Posted: October 27, 2011, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: Why does my gerbil have green-colored stool?
A: Green feces in gerbils can be caused by nothing more than the food coloring put into gerbil food. If your gerbil is eating and drinking well and the stools are of normal constituency, then green food coloring is likely the harmless culprit of green feces.
An abrupt change in the stool color can occur when a new food is added to the diet or the company that produces the food that your gerbil typical eats changes the formulation of the pellets and adds a different food coloring.
Another cause of green in the feces is from bile that is being “dumped” into the intestines to an extent that it begins coloring the feces green. This is not always a cause for concern.
If you think your gerbil is sick and you are observing green feces, then it is time to visit the veterinarian. If bile is being dumped into the intestines at excessive amounts due to disease, usually the stools are very soft or diarrhea is present. Your gerbil will also appear dehydrated and depressed.
A visit to the veterinarian for some supportive care will help. Your gerbil will likely need fluids and some assist-feeding if the green represents excess bile due to illness of the intestinal and hepatic systems.
See all of Dr. Rosenthal's Critter Q&A articles>>