A regular health check is one of the most important tasks of the degu owner. Read here how to properly carry out the health check on your degus.
Degus hide signs of illness for as long as possible, which means that many diseases are only recognized very late, making treatment more difficult. For this reason, you need to check the health of your animals every day.
Behavior of degus
The health check includes checking general behavior. If a degu appears apathetic or behaves differently than usual, this can already be an important indication of an illness. You should also pay attention to their eating habits. Degus that eat significantly less than normal require special observation. If the refusal to eat persists, the degu should be taken to a veterinarian.
The condition of the fur
The coat gives an important indication of the state of health of your degus. Healthy animals have a clean, shiny coats with no bald spots. However, if the coat is shaggy or patchy, you should check for the cause. Coat problems can be caused by malnutrition, illness, or rival fights. In any case, you should identify and eliminate the cause as soon as possible, or have it treated by a veterinarian.
If your degus allow themselves to be touched, you can also carefully touch them regularly (about once a week) to detect swelling, for example, at an early stage.
Eyes, teeth, and ears of degus
In addition to looking at the fur, a complete health check also includes examining the eyes, teeth, and ears. Cloudy eyes without shine or with discharge or redness are indications of a disease. Also, make sure that the teeth are not misaligned. Ultimately, the degu can no longer eat properly and must starve to death without treatment. The ears must be clean and without scales or crusts. Otherwise, there may be a disease or a parasite infestation.
Check degu waste
The droppings of the degus also give an important indication of the state of health. If it is runny or smells bad, there is usually a serious illness. But be careful: Even with a sudden change in feed or plenty of fresh feed, diarrhea can occur for a short time. A sticky anus is also an indication of diarrhea. It is important to act quickly in the event of diarrhea, as otherwise the loss of liquid can quickly dehydrate the sick animal.
In addition to the feces, they should also examine the urine. Cloudy urine that may contain blood is a serious warning sign and usually indicates a bacterial infection. In this case, go to the vet.