2020 updates by Cathy Bickel
Severe illness or injury may require pain relief for your gerbil if he or she is going to survive.
As prey animals, rodents instinctively hide when ill or injured. However, this hiding also causes them to stop eating and drinking. For such small animals, even a couple of days of this behavior can render them so weak they die.
Pain relief has been slow in coming to veterinary medicine. Gerbils respond very favorably to treatment with Metacam for pain. Metacam is a NSAID, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, labeled for use in dogs and cats. Metacam comes in two strengths, 1.5mg/ml and 0.5mg/ml, so the dosing instructions from the vet should be followed. You may well save your pet's life.