Check Your Degus Health By Looking At Their Teeth
Why are Degu’s Teeth Orange or Yellow?
Sometimes people ask me, what makes a degu’s teeth turn that orange color? Degu teeth are orange and yellow because of a chemical reaction between their saliva and the chlorophyll in the plants they eat in a healthy diet. This chemical reaction causes their saliva to turn orange which stains the teeth.
The top edges, sides and the back of the teeth are sometimes white – that’s okay! The enamel on the front which is most vulnerable to be stained to a yellow to dark orange color. The degree of the stain’s color completely depends on the degu’s diet. A degu with a healthy, well-balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals will be a fairly deep or dark hue of orange. A degu with a poor diet, suffering from malnutrition will often have pale yellow teeth.
A nutritionally balanced diet for degus consists of good quality feed, hay and fresh or dried veggies (depending on your degu’s taste.) As a rule of thumb, it’s best to make sure vegetables, edible leaves, plants and a grass don’t make up more than 10-20% of your degu’s diet.
How to Check Your Degus Teeth
Having trouble checking your degu’s teeth? Try checking by holding a treat in between your fingers and giving you degu a little tug of war to get it. While they are trying to take the treat or piece of food from you, you can usually see their teeth’s color that way. You can try to hold them and train them to let you lift up their lips to inspect but that takes a lot of time, patience, trust, and training. It’s important to check their teeth early and often.
My Degu Had Babies And Their Teeth Are White, Are They Sick?
No, the babies are not sick. Baby degus are born with white teeth, it often takes a couple weeks for a degu’s teeth to stain orange. For the first couple weeks after birth, a baby degu’s teeth will be white and unless there are other signs of illness this shouldn’t worry you.