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Gerbil 'declanning' - advice needed

(4 Posts)
ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Thu 03-Nov-16 10:12:45

We have 3 female gerbils, bought together (they're siblings) who are about 11 months old. They've lived together perfectly peacefully until Mon night when we noticed one had injuries around her nose and mouth. We've since discovered that another has deep bite wounds to her foreleg and the vet has given us antibiotics and baby aspirin to treat the injuries. The third gerbil seems her usual self. At the moment all three are eating and drinking although the two that have been fighting seem subdued, particularly the one who has the hurt leg. They're continuing to sleep in a huddle of three, but am wondering if there's any coming back from this and if one should be separated - and if so, which. Looking at gerbil forums is giving lots of differing opinion. We can't split the cage I don't think. It's aquarium style on the bottom, with a two floors of bars on the top, and a system of ladders. There haven't been any food / water shortages, and there's one 'house' and some tunnels for them to use. I'm on tenterhooks about leaving the house in case another fight starts - any advice would be great


ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Thu 03-Nov-16 11:48:23


pannetone Sat 05-Nov-16 19:08:48

We had just the same situation - 3 female gerbils together (probably siblings) and at the same sort of age two of them had a fight which required vet treatment for the injuries to both of them.

We separated the two combatants straight after the fight - one went into a temporary deep plastic box home. When I read up on the internet I found it was a mistake to have more than 2 females together - i think in a pair they form a dominant/submissive relationship, but if you have more than that, the chances are 2 will fight, and may keep fighting, for dominance.

So we quickly got a separate cage for one of them. We put the fighting gerbil who seemed the less sociable of the 2 fighters on her own. She actually then lived in a different room but that was for space reasons! The solitary gerbil seemed happy enough and lived to a reasonable gerbil age. We didn't have any fights between the two others in the original cage.

We are now a hamster and guinea pig owning household so I have a spare gerbil cage if you are anywhere near me - I'm at the edge of Greater London.

ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Mon 14-Nov-16 23:24:32

Thank you so much, am sorry it's taken me so long to spot your pm and reply! The two that fought have recovered, and they're still sleeping in a huddle, and tolerating each other, although scuffling which could be a dominance thing. We've bought a second cage in readiness but haven't separated them yet....

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