pocket pet vet dr. b

Pocket Pets

Rats, mice and hamsters are extremely intelligent, friendly animals that can make great pets. They thrive on love and attention. As long as these companions are handled gently and given a safe place to retreat to, they are very adaptable animals and will easily learn to live in most households. Although they are often considered a children’s pet, they make excellent adult pets as well.  The problem we hear most often with these little guys is that they just don't live long enough!  In the right home, these small pets can be amazing additions to your family. At Companion Animal Wellness Center, Dr. Carmine Bausone, our exotic animal veterinarian and his staff, look forward to meeting your little companion and providing you with quality and compassionate care.

 

Husbandry issues such as poor diet, poor socialization, poor hygiene, lack of sleep, inappropriate toys, toxins and many other factors often cause illness in pocket pets.  It is important that food and water are changed daily and that the stool production is monitored daily. Maintaining good husbandry habits can help alert you to the subtle signs of illness in your pet, which often begins with a change in appetite and stool production.   Evaluating and changing the cage and litter box substrate daily allows you to notice any change in stool size, shape, consistency and odor.  Because these little pets hide signs of illness, these daily habits will often make the difference in your pets health.

 

Common signs of illness include:

 

  • lack of appetite

  • weight loss

  • inactivity

  • decrease in stool production

  • diarrhea

  • change in body posture

  • fluffed appearance

  • eye discharge and crusting

  • red tears

  • nasal discharge and crusting

  • sneezing

  • difficulty breathing

  • drooling

  • long teeth

  • limping

  • hair loss

  • itching

  • crusty skin

  • lumps, bumps and masses

 

If any of these signs develop, please bring them in for evaluation.

 

Common rodent diseases include:

 

  • respiratory infections

  • pneumonia

  • external tumors

  • internal tumors

  • external parasites (mites)

  • internal parasites

  • GI bacterial infections

  • eye infections

  • seizures/neurologic problems

  • ringworm

  • heart disease

  • bladder infections

  • bladder stones

  • cheek pouch infections (hamsters)

  • slip tail (rats and mice)

 

For more information on rats, mice and hamsters visit:

 

MOUSE CARE AND BEHAVIOR

 

MOUSE AND RAT CARE

 

HUSBANDRY OF PET RATS

 

WEE COMPANIONS RAT CARE GUIDE

 

RODENT HUSBANDRY AND CARE

 

HAMSTERS AS PETS

 

HUSBANDRY AND MEDICAL CARE OF PET HAMSTERS

 

If you would like to adopt a rodent in need please contact the San Diego non profit organization WEE COMPANIONS.


 

Chinchillas

 

Although chinchillas are lovely animals, they are not appropriate for all households. Good chinchilla owners must be able to provide them a significant amount of quiet, chew-safe space, out of cage exercise time, and a carefully balanced diet to ensure dental as well as gastrointestinal health. While chinchillas are reasonably hardy creatures, their health is dependent on good husbandry and nutrition. Husbandry issues such as poor diet, not enough dust baths, poor socialization, poor hygiene, lack of sleep, inappropriate toys, toxins and many other factors often cause illness in chinchillas. Just like in the care of rats, mice and hamsters, it is critically important that food and water are changed daily and that the stool production of your chinchilla is closely monitored. Evaluating and changing the cage or litter box substrate daily allows you to notice any change in stool size, shape, consistency and odor.  Like other exotic animals, chinchillas hide signs of illness so adhering to good husbandry practices will help you determine if there is problem with your companion.

 

Common signs of illness include:

 

  • lack of appetite

  • weight loss

  • inactivity

  • decrease in stool production

  • diarrhea

  • change in body posture

  • fluffed appearance

  • eye discharge and crusting

  • nasal discharge and crusting

  • sneezing

  • difficulty breathing

  • drooling

  • long teeth

  • limping

  • hair loss

  • itching

  • crusty skin

  • lumps, bumps and masses

 

If any of these signs develop, please bring your pet in for an appointment.

Common chinchilla diseases include:

 

  • respiratory infections

  • pneumonia

  • overgrown and impacted teeth

  • heat stroke

  • GI stasis

  • gastric bloat

  • GI bacterial infection

  • GI dysbiosis

  • ringworm

  • fur ring

  • fur chewing/fur loss

  • external parasites

  • internal parasites

  • eye infections

  • cancer

  • broken bones

  • toe injuries

 

To find out more about chinchilla care enjoy the links below.

 

CHINCHILLA CARE

 

WEE COMPANIONS CHINCHILLA CARE GUIDE