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Gerbil Biting Problems

All you need to know about gerbil biting.

By Jessica Cordia

Gerbils bite. Their teeth continuously grow giving them a natural urge to gnaw. When they get scared, they bite out of defense. Your pet gerbil may bite you or another gerbil, but there are ways to make biting less frequent. The less your gerbil bites, the happier you and your gerbil will be.

Stop Biting Before It Starts
Gerbils bite because they are afraid. Get your gerbil used to you by handling it gently. Linda Stern, DVM at Avian and Feline Hospital in Camp Hill, Pa. said that using a small towel to handle your pet gerbil makes it feel secure. “Get your gerbil used to not being hurt,” Stern said. When your gerbil feels comfortable being handled, it won’t be afraid and bite.

Try and get your pet gerbil when it is young. Baby gerbils adjust to gentile handling easier making them less scared of their human owners. “The more you handle your gerbil, the less it will bite,” Stern said.

Take Action
Use caution if your gerbil bites you. “If you are afraid of infection, report the bite to a professional,” said Stern. See a physician if you think the bite is serious.

If your gerbils bite each other, separate them. Lower their stress level by putting each gerbil in a separate cage. Evaluate the bite injuries, and if there are wounds, call your veterinarian. “Wounds need to be addressed,” said Stern.

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Reader Comments
We have two gerbils from the same litter. They have been with us for 8 months. She has been held and fed every day by the same person. Recently one of them has been biting hard enough to break fingernails and draw blood-3x's. We have not figured out a reason to why as of yet. Do you have any suggestions?
Lynn, Coopersville, MI
Posted: 8/25/2014 12:19:40 PM
i think one of mine might be a cannibal cuz it bites me all the time and i bleed .. and they both are safe and secure so i dont know why they do it!
they probably think im food or something!
Reilly, leawood, KS
Posted: 5/4/2014 8:10:37 AM
My gerbils still bites even tho secure
Danielle m, London
Posted: 12/17/2013 2:01:53 PM
Mine might me even know they feel secure
Danielle, London
Posted: 12/17/2013 1:58:43 PM
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