Friday, September 14, 2012

Hear! Hear!

Excellent news for gerbils as they rush headlong into a weekend of heavy petting - your hearing problems are a thing of the past. I SAID YOUR HEARING PROBLEMS ... oh, never mind.

The ever-gripping Antrim Times reports that finally there is a cure for deafness in gerbils, but not in any other creatures, as a result of stem cell research. Although, confusingly, Wikipedia advises in respect of gerbils' deafness and inner ear problems that "A problem with the inner ear can be spotted by a gerbil leaning to one side quite obviously. The fluids in the ears affect balance. However, this does not appear to affect the gerbils too much, which have an aptitude of just getting on with things, and getting used to their conditions." In other words, it wasn't really much of a problem to start with, even for the gerbils.

But, if my reader were thinking of getting a gerbil this weekend, for whatever purpose, here is a handy tip (again from Wikipedia): "Gerbils with 'extreme white spotting' colouring are susceptible to deafness; this is thought to be due to the lack of pigmentation in and around the ear." So remember to talk loudly to this kind just as you would to a foreigner. No need to thank me.

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