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The late great Evil SITH Degus!



Aida Juanita and Perlita


No, I didn't take up degu breeding. It was more a moment of weakness when I learned how many of these cute little critters were being routinely euthanized, with the "lucky ones" living out their whole lives in shelters.  My degus were adopted from Homefinders Animal Rescue Society as pets only, but they only rarely take in degus, so if you are interested in adopting degus, or similar small rodents, check out the Small Animal Rescue Society of BC (SARS) SARS also has some excellent info on their forum on the proper care of degus, plus it's a great place to ask any questions you might have.  Please do not buy degus from a pet store or from someone on Craigslist or Kijiji "pretending" to have had an accidental litter.  Both those options support an abusive industry in which the animals are always the losers.  The following article was written with pet rats in mind, but can easily be applied to degus and other animals:

Why not to buy from pet stores that sell animals  With Craigslist and Kijiji, yes, there must occasionally be people having genuine accidental litters, especially when they purchase pet stores animals that turn out to be pregnant, however, since so many of these posters have "serial" accidental litters, it's a tip off that they are deliberate "backyard breeders".


The original evil SITH Degu cage complete with organic grape wood brought down from a winery in Kelowna by Auntie Erin, from Small Joys Rattery.  Really there were actual degus in there, they were just a bit camera shy. (We eventually found them a much bigger cage.)


There are those who believe that all agouti degus look alike (and they could be on to something!) but maybe not, because I finally did figure out that Juanita has a black beauty spot on the left side of her nose, while Perlita, who was also noticeably the smallest, had one on the right side of her nose, and Aida who was the biggest, had no beauty spots, but was still very beautiful!  The only annoying thing about Aida was that she always tried to bite me with her woefully inadequate short teeth, and it hurt, but I loved her anyway.

At the 2007 July Ratstravaganza show, we noticed that Juanita's tail had been de-gloved.  We're not sure how it happened, but I am pretty sure it happened in the car on the way to the show.  Perhaps her cage was placed too close to a rat cage or maybe it got caught between shifting pieces of grape wood.  We will never know because Juanita is not talking.  Happily her tail stub healed completely with no sign of infection. 

Sadly, Juanita, last surviving evil SITH Degu, passed away on December 16 2011.  Perlita passed away on Feb 1 2009.  Since all 3 degus were sick that day, I suspect someone fed them something they shouldn't have at the SITH Rattery Open House the day before.  Degus are naturally diabetic and it's really imperative that they not be fed anything with a high sugar content.  I had a big sign on the cage explaining exactly that, but I should have known that some people simply don't read.  If I could turn back time, I would have read everyone the riot act on that when they came in the door.  Happily, Aida and Juanita recovered completely and continued to do well... until Aida passed away on October 12 2010 of unknown causes.  I hadn't seen any sign of illness,  I just found her dead in the bottom the cage one day.  With Juanita it was the same.  Since I never knew how old they were at the time of adoption, I suspect she simply passed due to old age.  I took the following photo just a few days before Perlita died:


I'm so glad to have this photo to remember them by



Please don't support backyard breeders or pet stores that sell animals!

Just say no to the backyard breeders on Craigslist, Kijiji, and the newspaper classifieds


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