased that he had healed so well and quickly, which is a good sign. So fingers crossed.
Sleet is looking very bright this morning. He did get me up in the night banging his coconut against the tank glass. Gave him his medicine and leaving him alone for a bit.
Sleet has been biting his lump and it is now bleeding. Because of the covid 19 pandemic things are a little different. No one is allowed into the surgery. I arrived and had to phone from the car park. Sonya then phoned me to get all the details, she then came out to collect him. After she examined him she said we caught it in time and can operate. Apparently she had kept a slot open in the operating theatre just in case, when she knew it was me. Wow, she is such a brilliant vet. Drove home to await the phone call. 1.30pm she phoned back. Very successful op. She removed the whole scent gland and some surrounding tissue, just in case. He is stitched and glue over the top to stop him picking at the stitches. He looks very lively. I have to give him pain relief once a day for seven days. He only needs to go back if the wound gets infected or the stitches open.
I managed to get an appointment for Friday with my fantastic exotics vet Sonya.
I noticed a lump on Sleet’s scent gland today it’s small and not bleeding, so tomorrow I shall phone the vet.
What a shock this is. He had a sore eye so I took him to the vet, while she was handling him his back leg broke, so they x-rayed him. It showed a previous broken ankle that we had no idea about, arthritic hips and knees and problems on the upper vertebrae of his spine, could this be why he never wanted to come out to play. The vet has never seen anything like it in gerbils in the 15 years she has been a vet. She showed us the X-ray so that we could see for ourselves.
we have to keep a close eye on Sleet for signs of pain.
Although the boys do not bite they are still difficult to get out and very fast and want to go back home straight away. They are quite large now.
Both boys are now hand tame although Snow will still nibble when he wants to go home. Sleet is the tamest. Here are some gorgeous photos of them.
It ‘s taking a while to get them used to my smell and getting their trust. They will both take food from my hand and will let me touch them. Sleet will try to nibble. Snow closes his eyes and sniffs my hand but hasn’t tried to nibble.
Slightly late arriving due to roadworks confusing us. Mike took us to his breeding area. We were able to see the parents of the boys and all the others he has. Some of the babies are so tiny and cute! This is the first time we have seen the parents of the babies. He said he has nothing to hide and we can go anytime. Any problems and we are to ring him. Anyway to the boys, they are 12 weeks old, pure white with red eyes. They are very active and inquisitive. They spent the hour and half journey home nibbling on the cardboard I had in their travel tank and was not at all distressed with the journey.
When we put them in their new home they were very excited and had a good explore around. Sleet and Snow have tried out the wheel. Here are some photos of them.
I was looking around at gerbil breeders to try and find one in Bristol because I wanted to try someone else. No luck there. However, I saw one on Friday adds, who was in Caerphilly, Wales. I emailed and they replied with a phone number. I contacted Mike and we arranged for us to go over tomorrow am to look at two white boys. I spent the afternoon cleaning and prepareing the tank for the new boys.
Smidge and Smudge 13.02.2016
RIP Smudge. He had been suffering from a scent gland tumour and passed away aged 3 years 11 months old.
Sadly Smidge died in his sleep last night. He had been looking old and frail for about a week but was still eating and drinking. I suppose the stress from the fight finally got to him.
Both boys appear to have recovered, which is remarkable considering the state they were in. I was convinced Smidge wouldn’t survive. They are certainly tough little creatures. Smidge wants to come out to play as does Smudge. We held them so that they could rub noses, but Smidge seemed scared so we have kept them separate. Not sure if they will go back together because their injuries were so bad. Rob is coming up with an idea of using Ikea modular shelving to create habitats next to each other but not able to touch each other. Also it will look much better than having 2 tanks downstairs. He might be able to make it so that Sleet and Snow can come downstairs rather than being in the spare room.
Both boys are still alive and Smudge seems to be recovering quicker despite having a sore mouth and bites on his front leg and side. By 9pm in the evening he was running around the tank, coming out on our hand and chewing on cardboard. I think he is missing Smidge despite the fight.
Smidge is upstairs in the small tank and has slept all day and seems to be quite subdued. He has been out, is eating and drinking, but seems quite sore. He has bites on his tummy, leg, paw and side. Hopefully being next to Sleet and Snow’s tank he will hear them. I am quite concerned about him.
The boys had a dreadful fight this evening after I cleaned them out. I hadn’t washed their nest box so their scent was there and just before putting them back in the tank they were having a sand bath together. It is very unusual for boys to fight. There was a lot of blood and we had to seperate them, Smudge looks quite bad.
The boys are a year old now and here are two gorgeous photos of Smidge eating a piece of carrot whilst sat on Rob’s hand.
End of June 2016
Smidge has started gnawing on the bars and that is not good for his teeth. He could end up with problems like Toffee did. I contacted Leah, the breeder, and ordered a larger tank from her so that they would have more room and not miss the tank topper. This has been a great success. Rob made a lid from kiln died pine and mesh. The next problem was how to include the wheel in the tank without it making a noise on the glass sides. Rob came up with a brilliant idea using some wood, a pipe cutter and some wire mesh. Happy Gerbils they have a wheel and happy us it is lovely and quiet.
New update on the tank topper. My shelves have been scrapped and found some excellent ones on ebay that are bolted through the bars. The boys have 5 different levels to play on.
I had been doing some alterations to the tank topper before getting the pups. I have got rid of the plastic shelf, that I know the new pups will gnaw, and I have made some temporary ones from wood and mesh. Later in the week some aluminium should be delivered. I will then use it to make proper shaped shelves that are safe for gerbil feet.
After Liquorice passed away I contacted the breeder we got him from to see if she had any pups to keep Toffee company and whether she thought it was a good idea. Luckily she had a litter that would be ready in several weeks time. She suggested that we took Toffee with us to see how he got on with them.
Today 13.02.2016 we travelled to Weston Super Mare with Toffee to see the new pups. Leah put them in a neutral tank ie no scents from any of them and Toffee took to them straight away, greeting each other and squeeking. Success and much easier than I though it was going to be.
Toffee looked as though he was suffering from the car journey, but once h
ome he was fine and all three settled into our gerbilarium and slept quite a bit.
14.02.2016. They all look fine this morning. I was able to handle Smidge and Smudge and of course Toffee came straight onto my hand for a pumpkin seed. I have had to adapt the ladders as the pups are so small and the rungs are too far apart for their little legs. Cardboard folded through the rungs has done the trick.
Smidge is a very pale silvery colour with a white tummy and Smudge is slightly darker with a couple of slightly darker patches on his back(Smudges) his front right paw is also slighly out of shape, but it doesn’t seem to bother him.
18.02.2016. So cute this morning. All three were curled up in the same nest sleeping together. A sure sign that they have bonded.
Dot and Dita
Sadly Dot was put to sleep this morning. Her tummy had filled with fluid and she was finding it hard to breathe. Sonya, our fantastic vet saw her 15 minutes after I phoned the surgery and gave me 3 options but the outcome would probably not be good. I didn’t want to put her through any more treatment only to find she would suffer. She is also lonely without Di
Sadly Dita passed away last night unexpectedly. The only thing we could think of is that the recent hot weather had affected her although she had still been eating on our hands the day before. We will have to give Dot even more love and attention now.
Dot’s eye has completely healed, she went back for another check up and all is well.
Dot’s good eye looks sore and weepy, so she had another trip to the vet. Sonya was not available so she had to see Gemma. Dot had conjuctivitis and is on antibiotic eye drops and anti inflamitory medicine.
Dot very chirpy and hasn’t scratched at her eye so far and Dita has not over groomed her either.
Anxiously waiting news of Dot’s operation, but as I am in class I cannot answer the phone. I finally heard at 4pm. Dot is doing well and ready to be collected at 5pm. Sarah, the vet who operated, had cleaned out the socket and has stitched the eyelids closed and then put glue over the top to stop her scratching the stitches. She looked quite bright. She has to be on antibiotics for 10days and anti inflammartories for 7 days. Starting from tomorrow. I cannot praise the vets enough and would recomend them to anyone in Bristol.
Dots eye socket looks infected again and she doesn’t seem her usual self so she visited Sonya at Highcroft vets. She decided that the best thing to do was to admit Dot for an operation to flush out the socket and stitch the eyelids closed. While I was there I got Dita out and she ate a pumpkin seed on my hand. Sonya thought it was so cute that she asked if it could go on their Facebook page. Shame they got Dot’s name wrong. Here is the link.Click here
After making the lid for Smidge and Smudge Rob decided to make a new one for the girls and a stand for their wheel. Quiet girls now.
Dot looks much brighter today and is running in her wheel even more. She seems to be more dominant than Dita.
The girls visited the vet today and it was confirmed that Dot has lost her eye. There was a lot of pus in there so Sonya, the vet, flushed it out and Dot is on antibiotics for 2 weeks. Dita was given a clean bill of health.
I contacted the breeder to say that Toffee had passed away and she informed me that Smidge and Smudge had half brother and sisters, but one of the girls had lost an eye and she doesn’t think anyone would want to adopt her. I then deliberated for quite a while before deciding I would adopt her and a sister. I conacted Leah again and arranged to buy a tank from her and collect the babies on bank Holiday Monday.
Here are the little ones. Six weeks old. Dot is the one eyed girl, brown with a white dot on her head and a white tip to her tail. Dita a mottled colour. They are visiting the vet on Thursday so that Dot can have her eye checked out.
Toffee and Liquorice
RIP Toffee April 20th 2016. Toffee had been battling against a scent gland tumour for months and was on treatment from the vet.He is too old to operate on and as long as he is not in pain he can continue living with the others. Toffee has lost a lot of weight over the last couple of days and became very weak.He has been my longest living gerbil so far and such a gentle lad. He was 4 years and 6 weeks old
RIP Liquorice Nov 2015. Sadly he passed away after having some sort of seizure and it was so sudden that there was no time to take him to the vet.
Toffee has to have his teeth clipped every two months as one seems to grow at a funny angle.
I just had to get some more gerbils after Jerry died. The house wouldn’t be the same without them. Luckily I found a hobby breeder in Weston Super Mare who had some baby boys for sale. I arranged to collect them today 21st April 2012. They are nearly 7 weeks old and were born on March the 4th 2012. Liquorice is black and Toffee is agouti. They are already showing their different personalities within 10 minutes of being in their new tank. Liquorice is exploring the whole area, climbing the toys and quite willing to get onto our hands when he wasn’t sure of the way back down to the tank area. Toffee was content to gnaw the cardboard tubes and other toys. He is also hand tame and will quite happily climb onto your hand.I Think there will be a lot of updates on these two characters!
Ben and Jerry
I bought Ben and Jerry on the 12th July 2008. They were 5 weeks old and are brothers. They live in an old aquarium that is 2ft x1ft x15inches tall. It is filled with wood shavings, shredded paper, cardboard tubes and hollow wooden blocks. On the top of the tank is an extention cage unit, doubling the space. Ben is the ginger colour and Jerry is a siamese gerbil.
Sadly on the 15th January 2012 Ben died aged three and a half. Jerry is missing him lots, so I have to give him extra attention.
More bad news, Jerry died on Tuesday 17th April 2012 almost made his 4th Birthday.
Sandy and Sadie 2.6.2005
Milly and Molly 2002- 2005
This and That. January 1993
Two boys. That died 27.11.1997
Bubble and Squeek 26.9.1992
Sisters, light grey with red eyes and black. Squeek died July 1995
Jerry 1.9.1990 died 21.9.1992