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Small Mammals

  • This disease is caused by a microsporidian protozoan parasite, Encephalitozoon cuniculi. It is an intracellular parasite that preferentially colonises the kidneys, eyes and brain.

  • In the wild, the ferret is a whole carcase feeder. It is an obligate carnivore with a very short gut and so is unable to deal with much, if any, fibre or carbohydrate in the diet.

  • Chinchillas should be offered good quality grass hay ad-libitum (available 24 hours a day). Pellets or concentrate foods should be given as a small quantity in addition to the hay.

  • In the wild rabbits spend many hours chewing grass. This is a tough fibrous material that also contains abrasive silicates.

  • Pet rodents can be fed a good, high quality rodent chow (pelleted food) available at pet stores.

  • Fenbendazole is used to control roundworms in dogs, cats and rabbits and some types of tapeworms in dogs and cats.

  • Adrenal disease describes tumours or hypertrophy (excess growth) of the adrenal gland(s). Tumours may be benign (adenoma) or malignant (adenocarcinoma).

  • Gastrointestinal disease in ferrets is all too frequent - from dental disease, through gastric foreign bodies to persistent diarrhoea. Some are readily prevented while others require considerable diagnostic investigation and long term treatment.

  • It has always been customary for vets to recommend surgical neutering of ferrets. Unfortunately, it is now clear that this has been a major factor in the large increase in cases of adrenal gland disease.

  • The main reproductive disease in ferrets is actually one associated with failure to reproduce! That is to say a female ferret which is not mated fails to ovulate and consequently suffers the effects of a persistently high blood level of oestrogen.

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