Pet Education Small Pets
Pet Education Small Pets Pet Education Small Pets Pet Education Small Pets
Free Shipping on orders over $49
Seizures in Gerbils
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Print Article | Email Article
Bookmark and Share
Click here for a pdf version of this article.  See related products at DrsFosterSmith.com Pet Supplies

Seizures are a common disease problem in gerbils, with 20-40% of gerbils affected. It is an inherited trait, with members of some family lines at an almost 100% risk of developing these seizures. Seizures usually start at 2 months of age and may become more severe until the animal reaches 6 months of age. At that time, some gerbils may outgrow the tendency to have these seizures.

The seizures are usually short in length, lasting a few minutes, and may be mild or severe. In the mild form, the gerbil may simply freeze and be nonresponsive. In others, the muscles will twitch. In some gerbils, the seizures are grand mal. The seizures are often brought on by stress such as handling or unfamiliar environments. Some hypothesize that this behavior may actually be an evolutionary survival mechanism to deter predators.

Generally no treatment is needed, and after the seizure is over, the gerbil appears normal. However, if the gerbil sustains a grand mal seizure for several minutes, brain damage may occur. It has been suggested that gerbils which are frequently handled during their first three weeks of life may be less likely to develop seizures, however, this has not been proven. Since this appears to be an inherited condition, gerbils who have had seizures should not be bred.

 
References and Further Reading

Anderson, NL. Basic husbandry and medicine of pocket pets. In Birchard, SJ; Sherding, RG (eds.) Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1994.

Donnelly, TM. Disease problems of small rodents. In Hillyer, EV; Quesenberry, KE. (eds.). Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1997.

Harkness, JE; Wagner, JE. The Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. Williams & Wilkins. Media, PA; 1995.

Keeble, E. Gerbils. In Meredith, A; Redrobe, S. (eds.) British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Manual of Exotic Pets, Fourth Edition. BSAVA. Quedgeley, Gloucester, England; 2002.

Mendlowitz, L. Diseases of research animals: gerbils: miscellaneous diseases: epilepsy. University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. Columbia MO. http://www.radil.missouri.edu/RADILinfo/dora/gerbilpa/mis.htm

Click here for a pdf version of this article.  See related products at DrsFosterSmith.com Pet Supplies  
Print Article | Email Article
 
 
Drs. Foster & Smith Signature Series® Premium Hamster Food
Drs. Foster & Smith Signature Series® Premium Hamster Food
As low as $4.99
 
Oxbow Essentials Healthy Handfuls Hamster/Gerbil
Oxbow Essentials Healthy Handfuls Hamster/Gerbil
As low as $4.99
 
Kaytee Fiesta Hamster & Gerbil
Kaytee Fiesta Hamster & Gerbil
As low as $5.99
 
8 In 1 Ecotrition Essential Blend Hamster & Gerbil Food
8 In 1 Ecotrition Essential Blend Hamster & Gerbil Food
As low as $5.99
 

Facebook YouTube Blog Connect with us

Subscribe to email newsletters:
featuring helpful articles, tips and online only product specials from Drs. Foster & Smith. Learn more here !

About Us Article Reprints Awards & Memberships Request a FREE Catalog Tell a Friend
Meet Our Staff Terms & Use Site Map Free Newsletters Links to Us
Visit our other websites: Doctors Foster and Smith Pet Supplies LiveAquaria.com - Quality Aquatic Life Direct to Your Door
For product information, call 1-800-826-7206

Copyright © 1997-2014, Foster and Smith, Inc. - 2253 Air Park Road, P.O. Box 100, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501. All rights reserved.