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Degu biting off toes
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TOPIC: Degu biting off toes

Degu biting off toes 1 week ago #1

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I recently got 3 male degus, read up al lot about them first. Theres Ceasar, Tibbs, and Champ. I got them ordered in from a pet shop (I know, tut tut, but I wanted babies ) I was told they would be about 8 weeks old. When I got them home Champ looked smaller and lighter than the other 2 so probably from a different litter. Ceasar was the largest and quickly became the boss with the other 2 not too bothered by this, Champ and Tibbs would play nicely with each other while Ceasar pearch on the top shelf looking down at them and putting them in their place when they came near him. But they all cuddled up nicely to sleep and nap. About 3-4 weeks later things started to change, Tibbs out grew Ceasar and took "Alpha Male" position from Ceasar. Ceasar backed down from Tibbs without too much fighting but started picking on Champ constantly even though Champ is fine with being at the bottom of the chain , Tibbs would try to defend Champ when Champ would run and hide behind him . At first it was just "boxing" and Champ would run and hide in the house with Ceasar outside trying to coax him out by giving him submissive gestures (sticking his bum up in front of him). I picked Champ up one day and he felt all lumpy along his back, on closer inspection he had lots of little scabs under his fur. There wasn't any traces of blood around the cage so I wasn't too worried at this point. The next day I saw that Champs tail had been bitten by the base (bum) and the wound was quite large , and Tibbs seem to be quite stressed by the fighting because he would run to the wheel and run at super speed like he was trying to get away from the situation . I decided I needed to take action so I seperated the cage in two with a wire rack to divide the top section for Champ. I used a wire rack with cardboard on top leaving a small part along the side open wire so they could still see and smell each other and would let Tibbs visit Champ for a while each day supervised. Ceasar and Tibbs would stay on their top shelf and try to talk to Champ and all of them would try to chew through to each other, but it seemed to be working well as Champ wasn't being bitten. A few days later during a visit from Tibbs and Ceasar was sticking his nose through the wire from underneath, Champ stumbled over the wire section whilst playing, Ceasar took this opportunity to bite his front paw. Theres was quite a bit of blood but I cleaned it up and it stopped bleeding thats when i noticed Ceasar took a toe clean off . I poke my finger in to say hi and Ceasar doesn't bite me so he doesn't just bite anything that comes through the cage and Tibbs was also on the top walking over the wire without Ceasar trying to bite him, so it looks like he intended to bite Champ. I decided I had to block them off completely so replaced the wire shelf for a wood one. Ceasar is still constantly trying to chew through to Champ and Champ is also trying to chew through to them they make non-aggrasive tweeting noises to each other as if they want to be with each other and Ceasar and Tibbs sleep on the top shelf cuddled up with Champ on his shelf directly on top of them. I was intending to re introduce them one Champ was completely healed and his was close to it until while I was seeing to Champ and had his door open he was trying to climb onto me but his front paw slipped down through to the bottom section of the cage where Ceasar was waiting and bit his foot again taking off a toe from the other front paw.
Why does Ceasar keep biting him so hard to take his toes off? Will I ever be able to reintroduce them? Is there anything else I can do?
Sorry for the long post, it's my first time and I just wanted to give as much detail as I could to give a clear picture because I would really appreciate some advice on the situation.
Thank you all.
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