I was given two degus as an thankyou present, of course I was delighted I'm a big animal lover. I ordered an specially made degu cage asked what sex they were and after pausing they told me both female. To cut to the point, I have noticed that one of my degus is very fat and pear shaped while the other has been trying to mate it.
Last night the fat degu started to squeak so after researching and thinking that she was about to give birth I moved the other out of the cage into an extra one.
But I woke up to find no degu pups and the pear shaped degu sitting on top of her house, still fat and looking ready to pop. the other degu is racing around its cage as if in panic, i have tried to calm it down but it just won't stop.
Is my degu really pregs or could it last night be an false alarm and that she may have pups today?
Hi there, I think the first question is whether we can help you, on distance, to find out whether your degu is pregnant or simply a bit fat. For this we need a bit more information about the two. Do you know how old they are? How long have you had them? Did you see a change in shape of the “fat” degu over this time? Have they been with other degus in the past three months?
The important thing to know about sexing degus is that both the male and the female have got the cone (urethral cone). So it is the distance between the anus and the cone that determines the sex. Males = big gap, females = no gap.
The next thing to know is that mating, or the appearance to mate, is conducted by both the males and the females in asserting dominance over the other degus in the cage - essentially there is normally and alpha male/female. And off course mating can be just that... mating
So, let's assume that one of your degus is female and pregnant. I don't have any experience with this unfortunately but I'm sure other members of the forum will help you out. However there are some basics to know.
First off degus make excellent parents I'm told, that is the father included. The father will help with the nest building and the raising of the pups. The most important thing to do, however, is remove the father just before the birth and up to 4 days afterwards. That is because the female is at her most fertile just after giving birth. You will also need to make sure that the cage is pup-friendly. They're tiny little things so they can easily slip in between the cage bars.
There is one final decision to make and that is what to do with the dad once the pups are grown. So, you can re-introduce the father with the mum for the raising of the pups. However after about 5/6 weeks old the pups are not dependent on the mum, not breastfeeding, therefore there is the possibility of the mum becoming fertile again and thus the process repeats. So you'll have to decide whether you want to keep mum and dad together and have more babies (not highly recommended as you will become overrun and there are so many other degus that need adopting). Or you can get the father neutered and keep the mum and dad together. Or you can decide to have two cages, seperate the mum and dad and keep the male pups in with the dad and the female pups in with the mum (providing you get both male and female pups).
Here are another two threads we have that explains all the joys of babies and breeding in more details.
My degus are about two years old and i have had them for a year. I noticed a big change with one of the degus the fat one for about three months and that she is very pear shaped. and no, there have been no other degus in the cage apart from the two I've got. just hope the fat one is ok, its been sitting on top of her house for about two hours now not moving, its very unlike her.
The next step would be, as malteser suggested, to sex them. Can you try this for the one which would be the suspected male? If he/she turns out to be a male, that it would seem very likely that the other one is indeed pregnant. You can do this by following the guides malteser has given you and/or take a picture of his/her bits and post it here so that we can help you with it.
If she were very close to giving birth, I would expect her to be in her box. However, I don't have any personal experience here. Hopefully other member will be online shortly who will be able to give you more advice. Just as a precautionary measure, I would suggest to contact your vet so that you know what to do should the need arise.
And definitely keep the male in a separate cage for now.
Post by philbailey1806 on Sept 26, 2011 11:21:34 GMT
Hello! I also bought a missexed pair that I didn't think to double check and ended up with babies. In my experience mum gave birth to her pups successfully all by herself, and she had 8! I think the main thing is not to panic, my degu looked as if she was going to give birth on and off for a few days before I heard unusual squeaks coming from her nest box! I took dad out a couple of days before the pups were born, and then kept him out for a week before I reintroduced him to help raise the pups and bond with them, considering two of them were to become his cagemates. I separated him out again after two weeks of being with mother and pups (when the pups were 3 weeks old) and he lived by himself until I was happy that the pups were eating solids (both nuggets and hay) which hapened when they reached 4 1/2 weeks, which is when I put four male pups in with their dad. I then rehomed four of the male pups and kept two males to live with dad and two females to live with mum and I've had no recurring pregnancies or any sort of problems since, and the pups are now around 4 months old. I hope this helps!
My preg degu too was very inactive and sleepy last few days of pregnancy so I wouldn't worry. I would say keep her room quiet and avoid any stress to the female. When u check on her maybe call her name quietly first so she knows you're approching. (Finding nipples on her tummy is sure sign of pregnancy but if she's about to pop it would just stress her now) Also (from my limited experience with degu) I think having another degu with her before and while she gives birth could help her relax as she doesn't have to be alert for any potential danger cause the other one will and alarm her, if that makes sense. But i understand it's risky if other one is male. Anyway hope your girl is ok and have beautiful pups soon!
ok, thanks again. both cages are next to each other so that they can see and smell each other. the female is just sitting very still. what do you think I should do with the blood, after the birth. I have heard people saying thay you should leave it in and others say to take it out??. I will keep you posted on her progress.
Post by philbailey1806 on Sept 26, 2011 14:23:11 GMT
My degu gave birth at about 11 at night, so I left her nest undisturbed overnight and then at about mid day the next day I transferred her and the pups (that I sexed) into a shoebox of hay, which was in a larger box for a few minutes just while I gave the nest box a quick clean and put some fresh bedding in there. In my opinion it whether you can do this or not depends on the mother and how well she knows/likes you. My degu remained reasonably friendly throughout her pregnancy, she would be reluctant to leave the cage for clean outs, but that's as hostile as she got, some get agitated and turn a bit bitey if they don't fully trust their owners, but if your girl does trust you (and it sounds as though she does if she hasn't bitten you) then I'd say she'd be fine with you cleaning out the nest box the next day and checking the pups over. Just remember that if the baby squeaks, it wants to go back to its mother, and at this age it's very important they go back to her straight away if that is the case. Also a thing to bear in mind is that degus are very good mothers and it's extremely unlikely that she'll neglect any of her pups, and cannibalism is almost unheard of, I'm sure that mother and babies will be just fine
thanks for all your help, I have a few questions left. how do you know when the birth starts? are their any signs to look for? the preg degu has been busy eating and drinking, could this be a sign? is it true that most degu births are at night? what should I do if a few days pass by and she has not yet given birth?
Post by philbailey1806 on Sept 26, 2011 17:44:54 GMT
It's alright, I joined this site because I couldn't find the answers to very similar questions myself on the internet lol.
I knew when Edna was close because over the last few days of being pregnant she would lie around from time to time and let out squeaks like an alarm call (or the mating call if you noticed that one) but she did this for a few days before she actually gave birth.
There is no definative sign of when she's definately going to pop, it's just a game of patience. She was about a week late with her pups, from my estimations of when it was I thought they had mated.
I'm not sure if it's a bona-fide fact that degus give birth at night but I have read sources that they tend to give birth late evening or early morning, which would make sense seeing as they are a prey animal, they wouldn't want to give birth in the open when out gathering food.
If a few days pass by and she still hasn't given birth, just bear with her, as long as she's eating and drinking, I'm sure she's fine, just like any animal the babies come when they come, they don't know when you're expecting them lol.
In my opinion, though others may not agree, I would avoid panicking and taking her to the vet, the stress of being caught and transported won't be good for her, as won't the strange man picking her up to examine her, the babies can easily get dislodged inside the mothers belly, so handling isn't advised at all.
My advice would be to leave her be, let her have some privacy, but just make sure her food and water are going down, as that's the first sign something is wrong and sooner rather than later you'll be hearing the squeaking of new born pups. They're very cute.
During the labour there is nothing for you to do mistangel except to give her peace and reduce her stress as much as possible (so try to avoid loud, unexpected noises, don't handle her, etc). The only time you need to intervene is if she has difficulty with the labour, which can happen on very rare occasions.
With the blood and some say to leave it, some say to clean it out. Personally I would see what mum wants to do. Some mums may become very agitated if you handle the pups close after the birth and you want to avoid this. The good thing with degus is they don't reject the babies if they have been handled.
Also when handling the pups do so for very short periods of time as pups can't thermoregulate (i.e. keep warm) and this is where mum comes in, keeping them warm with her body heat. It can also be a good idea to weight the pups, they tend to gain about 2g of weight a day.
Hi, my girl degu is pregnant and she started giving birth yesterday. I see that her belly is more soft so I think she had her pregnancy water broken, but she haven't pop any pup till now! I'm worried that they will die in her belly they are still moving but I don't know, I don't see this as normal.She is resting and being quiet, and she let's me touch her belly, she is eating and drinking but looks like she's in pain. There was a bit blood also but baby's are not coming out yet. I called the vet and they told me to bring her, to take a "look" at her but I don't think there is anything they can do, especially bearing in mind that here in Serbia degus aren't very popular pet. I don't know what to do, have anyone had similar experience? Is this normal and how long does it take for babies to come out? I'm having degus for over a 9 years now and this never happened, pregnancy had always gone good. Pls help I'm worried
Ditto! This requires an emergency appointment, so don't let the vet receptionist put you off!
Being dragged through life on Bernard the Bike, with Squidgygoo (RIP), Spidergoo, Scaredygoo (RIP), Sillygoo, Sausagegoo, Smashygoo (aka Spud), Snoozygoo, Sneakygoo, Pootle (RIP), Perkin (RIP), Fidget (RIP) and Twitch (RIP) the pillions.........