I didn't expect my first blog post to be about a health issue, in fact I imagined telling you all the cute things about one of my Degus called Diego. But the star of the show has a problem.
I was giving Diego his usual cuddles yesterday, and when he got really relaxed and turned onto his back, I notice some fur loss around his throat. The fur was also wet. Could it just be from drinking I thought, or maybe its something more serious? So this mornings cuddles involved a more thorough inspection. He's so tame now he lets me touch and move his mouth when relaxed. I notice his bottom from teeth seem disproportionately long to the bottom ones, and were causing some overlapping. After looking at some of the brilliant degu resources out there I concluded that he' definitely needs to see a vet and he will probably need his teeth clipping. So the appointment is booked for Monday, and hopefully he'll be OK over the weekend.
Diego is a special little degu. He was living alone in the adoption section of Pets at Home and immediately I was struck by how friendly he was. The store had little information on him really, were unsure of his age, and even his name. They thought he may have lived in several stores, and at one point lived in a group of degus. .Despite his boring environment of one wooden box, a bowl of pellets and a wheel, he still seemed curious and active. I visited him several times and at one point I bought a pack of wooden sticks in store, and poked one through the cage for him. Sorry Pets at Home, that's probably against store policy, but he was very grateful for one of the hundreds of products he had been gazing at for so long!
His adoption status was triggered by many things, but from the shop's point of view it was his appearance. He has half an ear missing and not much tail. They said he had been attacked and had undergone surgery. What a resilient little chap he is. What also became obvious after we brought him home was his lack of vocal capabilities. My other degus have a range of sounds, but Diego rarely makes a noise, just the occasional hiss. I am hopeful that the teeth trimming may help with his mouth movement and in turn his vocal capabilities,, which might even lead to him being able to communicate and live with other Degus. Fingers crossed.