Degu (Octodon degus)

Pets with diabetes problems

Degus live in arid areas with sparse vegetation which is why they are used to a meagre diet and are not able to process sugar. That is why they have been used as test animals in diabetes research. Since the mid-1970s the cute, agile, diurnal and socially living small animals have become popular pets. When feeding them fruits and other sugary foods should be avoided in order to prevent diabetes.

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Category: Mammal

Size: head to barrel 12-20 cm; tail 10-16 cm

Age: 5 years

Sexually mature: ♀ with 6 weeks; ♂ with 3 month

gestation period: 87-93 days

food: grasses, herbs, leaves, seeds, bark, tubers

habitat: grass, bush and rocky landscapes, at heights up to 1200 meters

Danger: not endangered

distribution: Northern half of Chile, on the Western slopes of the Andes up to about 1200 m altitude

distribution area