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Libby Hanna

and Cathy Bickel

Strokes are not unusual in elderly gerbils. There are not usually any signs that one is about to happen. A stroke can paralyze just a portion of the body, one side of the body, or the whole body. The gerbil may be able to drag herself around.


A gerbil can often recover from a stroke, especially a less serious one. You can help her recover by keeping her in a quiet, peaceful place, with food and water in easy reach. The water bottle should be lowered so the spout is just above the nesting, as she may not be able to stand up steadily. She may like a warm corner and a cozy nest box to retreat to. It’s not necessary to remove her cagemate unless the cagemate, believing she’s dead, starts nibbling at her. Her cagemate will probably take good care of her, though, keeping her warm.


There is a chance the stroke will be followed by another, more serious, stroke.

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