Small Mammal Pet Care
Sometimes, it’s not an easy task to find professional care for your avian or exotic pet. No matter what type of animal companion you have — whether it’s a rabbit, ferret, guinea pig, or rodent — you need to find a veterinarian who knows how to treat your particular species of non-traditional pet.
Our veterinarians are experienced in providing specialized care and treatment for exotic companion animals, including ferrets, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits. We understand their unique health needs and can provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical services, as well as counseling on nutrition, behavior, and general care.
Rabbits are susceptible to a variety of diseases and conditions, including overgrown teeth, hairballs, parasites, and cancer. They also tend to hide signs of illness or pain. Contact us if your rabbit:
- Has discharge from the eyes or nose, runny stool, or a gurgling stomach
- Has an elevated or low temperature
- Begins drooling, scratching at the ears, or sneezing
- Starts tilting his or her head
- Develops bald patches in his or her fur
- Stops eating, appears overly quiet, or shows other abnormal behavior
In addition, your rabbit can benefit from regular dental checkups. We can help make sure problems with your rabbit’s teeth don’t turn into serious, potentially life-threatening conditions.
We also strongly suggest that you have your rabbit spayed or neutered. Not only can rabbits potentially give birth once a month, but they can also have up to 14 babies at a time! Even in households with a single rabbit, spaying or neutering has plenty of benefits: It can protect your rabbit from several types of cancer and reduce or eliminate aggression, as well as other undesirable behavior, such as spraying, mounting, destructive chewing, and biting. Spaying or neutering will not change your rabbit’s personality.
If you have any questions about how to best care for your rabbit, we’d be happy to discuss proper diet, housing, grooming, and even litterbox training.
Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, and Hamsters
Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from veterinary attention. Teeth, which grow continuously in gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters, often require trimming. (We can also recommend appropriate chew toys, which may help keep the teeth worn down.) Parasites such as lice, mites, and fleas can infest your pet. In addition, these companion animals can suffer from other health issues.
Call us if your pet stops eating, loses weight, appears quieter than normal, has discharge from the eyes or nose, or develops a lump on its body. We can provide treatment that fits within your budget.
You can help keep your ferret healthy by bringing him or her in for an exam once a year. That way, we can monitor any changes that occur in your pet and help prevent or catch diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. As ferrets age, they may need additional testing and dental care.
Common problems associated with ferrets include gastrointestinal disease, parasites, and cancer. In addition, ferrets are inquisitive creatures by nature and frequently ingest objects they shouldn’t. Regular blood tests can help determine whether your ferret has any problems with the kidneys, liver, or pancreas.
Ferrets can also benefit from receiving certain vaccinations and monthly preventives, which we’d be happy to discuss with you during your visit. Please bring a stool sample to your ferret’s annual exam so we can test for internal parasites.
Unless you are planning to breed your ferret, we recommend that he or she be spayed or neutered. Female ferrets, or jills, do not need to give birth once to stay healthy. In fact, spaying can save a ferret’s life. Jills that haven’t been spayed will stay in heat until they’re bred. This condition can cause anemia (a decrease in red blood cells), which can be fatal. In male ferrets, neutering can reduce their strong body odor, prevent marking, and reduce aggressive behavior.
Please contact us right away if your ferret develops any unusual symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, lack of appetite, trouble breathing, black ear wax, discharge from the eyes or nose, lumps, swelling, or an increase in aggression or sexual behavior (especially in neutered males).