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Libby Hanna

and Cathy Bickel


The most common symptoms of illness in gerbils are:

  • listlessness
  • a change in temperament such as biting or hiding
  • diarrhea
  • weight loss or gain
  • fur loss
  • red or scabby skin
  • labored breathing, with or without clicking noises


In general, assume any of the symptoms above will require your vet’s attention and do not wait. As prey animals, gerbils hide their symptoms as long as possible. By the time you notice they are sick, they are very sick. For more information on illness, see the sections for specific illnesses, or visit this article. Sick gerbils may require pain relief to recover.

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