Well nearly 9 months. More like 8 and a half but who’s going to argue? Some days it feels like about 3 weeks, other days I think I’ve aged a lifetime!
Having degus is what I imagine having kids is like (except I like degus – I am not a child person). Exhausting, frustrating at times but also so very rewarding and not something I would give up now. They keep me so amused that I forget to write down everything and I really wish I had because there would be some fantastic posts up on here now. I have made notes of some things and will eventually do more posts on them but it’s also one of those things that just won’t translate very well past the “you had to be there to see it” stage.
It’s been a continual learning curve since we originally bought the little men but a very enjoyable one and one I predict will continue. As with any living creature you will constantly learn new things about them either through other enthusiasts or simply through observation. As noted in a previous post each one is an individual and you never know how they will react to something or what they will like.
We’ve had our highs and lows with them. The only real low was when they had their first proper fight (which thankfully didn’t escalate into the ball of death that can occur) and we had to take Scrat to the vet after spotting he had a deep puncture wound on his stomach. Like all prey animals they hide their weaknesses well and it was actually a good week after the fight occurred that we even noticed the wound thanks to it having healed, gotten a bit… gooey and infected and then popping. I spotted some weird goo on him, caught him to take a look and found the wound. Since then I catch them weekly and check every inch of them plus their teeth just to make sure I don’t miss anything. We had Scrat on a week of antibiotics plus daily wound cleaning and luckily he healed up just beautifully.
The highs have been many. They are constantly doing hilarious things like failing to make a jump (often the smallest, easiest jump ever) and then looking decidedly embarassed about it or deciding that this stick should live over here, no maybe over here, hmmm maybe another inch to the left… They still won’t let us stroke them but they’re happy to come out on our arms and Diego will wee on me! I know, it doesn’t sound great but it means I’m his so it’s kind of good. He doesn’t wee on my boyfriend but he will groom his knuckles so that’s good too. The first time they fell asleep on my hands was amazing as well and I still love it every time they do it as they sit still so rarely and it’s such a huge show of trust.
I have plans for them as well. Their current cage is above a stand and we’ve already started to make this into a cage extension. So far it has half-height sides of plastic and is filled with hay. I intend to cover the rest of it with cage mesh and then replace the current bottom of the cage so they can get down into these bottom levels. It will give them probably another 50-60% of space on top of what they have now so should make it much more enjoyable for when they are in the cage (though they do get time out every day anyway). I also have plans to eventually build a huge custom cage but that will have to wait until we have our own place.