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Accueil ยป What is the impact of a high-carbohydrate diet on degus?

What is the impact of a high-carbohydrate diet on degus?

Octodon degus is among the rodents in its family most vulnerable to a high-sugar diet. This is due to its lower insulin hormonal activity compared to other mammals1 2. The degu is prone to developing diabetes or diseases related to a high glucose level in the diet quite easily. Therefore, it is important to feed the degu properly and limit any sugary foods. The total sugar content should be below 30% in its diet.

Occasional Ingestion of Sugary Foods

It is possible for the degu to occasionally consume a food higher in sugar as a treat. However, this should remain exceptionally rare and spaced out, allowing its blood glucose level to return to normal. Nevertheless, this requires a daily diet adapted (and therefore low in sugar) to permit these very rare deviations. However, we strongly advise providing only treats suitable for the degu and excluding fruits and vegetables.

Edible food and plants for degus

Low-Sugar Diet

The healthiest diet for the degu is one that is low in sugar and high in fiber. This helps maintain a normal blood glucose level after each meal and significantly reduces the risks of developing diabetes or cataracts in the degu. There are several species-specific mixes that, supplemented with hay, allow for proper feeding of the animal.

Comparison of mixes for degus

High-Sugar Diet

Regularly providing a high-sugar diet does not allow the degu to return to a normal glucose level, posing a very high risk of developing diseases such as diabetes or cataracts3.

Diabetes & Cataract in degus


Inspired by Degutopia

  1. Blood glucose concentration in caviomorph rodents[]
  2. O. degus: A Model in Comparative Biology and Biomedicine[]
  3. Cataracts and reduced fertility in degus (Octodon degus). Contracts secondary to spontaneous diabetes mellitus[]

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