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Gerbils make for very entertaining pets especially if they have a large glass tank of compost or sand available as they love to dig complex tunnels.

However as they like to sleep during the day and are too quick to handle easily while awake, they are not the most suitable pet for very young children.

Gerbil Health Problems

Teeth Alignment

Misalignment of incisor teeth in gerbils caused by injury or malnutrition may result in overgrowth. Misaligned incisors can cause injury to the roof of the gerbil’s. Contact us at Moycullen Vet Clinic if any of the following symptoms are spotted: loss of appetite, drooling, weight loss or foul breath and we can perform any required teeth filing.


Gerbils can suffer trauma injuries such as broken limbs or a fractured spine (for which there is no cure) following a fall or by being dropped.

General Neglect

A lack of food or water can cause all small rodents, including gerbils, serious health issued including dehydration, starvation, stomach ulcers, eating of bedding material and even cannibalism.


Pet gerbils, particularly female gerbils over the age of two, are susceptible to both benign and malignant tumours. Generally the tumours involve the ovaries resulting in an extended abdomen. Other problem areas include the skin with tumours occurring around the ears, feet, stomach ( where the scent gland is located ) or near the base of the tail.

If you find any suspect lumps, please bring your pet gerbil to Moycullen Vet Clinic where one of our veterinary surgeons may be able to operate on the lump.

Loss of Tail

Through improper handling or getting their tails stuck or following an attack by another animal, pet gerbils can lose their tails. The first visible warning sign is usually a loss of fur from the tip of the tail with the tail eventually withering and falling off. The remaining stump should heal without complications but as with any other pet concerns, please bring your pet gerbil into us at Moycullen Vet Clinic and we’ll be happy to advise.

Additional Information On Gerbil Healthcare

Should you require any further information on looking after pet gerbils, please contact any of our team at Moycullen Vet Clinic and we will be happy to provide you with advice.

Registered Company: Independent Vet Care Ireland Ltd | Registered Number: 633559 | Registered Addr.: 2 Shelbourne Buildings, Crampton Avenue, Shelbourne Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 D04 W3V6