Why are my Gerbils Eyes Closed?

Why are my Gerbils Eyes Closed

Peeling back the curtains of the gerbil’s world, you’ll soon discover that their tiny, bright eyes can tell you more than you’d initially think. When your gerbil has its eyes closed, it’s not always as simple as them just catching some sleep. Our furry friends could be displaying signs of contentment, or stress, or more worryingly, they could be signalling a potential health issue.

As we venture further, we’ll uncover what it truly means when a gerbil keeps its eyes closed and how you, as a caring owner, can respond appropriately.

Key Takeaways

  • Closed eyes in gerbils can indicate potential health issues such as eye infections, allergies, or tooth-related problems.
  • Prompt veterinary attention is necessary for eye infections, including the use of antibiotics.
  • Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are important for early identification of health problems.
  • Maintaining a clean environment and monitoring the gerbil’s behaviour, diet, and weight are crucial for their overall health and well-being.

Understanding Gerbil’s Eye Closure

If you notice your gerbil’s eyes persistently closed or half-shut, it’s crucial to understand that, while sleeping with closed eyes is normal, continued closure could indicate potential illnesses such as eye infections, allergies, or even tooth-related issues. When gerbils experience eye infections, they tend to keep their eyes closed. Dust, allergens from bedding or other pets, or minor irritants can cause these infections, leading to this behaviour.

In such cases, prompt treatment with antibiotics becomes necessary. Administering the right medication can prevent complications and further discomfort to your gerbil. Regular veterinary check-ups are a must to catch any issues early on, ensuring the health of your gerbil.

Maintaining a clean environment is another vital step you can take. Minimize allergens by choosing hypoallergenic bedding and keeping other pets at a distance. Show your gerbil extra love and attention during this time. They’ll appreciate your care and it can aid in their recovery.

Should you observe weight loss accompanying the closed eyes, it could indicate tooth-related problems. Gerbils with dental issues often suffer from decreased appetite, leading to weight loss. Consult with your vet if you suspect this, as they can provide the necessary treatment and advice.

Identifying Potential Health Issues

Spotting potential health issues in your gerbil, such as persistent closed eyes, changes in sleep patterns, or unexplained weight loss, requires vigilant observation and an understanding of their normal behaviours.

Persistent closed or half-shut eyes can indicate an eye infection, injury, or a stress-related problem. Monitor your gerbil’s sleep patterns; excessive sleepiness or restlessness could be signs of health concerns.

Gerbils may develop allergies to certain bedding materials. If you notice your gerbil’s eyes are runny, gunky, and red, it might be suffering from an allergic reaction. It’s essential to assess and potentially change the bedding to alleviate the symptoms.

Unexplained weight loss combined with closed eyes could be a sign of tooth-related issues or other underlying health problems. If you notice these signs, you should seek veterinary advice promptly.

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for your gerbil’s well-being. A clean and comfortable living environment can also help prevent health issues. Noticing changes in your gerbil’s behaviour or appearance is key in identifying potential health problems early, enabling you to provide the best care possible for your pet.

Eye Infections in Gerbils

While it’s crucial to understand the general health issues that can plague your gerbil, let’s now focus specifically on eye infections, a common ailment that can cause your pet’s eyes to remain closed or half-shut. Eye infections in gerbils manifest as redness, swelling, and discharge. If you notice these symptoms, it’s vital to act promptly and seek veterinary care.

You might be wondering what causes these infections. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Allergens can trigger eye issues. These include:
  • Bedding materials: Some gerbils are allergic to certain types of bedding, resulting in eye irritation.
  • Other pets: Gerbils might react adversely to other animals in the house, causing eye problems.
  • Stress is another significant factor. Here’s why:
  • Threat perception: Gerbils sometimes close their eyes to protect themselves from perceived danger.
  • Contentment: Interestingly, a gerbil might also close its eyes when it’s content, which can be misleading.

Behavioural Implications of Closed Eyes

Understanding your gerbil’s behaviours, particularly those related to its eyes, can provide essential insights into its overall health and well-being. When your gerbil’s eyes are closed or half-shut, it could be signalling stress, illness, or sleep. It’s crucial to distinguish between these states.

Yes, gerbils close their eyes when they sleep, a normal behaviour. However, if you notice persistent closed eyes during waking hours, it might indicate a problem requiring your attention. Eye infections, characterized by redness, swelling, or discharge, could cause your gerbil to keep its eyes closed. Prompt treatment is necessary to prevent further complications.

Interestingly, gerbils may close their eyes when they feel content or use it as a coping mechanism for stress. This behaviour emphasizes that closed eyes can also be a natural response to their emotional state.

Lastly, it’s important to monitor your gerbil’s behaviour, diet, and environment regularly. This way, you’ll ensure their eyes aren’t closed due to an underlying health issue, stress, or discomfort. Always prioritize your gerbil’s well-being, as their eyes might hold the key to their overall health.

Caring for a Gerbil With Closed Eyes

If you notice your gerbil often has closed eyes outside of its sleep cycle, it’s essential to implement proper care and seek veterinary assistance to ensure its health and happiness. Closed eyes can signify a range of issues like illness, eye infection, allergic reaction, stress, or even a territorial dispute.

If you observe signs of illness like redness, swelling, or seepage from the eyes, it’s crucial to:

  • Seek immediate veterinary attention
  • They may prescribe antibiotics for infections
  • In case of tooth-related issues, they might suggest dental procedures

You also need to ensure a comfortable environment for your gerbil:

  • Keep the cage clean
  • Provide fresh food and water
  • Regularly monitor your gerbil’s weight
  • Watch for signs of stress or over-grooming

Fulfilling your gerbil’s needs and regular veterinary check-ups are the keys to a healthy and happy pet. Remember that you’re the first line of defence in your pet’s health. Be observant, and proactive and don’t hesitate to seek professional help when needed. Your commitment to care is vital for your gerbil’s wellbeing.


Observing your gerbil’s eye closure can provide insight into its health and well-being. If your pet’s eyes stay closed for long periods, it may indicate stress, contentment, or potential health issues like eye infections.

It’s crucial to monitor their eyes and seek veterinary care if needed. Remember, a healthy gerbil is a happy gerbil, and understanding their behaviour contributes to their overall care.

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