Degupdate: Emotionally Overwhelmed Pet Owner

Ok, I’ll admit it: I’m very, very stressed out right now. The USA at the brink of a coup, Covid still raging, and the ministry of education deciding to throw us collectively under the bus (the latest brainfart: if there’s a case in a class, they don’t want to quarantine the whole class, but only “immediate contacts”, because as we all know, 10 years old kids are great at never getting close to each other and staying in their seats for 6 times 45 minutes. It is also absolutely no additional work to teach half the class in school and half the class at home, no sir).

With this as my general anxiety level, and the loss of sweet Katja, I’m basically a helicopter pet mum, but to be honest, Gracie really does her best to freak me out. That’s a degu with a sense for Halloween.

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She’s lucky she’s cute!

After she developed soft stool from the stress of being rehomed, I came up there on Sunday to find her whole side caked with blood. I couldn’t even imagine how that had happened, the degus hadn’t been together, and the cage is safe. I caught her and examined her. The little sweetheart apparently tore a claw, which happens, but is no great injury. But of course it bleeds, and since she sits on her hunches, the blood caked the side of her belly. When I returned an hour later, she’d cleaned herself up again and nothing was seen.

On Monday, the little one came down from feeding them and said that Gracie’s toe had apparently bled again, because there was blood in the water. And I was like “I’ll see to it”, because a droplet of blood should be right invisible in a waterdish. I came up and the whole dish was red. There shouldn’t have been any blood left in the degu to turn the water that colour.

But Gracie appeared to be fine. I got closer, took out the dish and inspected it in better light. Now the orange brown colour of blood turned a more scarlet variety and I found a formerly dried beetroot chip in the dish. She’s been repeating that game. Either she hates beetroot, or she likes her water to be flavoured.

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I now moved the water away form the food. Let’s see if it was an accident or mischief.

On the good news, the running wheel finally arrived. Unfortunately the place we want to put it is currently occupied by Gracie, so they can only use it when out, but they very much like it. It was expensive as fuck, but it will sure last a long time.

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Sorry, no better pic possible at that speed.



  1. Jazzlet says

    Some pets do seem to go in for giving ttheir owner’s heart attacks, I hope Gracie doesn’t continue to do so.

    I don’t know who that is, but they are clearly -- well fuzzily really -- getting up quite a speed.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    The ministry seems to have a severe deficit of common sense. I think they should spend more effort on reducing that deficit.

    I’m hoping Grace has learned to be more careful with her claws.

    As for beets, they have a relatively high sugar content (6,8 % for fresh red beets; more than half of the dry matter is sugars), so aren’t they bad for degus in larger quantities (according to Wikipedia, the natural diet of degus is low on sugars and they can get diabetes easily)? I’m guessing the red beet is a small part of some veggie mix, right? Maybe she doesn’t even like sweet-tasting food?

    The running wheel looks like a wild ride.

  3. DrVanNostrand says

    It’s funny you had that beet problem. I’ve actually known people who freaked out about having pink or red pee after eating beets. Blood in the urine is a well-known signifier of major kidney issues, but it’s apparently less well-known that some people simply pass the components of beets that cause red color without fully breaking them down. To a certain extent, I’m one of those people, but it’s never more than a very pale pink, and it’s very short lived after I eat beets. I never really freaked out, but I was a little perplexed before firing up the google box.

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