This morning Logan went to play with his Gerbils like he usually does on Sunday mornings.
He came into the living room and asked why Rex's fur was red.
A quick inspection made us realize that Rex and Lloyd had been fighting. Not play fighting... full on battle royal fighting.
Rex's eye was swollen shut and his fur rumpled with blood which was extremely obvious on his cream colored fur. At first Lloyd looked ok, but his injuries were not as obvious due to his black fur. Lloyd got it in the throat. A large gash runs over his throat.
We were all pretty shocked. They have lived in the same aquarium for years. They were always snuggling up to one another.
I did a quick google search and it would appear that they have gotten to an age whereby one has to show dominance over the other. In some cases they fight to the death. Who knew gerbils were so barbaric?
Logan is beside himself but there isn't a whole heck of a lot we can do. But, first order of business is finding a new cage so that we can split them up. Thankfully we had kept the cage that came with the "Gerbil Welcome Home Kit", so Lloyd got the new digs.
Instead of spending a relaxing Sunday recovering from the previous nights Wine Tasting, I am now in my kitchen cleaning out gerbil cages to create a hospital like environment so that the fur balls can heal from their injuries.
I am not sure if they are going to make it to be honest. Rex, the one with the swollen eye might be ok, but Lloyd's neck looks bad. Now this is where things get tough.
Do I a) Spend a unreal amount of money on examinations, antibiotics and potentially surgery (would they even do that for a gerbil?) b) Let nature run its course and hope that they heal on their own or c) Have them put down if they are suffering
You could argue that you wouldn't spend a huge amount of money to nurse a goldfish back to health and to put things in further perspective, a brand new gerbil/hamster is around $10. I hate to admit it but if it was a cat or dog, we wouldn't be having this conversation - which makes me feel even worse as there will be an enormous amount of guilt if I don't spend the money because Logan loves them.
My cousin Jillian is a brilliant vet, so I called for her advice. She said that separating them and sterilizing the cages was a good start to prevent further injuries and ward off infection. The next step (should we choose to pursue it ) would be to take them in for an examination if the wounds become infected.
We just checked Rex and the swelling in his eye has gone down considerably and he can open it. Lloyd is obviously going to take awhile longer, but I am hopeful he will recover as well but Logan and I both agreed that the days of them sharing a cage are over.
End of an era.