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Why is My Gerbil’s Ear Bleeding? : Causes + Solutions

Your gerbil is a fascinating pet with plenty of personalities and a disposition to match. Your gerbil may do silly or unusual things that may baffle you from time to time. 

However, some things are going on with your gerbil that you may not be familiar with. For instance, you might notice that your gerbil’s ear is bleeding. 

What do you do if this happens, and why is your gerbil’s ear-bleeding? 

Why Is My Gerbil’s Ear Bleeding?

The common causes for a gerbil’s ear bleeding include excessive ear cleaning with their claws which leads to bleeding, irritation from mites that make them scratch their ears until they bleed, and accidental puncture of growths in the ear when cleaning their ears which results in bleeding.

Causes of Bleeding Ears In Gerbils

Bleeding from excessive cleaning

A gerbil’s ears can bleed due to excessive cleaning during a grooming session. 

Gerbils use their hind legs which have long claws to clean their ears. They might overdo the cleaning by scratching intensely which injures the ears. 

This leads to bleeding of the ears.


Another reason your gerbil’s ear is bleeding could be due to a severe case of ear mites. Mites are tiny insects that feed on poultry and other small animals and cause a lot of distress. 

A gerbil will be compelled to scratch intensely at their ears because of the irritation caused by mites. This results in bleeding as they use their sharp claws on their ears to scratch.

If your gerbil’s ears are bleeding excessively and not getting any better after a day or two, contact your vet. 

The vet can determine if the bleeding is due to the presence of mites, excessive scratching, or a ruptured growth.

Mite infestation is treated by topical application of medicated sprays or dust to kill them off.

The veterinarian will also prescribe Ivermectin which is a medication used to treat ear mites, nose mites as well as for topical application to kill off the mites.

You will also need to throw away the current gerbil bedding and thoroughly clean and disinfect your gerbil’s cage before returning them to their cage.

Rupture of ear growths

Some growths occur in a gerbil’s ear which are benign, that is, they are not cancerous. These growths can grow quickly and may resemble a tiny pink cauliflower.

If this is the case, if your gerbil scratches it with its claw during cleaning, they might puncture it which contributes to an ear bleed. 

These kinds of growths do need to be removed unless they are blocking your gerbil’s ear canal. 


A bleeding gerbil’s ear is an obvious sign that something is wrong with your gerbil. Whether the bleeding of the ears is due to an injury because of intense scratching, or infestation with mites there is a need for medical attention.

Even if you see dried blood on your gerbil and do not visibly see blood coming from its ear, it is always a good idea to follow up with a vet. 

By doing so, you might be able to prevent your gerbil from developing more serious health problems including infections from bleeding sores. 

If your gerbil needs surgery to remove a tumor or treat mite infestation, be sure to follow the vet’s instructions for post-care. When you do, your gerbil will make a full recovery in one time at all.