Educational Articles

Small Mammals + Pet Services

  • This handout summarizes the many options available to help celebrate your pet’s life and ways to help deal with your grief following the loss of your beloved pet.

  • Metronidazole is given by mouth or injection and is used off-label to treat certain anaerobic bacterial and protozoal infections and gastrointestinal conditions in dogs, cats, and other animals. Give as directed. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, regurgitation, decreased appetite, tiredness, and drooling. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it, are debilitated, or are pregnant or nursing. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian.

  • Silymarin is an over-the-counter nutritional supplement that is used off-label and is given by mouth to treat liver and cancer conditions. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include vomiting or diarrhea. Do not use it in pets that are allergic to it. If a negative reaction occurs, please call the veterinary office.

  • The two common guinea pig fur mites are Trixacarus caviae (sarcoptic mange mite) and Chirodiscoides caviae. Chirodiscoides caviae mites may cause mild to no clinical signs at all. Trixacarus caviae mites can cause extreme clinical signs because they cause extreme itchiness. Affected skin will get thick, yellowish, and crusty, with hair loss and secondary bacterial skin infection. These mites cause such itchiness that your guinea pig may even go into seizures and die. Your veterinarian will treat the affected animal with topical or injectable anti-parasitic medications, and since mites live in the environment, the environment must be treated, as well. Trixacarus caviae mites are contagious to people.

  • Mites affecting pet hedgehogs, often called quill mites, are fairly common. Initially, an affected hedgehog may become itchy but if mites are left untreated, the clinical signs can become severe. Treatment for your hedgehog should always be under the guidance of a veterinarian.

  • Moxidectin is an avermectin antiparasitic that is used to prevent heartworms and treat intestinal parasites. Imidacloprid treats and prevents fleas. These two drugs are combined in one topical product for use in cats, dogs, and ferrets. Use as directed. Side effects are uncommon and usually short-lived, however, if you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately.

  • There are many health and behavioral benefits associated with neutering your rabbit, such as preventing unwanted pregnancies, eliminating his risk for testicular cancer, and minimizing the stress associated with sexual frustration. This handout explains the neuter procedure, post-operative care at home, and, although rare, possible complications that could occur.

  • Neutering is also referred to as orchidectomy or castration. It is a surgical procedure in which the testicles are removed to sterilize or render a male animal infertile. There are many behavioral and health benefits associated with neutering your rat. Most rats are neutered between four and six months of age.

  • Many owners of rodents, sugar gliders, and hedgehogs are surprised to learn that all pets need an initial examination by a veterinarian and at least an annual check-up. Many veterinarians who treat exotic small animals recommend check-ups at least twice a year to allow for early detection and treatment of potentially life-threatening diseases. During this visit, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination and various diagnostic tests, such as blood work, fecal analysis, microbial testing, and X-rays, to determine your pet's state of health and to see if your pet might be harboring any diseases that require treatment.

  • Ferrets are generally good-natured, inquisitive, playful animals that enjoy the company of humans. They can make great pets! This handout provides some basic facts about ferrets and what you need to know about keeping one as a pet.