Is Gerbil Poop Dangerous? Facts You Should Know

As a new owner of a Gerbil, you will be responsible for her personal hygiene throughout her entire lifespan. One of the things you will come in contact with is your Gerbil poop. You should not take it for granted your pet looks healthy so you can’t be infected. 

So is Gerbil’s poop dangerous? Generally speaking, gerbil poop can be dangerous. Like any other animal, any disease or illness gerbils may carry can be transmitted through their feces. If their poop is wet then it can also be dangerous to the gerbil’s health.

The good news is that while gerbil poop is dangerous, you can usually tell if they are sick, to begin with. Handling their poop safely can greatly decrease the chance that any disease is transferred from your gerbil to you.

Is Gerbil poop dangerous

What Does Gerbil Poop Look Like?

Healthy gerbil poop should be hard and dark in color. It most closely resembles a grain of rice in its size, shape, and hardness, but can sometimes come out in small pellets.

It does not usually have an offensive odor, and gerbils tend to use the bathroom in one part of their enclosure.

What Does Wet Gerbil Poop Mean?

Wet gerbil poop is a sign of diarrhea, which can be a sign of a minor dietary issue or a major illness.

It is caused by a change in diet, even if you are just switching from one dry food to another. Adding fruits or vegetables to your gerbil’s food can also temporarily cause diarrhea.

Another reason gerbils may have wet poop is that they are eating too many water-rich fruits or vegetables. This is easily diagnosed by removing fruits and vegetables from their diet for a few days to see if the problem clears up.

Wet Gerbil Poop and Illness

A less common reason that gerbils have wet poop is sickness. While gerbils tend to be healthy animals, there is a small chance that they may get sick. This risk increases if they come into contact with other rodents, whether that be on their own or through secondhand contact.

The most common illnesses that can cause wet gerbil poop are:

  • Tyzzer’s Disease
  • Salmonellosis

If your gerbil’s diarrhea does not clear up by removing fruits and vegetables from their diet make sure you set up an appointment with their veterinarian to discuss the possibility of illness. Wet poop can easily dehydrate your gerbil in just a few days.

Dangers of Gerbil Poop

Handling the poop of any animal is dangerous, and gerbils are no exception.

Some common dangers of handling gerbil poop are:

These infections are usually mild.

How to Handle Your Gerbil’s Poop Safely

Taking proper care when handling your gerbil’s poop can keep both you and your companion healthy and safe.

Make sure you clean their soiled bedding regularly. Find out where your gerbil prefers to use the restroom and try to put a litter tray there. This way you can use a specialized Gerbil pooper scooper to clean up poop without touching it.

If you need to handle their bedding make sure you wear gloves or use another barrier (such as tissue) to avoid contact. If your gloves are reusable you should make sure you disinfect them after use.

While gerbils are clean animals, they do still come into contact with their own poop. Make sure you wash your hands immediately after handling them or cleaning their enclosure.

Final Thoughts

Gerbil poop can transmit bacteria and disease, but the chance of your gerbil having these is low. You should still make sure you handle their poop in the safest way possible by limiting contact and washing up after handling it

It is easy to distinguish whether your gerbil’s poop is normal or not, and this makes it easier to tell if your gerbil is sick. While wet poop is not always an indication of illness, it is a problem that should be addressed as quickly as possible.

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