Improper handling of gerbils,
particularly by children is the leading cause of tail lesions
including tail breaks and fur loss. Children who have not
been trained properly in handling gerbils will often pick
the animals up by their tails which causes great strain on
the tail joint.
Gerbils that live in overcrowed habitats are also at risk
of damaging their tails whether through accidents or constantly
rubbing up against other animals. In these cases a large amount
of fur is generally lost from the tail however it is likely
to grow back if the overcrowding is fixed. Overcrowding is
also a bad idea because it promotes disease and if one gerbil
becomes sick it sis likely that a large number of them will
If the tail has been badly damaged it may have to be removed.
Obviously only a veternarian should perform this procedure
which will include antibiotic treatment. In most cases it
can be wrapped in gauze and allowed to heal. Sometimes an
antibacterial cream may also need to be used.