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Small Mammals

  • Prairie dogs (most often black-tailed prairie dogs) are becoming popular as pets. Like all rodents, they have teeth that continually grow throughout life. They are active, playful and sturdy rodents and can make wonderful, affectionate pets if purchased young, socialized properly and given lots of attention.

  • Having your pet properly prepared before blood collection helps to ensure that test results are as accurate and reliable as they can be. Sometimes abnormal test results say more about how the pet was prepared than about true illness.

  • Colder winter months and the busy holiday season can pose special health risks to pets. Help your special furry friends weather the winter by considering a few simple tips.

  • As in humans, this is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a spirochete organism called Treponema cuniculi. It is a different spirochete from the human Treponema pallidium. Humans cannot get this particular organism from a rabbit.

  • Many people think of rabbits as rodents, but they are lagomorphs. Both rodents and lagomorphs have open-rooted teeth (continuously growing throughout life). Rabbits have incisors (front teeth) which are easily visualized and a good set of molars in the back of the mouth for grinding and chewing that are not readily visible.

  • Common conditions of pet rabbits include snuffles, internal and external parasites, overgrown incisors, uterine problems (infections or cancer), and sore hocks.

  • Rabbits are herbivores and are considered nibblers, in that they eat continuously. They have complex digestive systems and are very efficient at processing food. They also have very specific dietary needs. If you introduce new foods too quickly, or feed inappropriate food choices, the rabbit’s normal digestive flora (normal bacteria) will be disturbed and may lead to a sick rabbit.

  • During the summer months, pet rabbits allowed to run outdoors might be affected by a fly maggot infestation. Different terms are used for this but fly strike is a common one. Another is to say that the rabbit is fly blown.

  • In general, the biggest cage you can afford is too small! When it comes to cages, bigger is better. Cages should be made of material strong enough to prevent the rabbit from chewing its way out. Solid flooring is easy to clean and disinfect daily.

  • There are 4 major infectious diseases seen in pet rabbits. Two serious diseases caused by viruses may occur in rabbits, although they are rarely seen in indoor pets. They are myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease.

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