Posted: October 27, 2010, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: Please help. My gerbil has its eyes closed, and he is wobbling around his cage. What is wrong with him? I’m worried he’ll die.
A: When our smaller mammals get sick, for whatever reason, we see them becoming weak. This happens in general because their metabolism is fast and when they are sick they do not eat; therefore, we have a sick small mammal that now is in negative calorie balance. This can lead to a low blood sugar, muscle wasting, and overall body weakness with an inability to walk.
This is likely what is happening to your gerbil. The real question is, what made your gerbil sick initially? Only your veterinarian can answer that. A physical examination will tell your doctor a lot about what is wrong with your gerbil, and then he or she should be able to give you some treatment options.
See all of Dr. Rosenthal's Critter Q&A articles>>