Looking after baby gerbils
There are certain rules about taking care of baby gerbils. They mainly concern keeping them safe. Gerbil parents are perfectly capable of taking very good care of their babies in the initial stages. But you need to be aware and alert to certain things so that you can take adequate and suitable care of the new parents and their babies. Once you know what to look for and what to expect, you will be able to take better care of the puppies.
Adult gerbils are excellent parents when it comes to taking care of their puppies. The puppies also depend completely on their parents in the first few weeks following their birth. However, sometimes the parents may require your support.
Baby gerbils are known as puppies because for the first week after their birth, they look like tiny pups. Most litters have 3-9 puppies, but the number varies from one litter to another.
One of the first questions you probably want answered is when can you first hold them?
Most can be held even while they are still very tiny and fragile. You will notice that most parents don’t really bother. But if they get annoyed or aggressive give the parents plenty of other things to do to distract them. Try to interact with the baby gerbils as much as is possible. Be very careful while holding a tiny pup. They are still tiny so make sure there is something very soft for them to land on if they fall from your grip.
Gerbil babies are normally very healthy but there are a few illnesses that they can suffer from. If you see any health problems take them to your vet as soon as possible.
If a gerbil baby develops respiratory problems you will hear clicking noises when it breathes. In this case take the pup to your vet right away so and get it treated. Don’t leave it without treatment or it may die.
A pup with diarrhea may have either Tyzzer’s disease or E.coli. Both are dangerous. But a proper dosage of antibiotics and rehydration will soon sort it out. Also, make sure that the other pups are not infected.
Most importantly, check whether your pup is getting enough milk. If this is not the case, there will be certain signs: a bald patch on the back, fur not developing and he’ll be undernourished and smaller than others. In this case, put the other pups in a safe and warm place while you allow the affected pup to feed well or give it extra feeding.