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I'VE READ EVERYTHING ON THE WEBSITE, AND I STILL DONT KNOW WHAT
This website has been active now since January 2004, and in that time I have
received quite a few emails asking various questions.
While I am happy to answer any emails, I like to give a detailed response, and
feel that I canít always reply soon enough for the best care some Degus need.
Please note that my information has all been gathered personally. I have kept
Deguís since 1999 and all the knowledge that I have has been obtained through
reading as much information as I could gather, and through trial and error from
My vet showed me just what the amount of information that British vets had
totalled, and it took me all of 3 minutes to read! Thatís why this website was
This page is a collection of all the emails that I have received since the
website became active. I have kept them anonymous and tried my best to give as
detailed a response as I could. If this page doesnít answer your question,
please contact me!!
Click the buttons below to jump to questions on that
|What would cause a Deguís ears to
become almost torn around the edges, almost like they have a fungus or
something? I have taken it to the vet, who is not sure what it is, there is
not much information on health of these darling animals and even the vets do
not know what to do.
Gromit suffered from very tatty ears until we
introduced Marmalade. From my own experience I think that Gromit couldnít
clean his ears on his own, hence the horrid state they got to. I even
attempted to gently clean them myself, but because the skin is so very thin,
I was scared of hurting him! When Marmalade arrived, they spent many hours
grooming, and we soon noticed a big improvement!! It would seem that a
companion is the answer to everything! See companion questions!
|I have a problem with one of my Degus:
she is less than a year old. she is going white on her head, belly, and
around her neck. she is still eating and running in her wheel but she is all
fluffed up and she always has her eyes closed.
I know she isnít feeling well but the vet doesnít
know what could be wrong with her.
my other degus are doing great and I havenít had a
problem with them.
This poor Degu has me really confused. I have
contacted my own vet, but no luck so far. I have posted this question as
although she sadly died soon after, we really would like to find out what
the cause was, and hopefully prevent any further cases. If anyone has any
ideas, please please contact me.
SEXING DEGU QUESTIONS
Sexing Degus Question
|Our two Degus have recently had 6
babies. We've had the male neutered now. But we are having problems sexing
the babies. We know what the difference is but canít tell with ours. One
minute we think they are all boys the next, we think a couple of them could
be girls. The vet has only seen Degus a few times so he's no use.
We've read details and seen pictures but we don't
want any more little accidents.
This is probably the best way to sex any Degu. It's
difficult to see if a Degu is male or female. There's only one way to see
what sex a Degu has. You have to look at the distance between the Deguís
anus and its sexual organ. Female Degus have a small distance between these
two, and males have a relatively big distance. The sexual organ is a little
protuberance with both males and females, although it's a bit bigger with
|My friend found a Degu in a botanical
garden in Montreal. It's a male. Can I adopt another male so he won't be
Most certainly!! No Degu should be left alone, they
can be found in families of up to 100 in the wild! All of my Degus were
introduced as individuals, so there is little problem in doing so. You
should follow these steps:
1. make sure you keep to one sex to keep fighting
to a minimum and limit any possibly unwanted babies.
2. create a separate section to the cage, with a
strong mesh divide, this means that the original Degu can smell and sniff
the new one, but not be able to bite them, and vice versa.
3. ensure the separate section gives the new Degu
and original Degu access to food, water, bedding and some space.
4. allow about a week for the Degu to become
familiar. If possible, in this time let them meet in neutral territory, such
as when you get them out, get them out together so they can meet quietly.
5. the big step. Put them together. Prior to this
put them into carry cages, and thoroughly clean the cage. This means it wont
smell of one Degu and not the other. Allow them to meet.
6. ensure you add a dust bath. This means they can
both roll in it and smell similar.
7. wait and give them time. They will fight
initially to determine who is dominant. Persistant and severe fighting may
mean they just donít get on, in which case you will need to house them
|I have recently acquired a single
female Degu and after reading that you had introduced a lone male to
another, I was wondering if the same would be possible with females?
|Answer: quite simply, YES! Read the
|My Degu's are about 4 months old, and we've had them for
And they are both males, and keep fighting, and one is more dominant than
the other, and therefore gets more food, and gets what-ever he wants, can I
do anything to stop this? Or is it just something that all Degu's go and
it's just they're nature?
|Answer: They are at a perfect
age now. In Degu age they are teenagers. This means that they need to decide
who is going to be boss! So don't worry about them fighting, this is quite
natural, just keep an eye that nobody gets too injured. It could be a good
idea to get some "bog wood" available from garden centres, that you can
secure in the cage. This is for several reasons.
If they cant stand on anything except bars
they can develop something called Bumble Foot. This can be very painful
and something your Degu shouldn't have to get!!! If you get some bog wood,
this also acts as the bosses pile of sticks!!! In the wild the Degu builds
a pile of sticks near his burrow. If his pile of sticks is bigger than his
neighbours pile of sticks, then he is boss! So in your cage, the boss Degu
will be the one who can sit highest on the wood! So its a good idea to get
a piece that they can climb. Have a look at some of the pictures on my
website, there are lots of pieces of bog wood for them to sit on!
The fighting should stop in time when they
have worked out who is boss, so don't worry about it too much! But there
is lots of info on my site if you are worried, and feel free to contact me
if you have any more questions!
I am just wondering if you have any
idea if a rat will get on ok with a Degu? I had rats for ages and
decided to keep Degus instead. unfortunately I prefer rats but my final
Degu is getting lonely. Do you have any suggestions on what other types
of animals would mix well with him?
Regarding keeping a Degu with a rat, I can say
from the Degu's point of view, that if you follow the introduction guide
on this page, a Degu will have no problem living with another species.
They have been successfully kept with Chinchillas, rabbits and guinea-pigs
as far as I am aware. I have not heard of the success of keeping them with
rats, but as you would know more about rats, you could judge the success
from that side of things.
The only problems there could be would be due
to space. And as someone recently suggested to me, the times during which
each species sleeps. If at different times this could cause some problems.
Also I would be concerned due to the differences in food requirements, as
you will know from the website, a Degu cant eat sugar! But keep all that
in mind and I'm sure it would be fine!
|I just bought my first Degu and
when I purchased it at the Pet store I was told to feed it hamster food and
that I didn't need a mate and now I look on some sites and they are telling
me different could you please help me out by telling which I should feed.
and If I need 2.
I bought my first Degu with another, but they
fought terribly for the next three days. not knowing anything about Degus,
we returned him to the pet shop, and kept one. This Degu became somewhat of
a guinea-pig. As I said, I had never kept Degus, and the information I
could find was limited. Needless to say, very sadly Gizmo died just a year
later. I had however fallen in love with these wonderful little creatures,
and set out to acquire another. Again, I came home with just one, but this
time I did far more research. Yes, it is true that Degus need company. But
don't fear. Gromit was a year old when we introduced Marmalade. This was
done by dividing the cage with a wire fence. (more detailed explanation on
my website). A week later they were put together, and were very happy. 9
months more down the line, and we bought a 3rd Degu. So yes, I would say
that they should be kept with company, but it is very easy to introduce new
companions at a later stage.
|Due to fighting between my two male
Degus i decided the best course of action was to put one with each of my
females then get the males neutered. I took them to the vets on Friday
unfortunately disaster has struck one of my boys died after he woke up from
the op, then my other boy died this morning. So I'm left with two pregnant
females can they be safely reintroduced to each other or are they likely to
kill each others babies
I was most upset when I
received this email. Unfortunately, it is always a risk when small animals
need an anaesthetic, and in this case it was a double tragedy.
However, on a positive note, putting pregnant
females together is no problem, indeed they should help each other in
raising the young as one large group, taking it in turns to guard and feed
the whole litter. The same process with introducing any Degu must be
followed, especially so when a female will be naturally wary in order to
keep her young safe.
|I have just come across your web site
which I have found quite informative. I am wondering if you know of anywhere
in the North West of England where I might find two male baby Degus. I
currently have two males but they are of different ages so I would like to
introduce some babyís before it gets to the point when one will be left on
his own as I know they are very social animals and I do not like to see any
|Answer: This is just how I felt with
my boys Gromit and Marmalade, hence the arrival of Charlie! I have now added
a forum, so post on there and hopefully someone will be able to help!
|I am writing on behalf of my friend
who does not have access to the internet but does have a Degu. She has asked
me to try to track down anyone/anywhere she could actually write to (With
pens & paper the good old fashioned way) asking any various Degu questions
etc. Could you help or do you know anyone who may be able to?
While I would like to be able
to help, in todayís rather depressing world, I donít feel I can give away my
address. I have had several requests like this; PLEASE donít ask me as I
donít like having to say no. I am happy to discuss in detail via email, or
on the forum, (sunshinemeg) but nothing more than this Iím afraid.
We just purchased two degus , they get along
great so far.
We have noticed that they don't really want to
be handled. will this change in time. We have a lot of love to give. One
has already bitten myself and they tend to want to explore our hands with
their teeth. Will it take some time to build a relationship.
In a word, YES! It WILL take time for your
Degus to get used to you. Let them get used to your smell, and allow them to
groom your hands, although beware about them getting over enthusiastic! In
time they should allow you to get closer to them. Don't try and pick them up
from above, as this will scare them, but scoop them up, completely putting
your hands around them from the sides!!
are about 7months and havent showed any interest in their wheel are they to
young to care about it or just don't like it?
Regarding the wheel, I too tried one, and they simply decided to eat it
rather than play on it. I think it really is a matter of preference, even
for such small creatures!! try giving them other things to play with. I
often take a 6 space cardboard egg carton and pop bran flakes into it and
then pack it with bedding before shutting it and popping it in the cage.
They spend the next hour trying to get to the treats and destry the egg
carton in the process!