D#@! gerbils keep dieing!

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  1. We had one gerbil, a female who lived alone for 3 years until she died-she was our very first gerbil. We had bought her at a locally owned pet store that is no longer in business. After she died, we adopted 2 gerbils from a woman who had a ton in her home, we never knew what sex they were, but, they lived about a year (one for a year, one for about a year and a half.

    Now, just this past December, we bought 2 gerbils from the local Petland store-both of these guys were boys and young. One died under mysterious circumstances about a month and a half ago-and, i am pretty sure the 2nd one is dead in the tank right now (I haven't seen him for a couple of days-banging on the tank is not rousing him-and, no, I am not about to dig around looking for a body right now).

    So, WTH?? Why can't we keep any gerbils alive? we were able to keep the first one alive for 3 years! We aren't doing anything different with the ones we have gotten since then-what is the problem? Am I just getting a bad batch?
  2. Hm...any chance they were sick?
  3. Do you thoroughly clean the cage between sets of gerbils? I wonder it is it something they are picking up from the cage? Seems like the average lifespan is supposed to be 2-4 years.
  4. I have no clue! this one in particular I saw eating and drinking two days ago-and, running on the wheel. So-I don't think he was sick. It's just driving me nuts and now I have to once again tell my son that a gerbil died-ugh-it's the worst! I think we are going to stop with the gerbils for a while now.

    As for cleaning the cage between sets-yes, I scrupously clean it and even run the water bottle and the food dish through the dishwasher.
  5. What do you clean the cage with? I know most cleaning agents can be toxic for them. Maybe it had something to do with the cleaning solution?
  6. What type of bedding are you using? Wood/cedar chips tend to give them breathing issues.
  7. Did you maybe give them a veggie that gerbils can't have?

    IE chocolate for dogs, etc.??

  8. We use this bedding that is like torn up paper towels (I can't remember the name now)-it is supposed to be really good for them for breathing issues. As for what I cleaned the tank with-the last time the gerbils died, I cleaned it out with natural orange oil cleaning stuff-it didn't have any other substances in it.
  9. that would make sense too-but, i only feed the gerbils gourmet quality pre-prepared gerbil food. they don't get any other things to eat. I wish it were something like that!
  10. Any way your kids might be squeezing them/handling them too roughly (no offense)?

    If not, then it sounds like maybe a genetic thing, or possibly tumors...it sounds like you are doing everything right, so it has to be something internally wrong with them, I would guess :sad:

    Not fun for you or the kiddos :sad:
  11. Gosh darnit Nishi is sounds like you taking care of them too well! :lol:

    That's everything I can think of. :thinking: It might be as Couturegrl mentioned - some genetic defect. Sorry that your kids have to go through these losses. :sad:
  12. well they are bred, bred, and bred over again so I wouldn't doubt that they would have neurological issues.

    2 of my 5 hamsters have upped and died on me with no clue why