Gerbil/General rodent help?

Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum

Help Support Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum:


Well-known member
Dec 11, 2010
I have a gerbil, Bam.
He's 4/+ years old. I've had him since he was young, as he came from a pet store.
This little guy has never failed to amaze me, and he's the one pet I have that has grown completely close in trust with me. Thus, I'm having a horrible time dealing with his possible death tonight.

When Sam's original cage buddy died, we bought another. Unknowingly it was a female, and we ended up with a few Bams.
We would've never bred pet store gerbils, as we know of the consequences. Unfortunately, we got those.

Two of the pups died. They both showed the same signs (Weak,lethargic,eating but body still being cold and bone-like.)
One died before we could get it to the vet, and the other died while at the vets office.
He put her on antibiotics (I believe this is what it was, I forgot the name he told me. It was a while ago), constant fluids, had her incubated, and gave her different kinds of baby food to nurse her and see what it would do. He did kept her like this for about 3 days with no success.

Bam has occasionally gotten episodes where he seems to go into skeleton mode almost over-night, becomes lethargic, but normally pulls through after hours of nursing and eating water soaked bread.

He gets fed everyday, water 24/7.
He started with another spell today.
This one is worse, though.

He has been having twitches, like muscle spams. Doesn't look like a seizure as it's constant and he will try to eat during it all. Feel more like a hard heart-beat.
He's going up and down, and will be going to the vet in the morning.

Here are my main questions, as I'm looking and researching for what I can bring up while there.

Has anyone ever experienced/heard of something like this with gerbils/mice/rats/etc?

Has anyone ever had an unexplained illness passing through lines? (maybe if you breed?) How did you approach it?

It's looking obvious bam and his pups were going through the same thing now.
I'm so lost, and will be talking to the vet regardless of what happens tonight. I need to know to protect the 4 of Bams offspring that are doing well today. (all now months old.)

Sorry for the long post, and thank you kindly in advance.