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Gerbils & Hamsters/bloody stump!!??!!


My daughter just picked up her gerbil and saw that she has a stump where the front paw used to be. She has been sluggish and very slow compared to her normal antics. What can we do for her or is it too late? :(

Hi Marybeth

Thanks for your question - sorry for the delay in responding.

How is your gerbil now?  They can lose limbs if they get them caught up in bedding etc - in these cases sometimes they gnaw their limb off.

How does the stump look?  Is it clean?  Is there any swelling or pus?  It is important that the area is clean, therefore you might want to clean it with some warm salt water.  If there is swelling then you might need antibiotics.  If the amputation is clean and it heals normally then she should be fine, but if it is not, then a vet would need to intervene and they may want to amputate further up the limb.

I'm concerned about her being sluggish.  Obviously this could be partly because of shock, or that the limb is hurting.  If it is this then as the limb heals she should be fine.  However, if by now she is still not her usual self, then I would definitely get a vet to check her out.  Also if you are concerned about her still it would be good to get someone to check she is OK which will put your mind at rest.

I hope you get on OK.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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