When the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys (or glomeruli) become inflamed, it is referred to as glomerulonephritis. This condition is generally seen in gerbils one year or older, damaging other parts of the kidney and ultimately leading to kidney failure. Tumors and various kinds of infections are often responsible for glomerulonephritis but, fortunately, this kidney disease can be treated.
- Dry skin coat
- Severe thirst
- Cloudy urine
- Bloody urine
- Frequent urination
- Protein in urine (proteinuria)
- Abnormally high body temperature
- Swollen extremities
- Puffy eyelids
Both malignant and benign tumors can lead to glomerulonephritis in a gerbil, as well as bacterial and viral infections, which spreads through the animal's blood and affect its kidneys.
Other than observing the gerbil's symptoms, your veterinarian can diagnose the kidney disease by analyzing a sample of urine. Gerbils with glomerulonephritis will have protein in their urine.