Disease and Treatment for Gerbils

Gerbil Disease

The disease is very common in all the animals on this planet. Because of some infections and many animals get many kinds of the disease. And also there are some medications for the respective disease. There are some common diseases that appear in the gerbils. But there are also some treatments for the respective disease.

Tyzzer Disease

The most common disease in the gerbils is Tyzzer disease that is caused by Clostridium piliforme bacteria. These bacterias attack only the young or stressed gerbils. This disease is transmissible which spreads through contaminated feces. So, the Tyzzer disease should be separated from their partner to avoid the disease spread.

The cage of the Tyzzer disease attacked gerbil should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. You should cuddle the sick gerbils after cuddling the healthy gerbils. And also always wash your gerbils after cuddling each gerbil.

Signs of Tyzzer disease

There are some common symptoms found in the gerbils which are attacked by the Tyzzer disease. They are,

  • Depression
  • Rough haircoat
  • Hunched posture
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Watery diarrhea

Treatments for Tyzzer Disease

You have to try to bring the gerbils to your vet as soon as possible when you find Tyzzer disease. Because this disease spreads too fast. Your Tyzzer diseased gerbils need antibiotics to get rid of this disease. After you bring your gerbil pet from the vet to your home, you have to sterilize the cage and all the accessories.

Disease Gerbil


Salmonellosis is a disease that spreads through the Salmonella bacteria. The transmission of the bacteria to the gerbils is through the contaminated gerbil’s food or bedding. The infected gerbils should be isolated and the cage and their environment should be disinfected and sanitized very well.

Even those bacterias can be transferred to humans if you keep on contacting your gerbils without sanitizing the cage and washing your hands after the cuddling.

Symptoms of Salmonellosis

There are some common symptoms found in the gerbils which are attacked by the Salmonellosis disease. They are,

  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Sudden death
  • Rough hair coat
  • Swollen or bloated abdomen
  • Fetal death in a pregnant female
  • Testicular enlargement
  • Emaciation


In some cases of the Salmonellosis disease in the gerbils, the broad-spectrum antibiotic drugs may help to prevent (in the least percentage). But the main medicines to get rid of salmonellosis are supportive therapy with fluids and electrolyte supplements. These medicines help in the mild cases of salmonellosis in the diseased gerbils.

Gerbils Diseases

Intestinal Parasites

The common parasites which attack the gerbils are Pinworms and Tapeworms. The pinworm is a transferable disease that spreads through the infected gerbils. The tapeworm can be spread through exposure to cockroaches, beetles, or fleas. You have to take them to your vet when you find the pinworms and the tapeworms in your gerbil pets.


There are some common symptoms found in the gerbils which are attacked by the Pinworms. They are,

  • Dehydrated
  • Diarrhea
  • Little appetite and eat less
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle wasting
  • Itching of the anal area


When your gerbils got attacked by the pinworms and tapeworms, the veterinarian will diagnose them and finds out the type of Parasites. You need to provide the medications(suitable for the respective parasites) which should be mixed with the gerbil’s food and water.

The cage of the infected gerbils should be sanitized well even after the gerbils get cured. This is just to make sure to prevent the eggs of the worm.

Kidney disease

Kidney disease is commonly found in small mammals. This disease is caused because of an unhealthy diet and improper husbandry. An unhealthy diet like moldy food, vitamin B6 deficiency, or a diet with too many plants high in oxalic acid may cause kidney stones that are made of calcium oxalate.


The most common symptoms of kidney disease are as follows,

  • Depression and lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Increased drinking and urination
  • Difficult or painful urination if an obstruction (e.g., a kidney stones) is present
  • Loss of weight and appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Urine scalding


The gerbils which are suffering from kidney disease must undergo treatments like

  • Fluid therapy: This therapy should be continued lifelong for your gerbil pets.
  • Nutritional support: Need to provide the proper nutrition which the gerbils needed in a particular amount.
  • Providing supplemental heat
  • Periodic blood testing: The blood test is needed to keep on watching the response to treatment.
  • Antibiotics: Bacterial infections are also the common reason for the gerbils. So, you have to provide antibiotics in the treatment.
  • Surgery: Surgery is important to remove the uroliths.
  • Diet and husbandry: This needs to be changed when you bring your gerbils after the treatment.
Gerbils Disease

Respiratory disease

The respiratory disease is caused by high humidity, wrong bedding, dust in the cage and the environment, providing pine or cedar to your pets and etc. You need to keep your infected gerbil pet away from its partner since the disease is a transformable disease. You need to keep the separate containers and cage for two separate gerbils.


The most common symptoms of respiratory disease are as follows,

  • Wheezing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • A runny nose


If you find your gerbil pet suffering from respiratory disease, you need to take your pet immediately to your vet for treatment. As they have less lifespan, you need to treat them well as the respiratory disease makes the still lesser lifespan. You also provide them with fresh air and some exercise.

If you need to get rid of the respiratory disease, you need to provide them specific antibiotics which are prescribed by your vet. Your vet will examine the kind of bacteria and suggest the treatment according to the bacterial infection in the respiratory system. This is a really serious issue in the gerbils. So, you need to take your gerbil vet immediately.

Scent Gland Tumors

The scent gland tumors are mostly seen in the male gerbils. Because the male gerbils mark their territory border by their scent gland. This irritates the scent gland. So, they will suffer from scent gland tumors. The tumors are seen in the middle of their tummy.

If the tumor is not treated well, it can grow more and spread to other different parts. They can also create a bacterial infection. The bacteria creates itching problems. If the gerbil tries to overcome the scent gland tumor itself, it may bite or scratch the infected area.


The most common symptoms of scent gland tumor are as follows,

  • Starts to look like a pimple (it may grow more, or may not grow beyond a particular stage).
  • Starts to bleed (while the tumor grows).
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Rough and dry skin
  • Excess hairless patches


If your gerbil pet is suffering from the Scent Gland Tumors you need to take your pet take your vet immediately. The vet will examine the spot of the tumor inside the gerbil’s body. Then they make surgery to remove the tumor. Most probably, the scent glands are seen in the male gerbils than in the female gerbils.

There are two options for the vet to take the decision based on the location and condition. Those are,

  • To remove the tumor alone
  • To remove the scent gland and tumor together
Diseases Gerbil

Disease spread from the Gerbils to humans

The disease in the gerbils can also be transferred to humans because of the more contact with your gerbils. The possible diseases are as follows,

  • Campylobacteriosis.
  • Salmonellosis.
  • Hantavirus infection.
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis.
  • Rabies.
  • Rat bite fever.
  • Tularemia.
  • Hymenolepiasis (dwarf tapeworm infection)

Final thoughts

The gerbils are the animals that are sensitive to handle the disease. You need to take care more and more when they are affected by the disease. If you neglect the disease by not taking the gerbil pet to your vet, they may end up with death. So, keep on monitoring your pet as much as possible.