Fractured Bones in Gerbils
Fractured or broken bones are commonly encountered in gerbils, occurring mainly as the result of accidental falls from a high location. Fractures may also occur due to some types of nutritional disorders such as calcium phosphorus imbalances, wherein the bone becomes brittle and easily prone to breakage. Fortunately, fractures heal fairly easily in gerbils; they only require proper restraint and adequate rest.
Symptoms and Types
In addition to exhibiting severe pain and refusing to move -- on account of the pressure and pain when attempting to manipulate the bone -- the gerbil may display the following symptoms:
- Swelling in or around the fractured area
- Crackling or popping sound from the fractured area (due to rubbing between the broken ends of the bone)
- An open wound through which the broken end of the bone has pierced out (very rare)
Typically, bone fractures in gerbils occur due to accidents such as improper handling and trapped legs, often in the cage's wire mesh or exercise wheel. However, some nutritional disorders like calcium and phosphorus imbalances may also make the bone more brittle and prone to fractures.
The clinical signs observed will help your veterinarian in making a diagnosis. Occasionally, the veterinarian will take an X-ray of the affected area to confirm his or her suspicions.