The eRodent Degus
RIP Willow 12/99 - 15/02/04
This page is simply a page about my pet Degus over the years, lots of information about degus can be found from the Degus Index page.
RIP Pumpkin 01/00 - 07/06/05
RIP Digger 2001 - 2005
RIP Pinknose ???? - 2008
Willow the degu followed me home one day from the pet store near to where I worked in February 2000. I knew that Degus are unhappy on their own and we had to get her a friend. I spent the next couple of weeks trying to track down someone with a young female Degu for sale and eventually tracked down Pumpkin at a rescue 2 hours away in Cambridgeshire.
Back in those days degus were unusual and often very inbred. Willow's health was never that great and she suffered from cataracts and was almost definitely diabetic. Sadly she passed away in February 2004, after four years with us, leaving Pumpkin on her own. After 6 months of watching Pumpkin looking lonely, I finally relented in July 2004 and got her a friend. Pink Nose is a mature, neutered male degu from Sprowston Guinea Pig Rescue where he had already outlived his first girlfriend. His name is because he has a strange pink patch on the end of his nose and I always felt that I should have changed it to something more manly like "Thor builder of rock piles".
Sadly Pumpkin developed teeth problems and although we got her the best care we could we had to make the sad decision to have her put to sleep in June 2005 at 5 1/2 years old. This was when I discovered that male degus left on their own start to sing - life male canaries. He would sit at the top of his cage and cheep away for hours. So when we then were offered an older female, Digger, to come and live with him I took her even though I knew that she had dental problems. It was love at first sight but sadly Digger's teeth were never great. We did our best but sadly they got worse and it was kinder to let her go. Teeth problems are a real nightmare in Chinchillas and it's worrying to see the same problems occurring in degus.
Pinknose lived on his own again for a while - but his constant "singing" for a girlfriend eventually caused me to relent and adopt Dizzy from Suffolk RSPCA - having already outlived 3 girlfriends I decided to get him a younger woman this time so that he could hopefully live out his life with company. He was wonderful with introductions - he would just grovel to any female, lying on his stomach and swishing his tail and we could literally clean out the cage and put them in together. I don't know if other neutered male, female introductions would be this easy though.
UPDATE: Sadly the unthinkable has come to pass. I came home one Friday evening to find Pinknose collapsed on his wheel. He appeared to most likely had a massive stroke and I did not wish to take him out into the freezing winter night to be pulled around at the vet and so I moved put him on a fleece blanket over a warm hot water bottle and he passed away a few hours later. He was a good old age, we'd had him for nearly four years, the rescue for a year before that and he was fully grown when they had him so I think he was at least 6. He will be much missed. Dizzy is sadly now on her own, I have half an eye out for a friend for her and she has learnt to come out of her cage for a good run around the rodent room of an evening and seems quite content to have a food bowl and wheel to herself and not to be pushed off her perch.
Below are pictures of Willow and Pumpkin as babies. There are pictures of Pink Nose and Digger at the bottom.
This is Willow and Pumpkin's new cage.
Here is Willow and Pumpkin together.
This is Willow coming out of her Wodent Wheel.
This Doesn't make a bad place to hide either!
Pink Nose - who came to live with Pumpkin after we lost Willow.
Digger - who came to live with Pink Nose after we lost Pumpkin
Dizzy - Pink Nose's latest girlfriend.