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The Degu is a rodent that lives in the wild mainly in South America, but has become an increasingly popular domestic animal in recent years. However, the degus that lives at home requires certain breeding conditions. Check how to care for a degus, what it can eat, how long it lives and what its price is.


  1. Koszatniczka - what does it look like?
  2. Koszatniczka - home and wild
  3. Degu - diseases
  4. Degu - how long does Degu live?
  5. Koszatniczka - how to take care of her?
  6. Degu - nutrition. What can he eat?

Degucommon ( Octodon degus ) is a rodent that mainly lives in the wild in Chile - in the areas between the coast of the Pacific Ocean and the western slopes Andes. In Poland, the degus is becoming an increasingly popular domestic animal.

Koszatniczka - what does it look like?

The Degu looks a bit like a gerbils. Its body length is on average 12.5-19.5 cm, and the tail is 10.5-16.5 cm. It weighs 170-300 g.

The hair of the degus is short. The coloration of wild rodents is called agouti - brown with lighter discoloration around the neck, eyes, ears and abdomen.

The fur of farmed degus has different shades (due to mutations). In addition to agouti, there are also blue, cream, black, sand, and agouti with non-pigmented spots.

Dots have a distinctive tail. It is covered with bristly black hair, slightly longer at the end (in the form of a brush).

See the gallery of 8 photosWorth knowing

The tail of the degus is extremely delicate. Even a small pull or tug can detach it. In nature, this allows for a quick escape from a predator that grabs them by the tail. Once torn off, the tail amputates itself, but never grows back.

Koszatniczka - home and wild

Wild degus in their countries of origin are treated as pests. They forage not only on the ground (e.g. in fields), but also on bushes and small trees.

Dots, both wild and domestic, lead a daily lifestyle. Under natural conditions, they live in small groups, so degus are bestbuy in pairs.

The natural habitat of degus are underground burrows (they have innate morphological and physiological features that make life easier for them underground). For this reason,house demeanorlikes to dig.

Like their ancestors, house demigods love to jump, climb, bite and kick. For this reason, they need a lot of space and appropriate wooden "toys" to wipe the teeth.

It's good to know that degus are very communicative rodents. They communicate using a variety of sounds, gestures and leaving urine behind.

Degu - diseases

Common diseases affecting degus are, above all, overgrowth of the incisors and molars. Skin diseases and injuries are also very common: biting the hair, irritation of wounds after fights with other animals, damage to the tail caused by improper handling of the animal by the owners, abscesses, sarcomas, mycoses.

Koszatniczki can also suffer from helminthiasis (a parasitic disease). Other parasites that can attack this rodent are scales, American trypanosomes and protozoa of the genus Giardia.

Koszatniczki may also have vision problems. They are mostly associated with cataracts, inflammation, erosions and dry eye syndrome. If you give too much herbal food, degus may develop diarrhea.

Degu can also become inflamed of the upper respiratory tract. These are manifested by excessive rubbing of the mouth or coughing. If left untreated, it can lead to pneumonia.

The degus may even develop neoplastic disease. The most common type of cancer they get is hepatocellular carcinoma.

Dots, due to the poor quantity and quality of food in their natural environment, are prone to coprophagia (feeding on faeces). Within 24 hours, they can chew up to 38% of their feces. Degu droppings are small, dry, and odorless.

Worth knowing

Degu - how long does Degu live?

Degu, like other rodents, lives in natural conditions for a relatively short time (up to 4 years). In captivity, however, it can live from 5 to even 8 years.

Koszatniczka - how to take care of her?

Dots are very mobile. They love to bite. Their gnawing instincts are strong enough that they can even gnaw at the plastic bottom of the cage. Therefore, if we choose a cage for a degus, it should be all metal.

However, the best solution is an aquarium, because the degus is not able to chew through the glass, butthe ground being dug by it will not spill onto the floor. However, the top of the aquarium must be covered (preferably with a metal cage, not glass), as rodents can escape from it. In the case of degus, a special terrarium will also work well.

Worth knowing

Gerbils, like gerbils and chinchillas, take sand baths. For this reason, a tub with special dry sand should be placed in the cage several times a week so that they can roll in it.

The inside of the cage should contain as many wooden toys, branches and hiding places as possible to keep them entertained and fill their time. In addition, the wooden elements will also allow you to wear the teeth.

There are also various types of floors and ladders so that rodents can climb. There is also a house that serves as a hiding place and a place to rest.

Bowls and drinkers should not be made of plastic as they can be chewed into pieces very quickly. Swallowing plastic fragments by degus may be fatal. For this reason, the drinker should be glass, and the bowls - ceramic or stone.

The litter should be changed at least once a week to prevent the growth of bacteria and reduce unpleasant odors. You should also wash the inside of the cage regularly with hot water.

Degu - nutrition. What can he eat?

Democrat are herbivores. They usually eat grasses, leaves, herbs and the bark of selected shrubs or trees.

Koszatniczki also eat hay. In addition, they eagerly reach for seeds and some vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce) and fruit (e.g. bananas, apples, blueberries, raisins).

Fruit should not be given to them too often, as degus are prone to developing diabetes. The degus should also be given special butts, thanks to which they can also rub their teeth. You can also buy special food for degus in pet shops.

About the authorWeronika RumińskaA graduate of Polish philology with an editorial and publishing specialization at the University of Warsaw. She developed her interests related to the editor's work already during her master's studies, actively cooperating with on the editorial path and social media. Privately, a lover of good crime fiction and horse riding.

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